1) Your Current Energy Use – Clients that understand their current energy usage (kilowatt hours per month) are best positioned to gauge how much solar will meet their energy savings goals. Implementing additional energy efficiency measures with your solar system will further enhance your investment and the environmental benefits.
2) Building Ownership – It is more straightforward for a business that owns its building to proceed with solar. However, it is certainly possible for a business owner that leases their building to work with the building owner to create a win-win situation in which both parties receive the benefits of solar energy.
3) The Roof – For a solar system to produce enough energy to meet the projected outcomes and maximize your investment, your roof should:
- Be relatively south facing
- Be unshaded from 9 am to 3 pm.
If a roof is in good condition or under warranty, the solar installer and the roofer will work together to maintain the integrity of the roof. If a roof is in poor condition and is due to be replaced, it is best to replace the roof prior to the solar installation.
4) Incentives – A thorough understanding of the current incentives will streamline your process. In many cases, more than 40% of the system cost will be paid to you as a rebate or additional incentive. In addition, a 30% federal tax credit and the ability to depreciate the system makes solar feasible for many business that may not have been able to pursue solar only a couple of years ago. Learn more.
5) Your Financial Criteria – Ultimately, any project (solar or otherwise) has to meet your criteria for investment. Solar offers energy production for more than 25 years at a greater than 20% return for many businesses. For some businesses where cash flow does not allow an outright purchase, a solar lease may be an excellent method to produce clean energy with minimal or no up-front cost. Email John@straightupsolar.com to learn more about StraightUp Solar’s lease option for commercial projects.
6) Promoting Your Solar Investment – Beyond saving energy, your solar system signifies your business’s commitment to invest in cutting edge technology and benefit the environment. Web-based monitoring systems that demonstrate the solar energy production via an internet link provide a simple way to show your employees and the community what your solar system has achieved. Also, consider working with your solar contractor to host a solar event to share your story with others in the St. Louis region.