Here are 8 things you need to know.
By using solar power, your business saves on electricity you now buy from the grid. Less utility-provided power means lower power bills. When you invest in solar power, you control a meaningful portion of your energy use. And, depending on conditions, you may recoup your initial solar system investment in as little as three years. Because solar power systems can last over 30 years, you’ll see savings for many years. Here are the things you need to know when deciding whether solar is right for your business.
- Can I use solar to power my business?
A solar system can power your entire business’ electrical systems, including lights, cooling systems, appliances, and equipment. But, remember that solar PV only produces power during the day. Your business probably needs power at night, too. While you can offset a significant portion of your electric power needs with a solar PV system, you’ll first need to consider how much sun exposure your building has, your daily energy consumption patterns, the condition of your roof, your current utility rate, and more.
- What size solar system do I need?
Velo Solar will visit your site and evaluate the installation location for space and the amount of shade/sun. We also review your energy use. System size is usually determined using available space, energy demands and budget. Solar systems can offset a significant portion of your current energy costs and, in some cases, generate additional electricity that your utility will buy back from you, albeit usually at a reduced rate. Depending on utility buy back opportunities, we aim to offset 20-50% of your annual electricity costs. We also can help you evaluate your energy use and shift high-consumption activities to daylight hours using advanced monitoring technology.
- How long does a solar system last?
Your system will continue to generate electricity for 25 to 30 years, although production declines 25% to 30% as the solar panels age. In the summer, high temperatures and humidity also can decrease output. Weather factors are considered when designing your system.
- What happens to my system during a power failure?
If there’s a power failure, unless you have an independent energy storage system attached to your solar array, you will lose power. This is a safety precaution to protect utility technicians from being electrocuted as they troubleshoot power failures. The solar system only operates when grid power goes down if your system includes a battery backup designed to provide power to your home or business’s critical loads in such instances.
- Will I know if the system is producing electricity?
Your inverter includes a display, which shows electricity production. Velo Solar also will set up a system that monitors your total energy usage and solar PV system output, then provides the information to you online. We can even install a display system in your operations center or lobby that informs anyone passing by about solar production, net energy usage and associated carbon offsets.
- Does a solar system require maintenance?
Solar systems are very low-maintenance because they have no moving parts. Periodically, they may require cleaning to remove dirt, leaves and debris. Our PowerEnfo smart grid software monitors the activity levels of your solar system, so if something malfunctions, we can take action immediately to get you back up and running in no time.
- Are there incentives available?
In addition to utilities’ buy-back programs and tax incentives offered by state and local governments, the IRS offers a business energy tax credit of 30% of the cost of a commercial solar system. You may also qualify for an accelerated equipment depreciation (MACRS) schedule. Check with your tax professional. Sometimes, depending on state and local incentives, the combined savings on rebates from government and utility companies can pay as much as 60% of your system installation cost. Our initial proposal will include these potential financial options. Click here to find policies and available incentives by state.
- What is Georgia Power’s current solar program?
Georgia Power offers a solar energy purchase program to encourage new opportunities for solar development in the state. To learn more, click here.