Why not appeal to the growing customer base that wants to patronize businesses, which are environmentally responsible by becoming more sustainable while at the same time saving your business money? The Solarize Swampscott program’ s low prices and incentives for electric solar panels available here in town just until June are also offered to business property owners, including landlords of both small and large rental properties. Solarize has already been signing up homeowners all across Swampscott to become more “green” while in the long run saving money on their electric bills.
The towns of Swampscott and Salem were selected to participate in the current round of the Solarize Massachusetts Program, which is a partnership between the towns, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), and the Department of Energy Resources (DOER). The program, which only runs until June, is tier-based in that the more business property owners and homeowners who purchase or lease solar panels through the program, the lower the cost will be for everyone participating. Business property owners who install a system over 15kW will have pricing of the panels potentially better than the lowest tier 5 pricing for homeowners.
Business property owners and landlords can take advantage of incentives that make owning solar panels even more lucrative than it is for homeowners. With government incentives (which expire in 2016), typical commercial solar panel arrays will be paid for in just 4-7 years with a Return on Investment (ROI) of 20-25%.
The 30% federal tax credit can be extended over 3 years and, just like for homeowners, any necessary capital improvements like electrical upgrades or roof repairs “in anticipation” of solar can be included in the 30% tax credit. One option for property owners with multiple tenants would be to split the energy produced from the panels. An electric meter can be installed in front of the tenant’s meters and the owner effectively becomes the building’s power company. This is financially a great deal for everyone. The tenants can get a reduced rate on their electricity, and the owner receives the tax credits and other rebates and paybacks. Business property owners can also participate in an accelerated depreciation of the system of 100% over 5 years.
Because the solar panels the Solarize program installer, RGS Energy, uses are guaranteed for 25 years and most likely will last much longer; the initial cost of the solar system could offset power usage on the property for 35-50 years. Electricity rates are steadily increasing and one can hardly imagine where they will be that far in the future, yet a solar system installed today will mean low- to no-cost electricity within just a few years.
With just a few more months to go, please contact SolarizeBigBlue@gmail.com, RGSEnergy.com, or call Brian Szekely, Swampscott Town Planner at 781-596-8829 if you are interested in receiving a free solar audit of your business, multi-family rental or condominium property, or single-family home.