5 Ways Solar Reduces Operating Expenses

November 28, 2017

Solar Power is a way to make electricity from sunlight. Solar panels were invented in 1955 at Bell Labs and NASA has been using solar for decades to power satellites. Now solar technology is available to all business owners because the cost of solar has fallen 75% since 2010. In Illinois, we now have strong State and Federal incentives that make solar payback in 4-6 years. These incentives will not last, so you must act now to fully realize their benefits. You can buy a solar power plant for 15 cents on the dollar after rebates and incentives. Then you have a free source of power for the 25 yr. life of the equipment. This is why many fortune 100 companies are investing in solar.

Five Ways Solar Pays Back

  1. Sunlight is Free– capture it to make it payback. Companies including Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Apple, and IKEA are investing in solar projects for the energy savings and environmental impact. Solar PV is semiconductor technology that makes electricity from sunshine. Sound too good to be true? Ask NASA. They have been powering satellites and the International Space Station with solar for decades.
  2. Illinois Cash Incentive– Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs; 20% cash rebate; funded by FEJA, paid for by a small fee on our power bill by all consumers and businesses in IL). Starting June 1, 2017, there is a cash rebate offered by the utilities for the energy produced by solar power systems. When you put solar on your roof or yard you get paid by Ameren or ComEd per megawatt hour produced. The more you produce, the more you are paid; The incentive amounts to 20% of the system price and is paid out over the first 5 years. Read more about SRECs at the Illinois Solar Energy Association and Environmental Law and Policy Center.
  3. Federal Incentive Tax Credit(ITC) – 30% tax credit based on system cost; taken in the first year of system operation. The ITC applies to both consumers and businesses. It will decline starting in 2020 and ratchet down to 10% in 2022 for business and 0% for consumers. Act now!
  4. Smart Inverter Incentive($250 per kW of solar PV) – This is a cash rebate paid up front once you contract for a system. A 20-kilowatt array would get a $5,000 rebate. A 200 kW system would get $50,000. It incentivizes the use of ‘smart inverters’ that can be remotely controlled by the utility for grid safety and efficiency.
  5. Accelerated Depreciation(MACRs Depreciation; 30% of system value) – When you buy equipment you get to depreciate the value of that equipment over time. Solar enjoys accelerated depreciation which is 30% of the project cost depreciated over 5 years.

Business owners can reduce their operating expenses and green their infrastructure with solar power. A properly sized system can reduce your power bill by 75%. To determine the ROI and payback period for your business, all we need is a PDF of your power bill (both the utility and the electricity supplier bills). Solar energy levels your long-term cost of energy. Contact Tim Montague at 217.722.0429 m or by email at tmontague@cecco.com for more information.