Commercial Solar Benefits12/13/2023
Interested in the energy economic benefits of using solar panels? Is your enterprise ready to switch to renewable energy? Solar energy can provide many advantages, from reducing your energy costs to providing long-term financial predictability. This article will delve into commercial solar benefits and their contribution to a greener, more sustainable business.
Commercial Solar Benefits
Reduction in Energy Costs
Installing solar panels on commercial buildings can significantly reduce energy costs. Solar panels generate electricity from sunlight, reducing the amount of power that needs to be purchased from the utility company. For many businesses, energy costs are one of the largest operating expenses. By harnessing sunlight for free, solar lowers and stabilizes these costs.
For example, a 200 kW solar system on a commercial warehouse could generate over 250,000 kWh of electricity per year. At an average electricity rate of $0.15 per kWh, that solar energy would save around $37,500 annually on utility bills. These savings go straight to the building owner's bottom line.
Solar also provides savings by offsetting rising energy prices. Electricity rates have increased by an average of 3.5% per year over the last decade. With a solar system, a significant portion of a building's electricity comes from the sun''s energy, which has no fuel costs. This allows businesses to avoid utility rate hikes, providing savings today and a hedge against inflation.
Tax Incentives and Solar Grant Programs
There are also financial incentives like tax credits and grants available for commercial solar installations. At the federal level, commercial buildings qualify for a 26% investment tax credit (ITC) when they install solar. This allows the building owner to deduct 26% of the total system cost from their federal corporate taxes.
Many state and local governments also offer incentives for renewable energy projects. For example, some states give sales tax exemptions for solar installations. Cities or utilities may also have grant programs to encourage sustainability, which solar projects can qualify for.
Taking advantage of these incentives can reduce the payback period of a solar system by years. Businesses should consult with solar developers and accountants to maximize their available tax credits, rebates, and grants for installing solar panels.
Long-Term Financial Predictability
Going solar also provides greater predictability in long-term energy costs. Fossil fuel prices are subject to complex national and global market forces. The price of solar energy is much more stable, simply reflecting gradual system degradation and occasional maintenance.
When a business signs a solar power purchase agreement (PPA), they can lock in a fixed rate for the electricity their panels produce for up to 20 years. This provides certainty in calculating their future energy costs and protects them from utility rate increases down the road.
There are also financing options like solar leases that offer predictable monthly payments for the system. Under a solar lease, the building owner pays a fixed monthly lease payment rather than purchasing the system outright. This allows them to spread costs over the long term.
Interested in Solar Energy?
Explore Pacifico Power's comprehensive solutions and discover how we can help your business harness solar power. Visit our dedicated Solar Energy page for valuable insights.
Solar Is an Energy Efficiency Upgrade
Another commercial solar benefit is the increase in energy efficiency. Installing solar panels on commercial buildings is one of the most impactful energy efficiency upgrades a business can make. By harnessing the sun's power, companies can reduce their reliance on utility-provided electricity and lower their energy bills. Commercial solar offers both environmental and financial benefits.
Solar panels convert sunlight into direct current electricity using photovoltaic cells. This direct current is then converted into alternating current that can be used to power lights, appliances, machinery, and more in a commercial setting. Solar energy is a renewable resource, so companies that install solar panels are reducing their carbon footprint and supporting sustainable business practices.
In many areas, commercial buildings can offset 50–90% of their electricity usage with an adequately sized solar system. This reduces stress on the electrical grid and lowers energy expenses. Solar also acts as a hedge against rising electricity rates for long-term savings. Investing in it demonstrates a commitment to environmental stewardship and lowers operating costs.
Maximizing Energy Efficiency
There are many ways businesses can maximize their energy efficiency in addition to solar power. Upgrading to LED bulbs, installing smart thermostats and HVAC systems, and adding insulation are some of the most impactful steps.
LED lighting reduces electricity consumption by up to 80% compared to traditional incandescent or fluorescent lighting. Smart lighting systems with occupancy sensors and daylight harvesting capabilities provide additional savings. Programmable thermostats allow companies to optimize HVAC runtimes and temperatures according to occupancy schedules.
Adding insulation, cool roofs, and energy-efficient windows cut down on heat transmission, lowering air conditioning costs. Electricity monitoring systems give companies data to inform additional measures. Partnering with an energy services company to audit facilities and identify opportunities is recommended.
The Role of Renewable Energy Sources
Incorporating renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and geothermal power helps businesses achieve greater energy efficiency. These renewables reduce dependence on fossil fuels and the environmental impact of energy use. They also increase resiliency to outages and disasters.
Onsite solar energy generation minimizes transmission losses that occur between central power plants and end users. Combining solar with battery storage allows the collection of excess power for use at night or during cloudy weather. Geothermal heat pumps use underground temperatures for efficient heating and cooling.
Purchasing renewable energy credits helps offset conventional electricity use. Energy service companies can conduct feasibility studies to determine which renewable energy options make the most financial sense for your company.
The Impact on Maintenance Costs
Solar power in commercial buildings has minimal maintenance costs and can reduce other maintenance expenses over time. Solar panels are durable, and modern systems require little upkeep.
Most solar maintenance involves inspecting connections and cleaning the panels a few times per year. Inverter maintenance adheres to manufacturer recommendations, which may include replacing certain components after 10–15 years. Proper solar panel installation and weatherproofing is key to minimizing repairs.
By generating their own electricity, companies lower utility bills and demand on HVAC, lighting, and other systems, cutting associated maintenance costs. The long-term savings make solar power highly cost effective.
Lower Energy Costs With Solar Solutions From Pacifico Power
Don't miss out on the advantages of commercial solar power. Pacifico Power is your trusted partner in transitioning to renewable power and enhancing energy efficiency. Take the first step towards a brighter, more sustainable future today.