Reno’s Commercial Install Process
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From branding yourself as a green business to your buying demographic to reducing your business’s power bills on a large scale, commercial solar is becoming a smart option for Reno, Nevada businesses, and this article details why.
Getting commercial solar for your Reno business comes with a spread of questions. We will explore what to expect and how to make the most of your experience as you prospect commercial solar installers.
As a solar company that’s executed numerous commercial solar installers, some of them requiring technical bravura from the engineers, we’re confident we can help any business understand the benefits of solar.
Is My Business a Good Fit for Solar Panels?
No matter your reasons for looking into solar, you will need to make sure it will work before moving forward. Several options exist; each has unique constraints and advantages.
Rooftop Solar Redefined: And Carport Solar
Most prefer to utilize unused space. That’s why many companies decide to use solar panels on building roofs and carports.
If you have enough un-shaded roof space with the correct orientation, this is a great installation choice. However, this option is not good if you have large trees that shade most of your roofline. It also becomes unideal if you don’t have the space needed for the system.
A ground-mount provides an alternative for those that don’t have the roofline (or roof type) for the solar system size they need. If this is an option you’re considering, take into account what a ground mount entails.
Most solar panels measure three feet by four feet. Each photovoltaic panel costs roughly $500.
A small solar array requires 18 panels or more. A commercial-sized system would need quite a bit of space, and some commercial solar installs require north of 50 panels.
Offsetting Your Power Bill: Percentages and Expectations
If you don’t have space, installing a solar array covering all your energy needs may not be your best option. However, solar may not be completely out of the picture.
If you get a system that offsets the cost of your power bill, this could help minimize your long-term costs. When you set up a quote with your solar provider, they will determine the system size your home can handle, giving you the information needed to decide if solar will work.
Reno receives more sunshine than 99 percent of cities in America, so getting a system with a high offset percentage will work to you and your business’s advantage.
Is Commercial Solar Financing Worth It?
Getting solar for your business may require financing of some sort. Solar is cheaper than electricity. But, you have to keep in mind that it is replacing your power bill over the next 25 plus years.
An average home that spends about $100 a month on their electricity ends up spending $1,200 a year and $30,000 over 25 years. Paying a few hundred dollars for a solar array would be great, but it’s not realistic.
We understand that paying cash isn’t an option for many. That’s why the solar industry has a couple of financing options available for businesses seeking to reduce their power bills.
Three Core Financing Options for Reno and Nevada-Based Commercial Solar
If it’s not possible to pay in cash, solar companies typically offer loans, leases, and power purchase agreements. The best option, if you can’t pay cash, is a loan. While leasing a system may seem attractive, it makes the process more complicated and generates less return on investment over time.
With a solar loan, you make monthly payments on a system that you own. You also personally benefit from the federal tax credits allocated for the solar system on your business’s property.
In a solar loan, monthly payments often equal what your electricity bills were. However, unlike electricity bills, a solar loan has an end date.
If you don’t care about owning your panels, getting a leased system or a power purchase agreement will allow you to enjoy solar. The solar installer puts the array on the home, and you then pay them to use the equipment. The solar company gets all the incentives for the system, and in exchange, you get power at a lower monthly rate than you currently pay.
What Incentives Are Available for Commercial Solar?
No matter what you purchase, knowing that you got the best deal is rewarding. Through federal and state incentives, you can save thousands. Taking advantage of these programs will help you save even more.
Federal Tax Credits
A couple of corporate tax credits exist. The Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC) offers a per kWh tax credit. This credit is for energy generated by qualified energy resources and sold to an unrelated person during the taxable year.
The other federal tax credit option is the Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This credit offers businesses 27 percent of the cost of their solar system back in the form of tax credits. However, this credit cannot occur in conjunction with the PTC.
Nevada State Solar Incentives
Since Nevada doesn’t have a state income tax, there are no state tax credit programs available. The state net metering program now credits net excess energy at 75 percent of the retail rate from NV Energy. This rate will stay the same until legislative action changes it.
Commercial industrial and irrigation photovoltaic systems are also exempt from property taxes. These exemptions provide another perk for doing the right thing.
How Does Solar Affect Demand Charges?
Demand charges help the utility recuperate the cost of maintaining the grid. Demand charges comprise roughly 30 percent to 60 percent of a company’s utility bill.
Three demand charges compose your electric bill. These charges include demand charge, customer charge, and energy charge.
If you run a business that’s open during the day, a solar system will help reduce these charges. If most of your operating hours are at night, a solar array may not have as great of an effect on these charges. No matter the time of day, Installing efficient lighting and adding battery backup to your solar array will make a noticeable difference in this charge.