Commercial Solar Panels
As a local business, we understand the need to make sure that you spend your hard-earned money in a way that will get the best return on investment. An unavoidable expense is the thousands of dollars you spend on electricity each year. Commercial solar energy is a great way to save money AND help our environment.
Commercial solar energy applies to all the businesses we traditionally think of, but the general principles will apply to non-profits, churches, farms, schools and other government organizations.
At Energy Select, we were born as commercial energy consultants. As we merge our expertise in understanding a business’s complete energy profile with our expertise in solar energy, we are the hands-down, best partner for your commercial solar journey.
Commercial Solar Incentives
As good as the incentives are for homeowners to install solar panels, the business incentives are even better.
- Commercial Federal Solar Tax Credit - In 2021, 26% of all solar energy costs are rebated back in the form of an income tax credit. This includes any costs incurred to enable or enhance your solar performance such as roof repairs, or tree removal. While 2023 is the last year for the residential tax credit, the commercial tax credit remains and will drop to 10% in 2023 and beyond. There is an IRS safe harbor provision that allows you to capture the previous year’s tax credit if the project is significantly constructed by the end of the year. (see page 3 for construction schedule scenarios).
- Maryland Commercial Clean Energy Rebate Program - While homeowners get a $1,000 Maryland grant, Maryland businesses can earn even more. For example, if a solar system has 100 325-watt panels, that translates into a 32.5 kilowatt solar system. The total rebate/grant amount will be $4,675.
- Accelerated Depreciation - While the useful life of a solar system is greater than 25 years, the IRS allows qualifying solar energy equipment a depreciation cost recovery period of five years. With the additional bonus depreciation, a typical system gets about 25% of the system cost back in the first year on top of the regular tax credit with more depreciation benefits coming over the next four years.
- Maryland Property Tax Exemption - Due to a series of Maryland legislative acts, solar systems are exempt from state and local property tax assessments. This means you can add value to your business without adding additional tax liability. More details are on the Energy Department’s website and we always recommend discussing your unique case with a tax professional.
- Maryland Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SREC) - SREC’s (pronounced S - REX), are your chance to take part in the renewable energy trade market. The Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requires utilities to receive a portion of their electricity from renewable energy. This is managed through credits. For every 1,000 kWh (1 MWh) of electricity produced, you earn roughly 1 SREC. The value of an SREC is determined by supply and demand as well as fees imposed on utilities for not meeting solar energy targets. Currently in Maryland, the market value of one credit is about $77. Therefore, a solar system that produces over 14,000 kWh could earn 14 SRECs at $77 = $1,078 per year in revenue paid to the solar system’s owner. We will register your system and help you participate in this exciting and lucrative program.
- Maryland Net Metering - Net metering is a billing arrangement that allows your solar panels to supply any excess power they produce to the power grid. While the rate the utilities charge for electricity and the rate they are willing to pay you differ, there may be a small income generated depending on your consumption and production balance.
Non-financial Commercial Solar Energy Incentives
There’s too much talk about money. One of the greatest incentives for your business to go solar is how it can increase the strength of your brand. We watch the national solar newswire every day. Not a day goes by without a press release of a car dealer, winery, church, etc. going solar. We are unique in that we understand branding and marketing. When you are net-zero (producing more than you consume), our marketing team will partner with you to tell the world about the great choice you made to go solar:
- Show your customer you care about our environment
- Show your customer you care about being smart with money
- Show your customers that you are on the cutting edge of technology
- Show employees (present and future) that you are doing things they can be proud to be a part of.
Creative Green Energy Financing
Commercial solar has some unique funding opportunities, including
- C-PACE, a way to pay for energy upgrades through local property taxes.
- Tax Equity Partners - For businesses without a tax liability, we find partners to help you capture a portion of the tax benefits.
Creative Commercial Solar Design
Commercial solar installation projects can come in many different and customized designs:
- Flat roof
- Ground Mount solar
- Pole Mounted solar
- Solar + Battery Backup
- Solar + Car Charging
- Carport - Turn your parking lot into a money maker. Maryland grant available if paired with electric vehicle car charging stations.
An Added Solar Bonus
Energy Select offers a solar referral program called Select Partners. You can use it as a revenue maker, or as a solar discount program exclusive to your customers and/or employees.
For businesses that rent their facility, there are many options we would love to discuss.