A recent Built Well Solar commercial installation.
Solar for Businesses Led by U.S. industry stalwarts such as General Motors, Google, FedEx, Merck, Microsoft, and Walgreens in its infancy a few decades ago, today the U.S. market for solar-powered electricity systems is well established, with Walmart, Costco, Target, Kohl's, Ikea and Macy's being the top five in solar capacity among businesses.
Like these giants, smaller businesses, many of them "mom & pops" also know a great investment when they see one, and increasingly are installing solar energy to take control of their energy costs, improve their bottom lines, and as part of a "go green" strategy their customers and other stakeholders admire.
About Commercial Installations
"No Downside" Large and small businesses are choosing to power part or all of their electrical needs with solar. One example, at Whole Foods, solar cells are providing about 10% of the energy used in three stores and in one warehouse. “There’s just no downside,” said Jennifer McDonnell, green mission specialist for the company in a New York Times article. Retail icon Macy’s Inc. is among the top five companies in the nation in terms of using solar energy, the Phoenix Business Journal reported. The department store operator had 41 solar energy systems and 16,163 kW installed as of mid-2013.
Businesses throughout Long Island are making the switch as well, everything from vineyards to ice cream shops, from warehouse operations to auto collision shops, and everything in between.
Don't take our word for it -- ask your accountant or financial advisor. Ask him/her if the tax credits and accelerated depreciation that a commercial PV system offers, and the free electricity generated, makes sense for your business. Ask if the opportunity to save hundreds of thousands of dollars in electricity costs makes sense for your business. We bet that he/she will tell you that "solar energy for a small business like yours is a no-brainer!" (That's a direct quote from a small business owner's accountant for whom we installed a 20 kW system recently.)
Green is good Going green makes sense to many companies as a way of reaching out to their communities, the stockholders and other stakeholders. And choosing to save on their electric bills via solar energy in the process of doing something good for the planet is a win/win for everyone involved.
Another Built Well Solar installation....solar panels on this roof are typical of commercial solar installations.
Built Well Solar Makes It Easy
Built Well Solar has completed numerous commercial solar installations across Long Island. Our knowledgeable and experienced solar-electric (photovoltaic) system experts take care of every aspect of your solar installation from evaluating your electric needs and determining the right size and capacity system for your business to ensuring it is up and running properly and efficiently. We walk you through every step of the process, and take care of the paperwork involved with the NY-Sun rebate application and other procedures required to make the switch to solar energy. For more information and to have your business evaluated for solar, contact us at Built Well Solar at (516) 695-1000 or by e-mail.
Financial Incentives for Commercial Solar
Solar energy is a business decision your accountant or company financial director will love!! Solar energy means reduced electricity costs, often a very significant part of your overall operating costs!
And, thousands of dollars are available as an incentive for a business to make the switch to solar electricity:
PSEG/NY SUN Cash Rebates: Yes, there are still incentives for businesses switching to solar! The cash rebate that NY-SUN provides to businesses is deducted off the gross cost of your PV system, since Built Well Solar is willing to wait for the payment. In short, Built Well Solar will reduce your PV system cost by the rebated amount upfront, so you don't have to wait for payment.
A little background: For several years, PSEG (previously LIPA) offered incentives to businesses for switching to solar! Currently, incentives are funded by New York State through the NY-Sun initiative and made available in tiers through a Megawatt Block structure. The current Tier 4 Small Commercial Megawatt Block Incentive Structure offers a maximum of 35¢ per maximum watt for systems sized at 50 kW or less, and a maximum of 30¢ per watt for larger systems up to a cap at 200kW. These are maximum rebate levels offered to “perfect” solar access sites, which are very rare. The average site provides for about half of that maximum rebate level, but the calculation cannot be done until final engineering stage of a given project. Incentives are granted on a first-come, first-served basis, and PV incentive applications will be accepted through December 31, 2023, or until funds are fully committed, whichever comes first. As each rebate tier is saturated, incentive levels are reduced, without notice. Additionally, rebate incentives are capped at 200kW per site/meter and up to 110% of the previous 12 months of electricity usage.
Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC):A solar federal tax credit -- with no cap – is offered to businesses, effectively reducing system costs by a whopping 30%! Businesses that install a commercial solar electricity system are eligible for a tax credit against their federal income tax liability, including Alternative Minimum Taxes (AMT), in the amount of 30% of system cost with no cap. In January 2009, this provision was extended for eight years for systems placed in service through December 31, 2016. Put simply, assuming eligibility, this effectively reduces net system costs by 30%. Eligibility needs to be determined by the customer in consultation with his or her own accountant and/or financial advisor.
GREAT NEWS - ITC EXTENDED! The ITC was scheduled to drop from 30% to 10% at year-end 2016, but the full 30% was just extended through year-end 2019, followed by step-downs gradually phasing down to the anticipated 10% based on commencement. In short, commercial projects that start construction now through 2019 will receive the current 30% ITC! Those that begin construction in 2020 and 2021 will receive 26% and 22%, respectively. All projects must be completed by 2024 to obtain these elevated ITC rates. In other words, for commercial projects started later than 2021 and/or completed after 2024, the ITC drops to 10%, which is to be retained as a permanent feature of the tax code.
No Sales Tax: As of January 1, 2013, the cost of solar energy systems for businesses are exempt from federal sales tax, and is also free of New York State sales tax, as well as Nassau or Suffolk county sales tax. (Not applicable to non-profits, who pay no taxes in the first place.)
Accelerated Depreciation: Businesses may also take advantage of the modified accelerated cost recovery system (MACRS) on their solar equipment purchase, making the payback much faster. This allows equipment depreciation over 5 ½ years, enabling owners to recover project costs over a very short term, making solar as investment even more attractive. Consult with your accountant or tax advisor about applicable tax law and accelerated depreciation schedules as they apply to your business.
Contact Us! For your FREE solar energy evaluation of your building or other business site, call us at (516) 695-1000 or reach us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.