Can My Business Use Solar Panels?

While both tax credits and advertising have typically positioned solar panels as a product available for residential properties, this source of green energy can also offer a lot of value to businesses —especially if you own your own property, or if you plan to stay in your current location for years into the future.

If the conditions are right for your business, an investment into solar panels could pay dividends for your company years into the future. Read on to learn more about the specific business benefits that come with installing solar panels—as well as tips on where to go to find a solar panel installer.

What are the Business Benefits of Installing Commercial Solar Panels?

While some of the benefits of solar panels apply to both business and homes alike, there are certain advantages that businesses will be particularly well-positioned to enjoy. 

The top benefits for businesses include:

  • Reduced utilities bills. The energy savings apply to businesses as well as private homes, although the total energy demands for a businesses—and therefore the cost savings of green energy—are typically much higher for a business. This could save your organization hundreds or even thousands of dollars every year on your home’s energy costs.
  • Alignment with your company’s core values. If your business has built its reputation around environmental initiatives, including sustainability and carbon emissions reduction, a solar panel investment can be a great way to walk the walk.
  • Potential tax benefits. Both state and federal tax credits and write-offs may be available to offset the cost of your solar panel investment. This could be a great way to defray the up-front cost of solar panels, pushing the value of this investment even higher.
  • Long-term value creation. The longer you use solar panels to power your business, the more significant the financial benefits become. This makes solar panels an investment in the future and sustainability of your business.

Do Businesses Receive Tax Benefits for Commercial Solar Panel Installation?

While the tax benefits for business purchases of solar panels are always subject to change, tax benefits have recently been available to businesses considering this investment in green energy.

The most significant credit is the solar investment tax credit (ITC), which credits businesses up to 30 percent back of what they paid to install solar panels. The IRS also offers additional tax depreciation to be counted on your taxes for solar panel purchases, which lets you leverage a solar panel installation to lower your taxes in the same tax year.

Always double-check these tax credits and programs to make sure they’re still available, and that your business can qualify for these benefits.

Solar Panels for Your Business: Other Questions to Ask

  • Is your roof pitch well-suited for solar panels? If your building has a pitched roof, this can make it an ideal space for installing panels that are mounted to maximize sunlight capture. Even if the roof is flat, though, this is usually no problem for panel installers—all it means is the panels will be installed at an angle to increase their energy creation capacity.
  • How long do you plan to remain in your current location? If you rent your property or have visions of relocating in the near future, solar panel installation might not offer enough value over time. If you intend to stay in that location for six years or more, though, this could be long enough to recoup your initial investment in solar panels.
  • At your current energy usage levels, when will you break even on your investment? The more energy your business consumes, the more solar paneling you’ll need, and the higher your up-front costs will be. But this can also mean you’ll be saving more every month on your energy costs, accelerating your utilities savings and increasing the value of your green energy investment.
  • Are you worried about energy rate increases in your area? While fossil fuels and other forms of energy can lead to rate hikes that increase your utilities bills, solar power is a fixed cost based on the cost of the panels at the time of installation. If local energy rates increase in the future, your company’s savings could be even more significant.

How Can I Get a Commercial Solar Panel Cost Estimate?

If you’re interested in adding solar panels to your business property, the next step is to get a quote for the cost of installation. Most solar panel installers will provide this quote for free, and this quote can help you address the next steps of figuring out how you will finance the panels, how much this investment can save you on your taxes, and how quickly your energy savings will help you recoup the cost of this purchase.

Ready to get a quote and take the first step toward a business running off clean energy? Contact a local solar panel installer today.