Is my building eco-friendly? Until a few years ago that question would probably be no. The awareness of our fossil fuel consumption coupled with advancements in renewable energy sources has created a plethora of options for building owners to answer the question with a definite yes.
How is my building eco-friendly? That’s the next logical question. With so many options in renewable energy sources and green building techniques, there’s a lot to consider. Let’s look at solar energy and how advancements in technology and practicality can make using the power of the sun is one of the best options for building owners going eco-friendly.
Can I Go Solar?
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. installations of solar have grown 35fold to an estimated 62.5 gigawatts (GW) since 2008. That’s enough capacity to power the equivalent of 12 million average American homes. Since the beginning of 2014, the average cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels has dropped nearly 50%2.
If you’re a building owner, going solar may seem like a daunting task in a complex and confusing market. You may have heard about companies like Google and Apple going solar, but what about the small-to-mid-sized businesses or a singular building owner? Maybe you’re considering installing commercial solar panels at some point in the distant future when your organization can afford to make a major investment in something that seems like an environmental “good” rather than a strategic financial decision.
Types of Solar Solutions
The growth in solar shows that financial opportunities for installing solar is an efficient and profitable decision that can offer a solid financial return for your business. According to EnergySage marketplace data, the average commercial property owner pays around $538 in monthly electricity bills before going solar. After their installation, their electricity bill was reduced to approximately $91 – an 83% reduction.
There are four main methods to finance and install solar for the average building owner. Which one is right for you? Let’s find out.
Solar purchase means that you purchase your building’s solar system outright and that you are the owner of all equipment. Purchasing your solar system for your building will earn you years of affordable power.
Purchasing your solar system from US Energy Solutions provides continuous system monitoring and a great workmanship warranty. Additionally, building owners that purchase solar systems can get potential tax credits and incentives. And, the best part of all is that most systems pay for themselves in five-to-seven years.
If you’re interested in using renewable energy at your business location but aren’t ready to purchase a solar system outright, then solar leasing is a great option. Leasing your roof or land to a company like US Solar Solutions will build, own, and maintain the system while paying you monthly lease payments. The company will install everything and sell the electricity to your local utility company.
There are three different options for solar leasing:
- Parking lot
With a solar lease, you get the opportunity to make additional money on your property with annual rent payments. Plus, with a solar lease from a company like US Energy Solutions, you get the added benefit of insurance and a full warranty.
A Solar Power Purchase Agreement (Solar PPA) is an agreement between a developer (like US Energy Solutions) and a business (You). Solar PPAs are installed on your building (or open land/property) and the power it produces is sold back to you. The rate you pay the developer is typically10% less than what your current utility charges. With a Solar PPA you get clean, solar electricity, and you save money in the process.
When you lease your unused land, open space, or parking lots to US Energy Solutions, we’ll install a solar farm and sell the electricity to the utility company. Your business will earn a base rent for the duration of the lease while US Energy Solutions handles all operations and maintenance.
Community Solar Subscriptions
Community solar refers to local solar facilities shared by multiple community subscribers who receive credit on their electricity bills for their share of the power produced. By subscribing to community solar, your building can reap the benefits of solar without having the system installed.
Community solar participants share the benefits of the solar power generated by a solar farm, costing you less than your current utility cost. Most building owners can reduce their electric bill by an average of 10% or more, all without any equipment purchase or money spent. This is an attractive option for property owners that cannot install solar panels, building renters, nonprofits and other small businesses.
Eco-Friendly Buildings Conclusion
Is my building eco-friendly? By now you’ve seen the possibilities of going solar to improve the eco-friendliness of your building. Using renewable energy is a benefit to everyone, from building owners to our communities at large.
US Energy Solutions provides energy-efficient solutions resulting in proven cost savings, reduced energy consumption, and a smaller carbon footprint. Talk to us about how you can add solar to your building. Schedule a complimentary energy assessment today.