Solar Installation Options
Every commercial system and installation is unique. The size of your commercial system will be determined by your roof, parking areas or land space that can be used for solar, your electricity needs and your financial goals. Because of the variations in designing and installing systems, there will be a number of components we will consider and recommend. For example, the equipment used for a pitched roof is different than for a ballasted installation on a flat roof. Carport and ground installations require additional structures and cabling to connect to the meter.
How Solar Works
Although they may look complicated, solar panels have no moving parts and require very little maintenance. The components required for a commercial solar system include the panels, an inverter power station, individual systems for cable management, mechanical racking and energy monitoring. An inverter takes the DC power directly from the solar panels and converts it to the same AC power that your facility uses. We will help you identify the best location for panels – installed on your roof, over areas of your parking lot or on vacant land. ECS energy will keep your goals in mind and consult with you to give you recommendations for the optimal solutions.
Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity that your business can use, reducing your electricity bills. Solar is more affordable than utilities and a range of financing options can help you generate savings right away.
During the day you’ll power your facility with solar power. If you produce more electricity than needed, the excess power is exported to the grid for credit as per Net Metering rules.
Your monitoring system sends information about how much power your solar system is generating in real-time so you can maintain optimal system performance.
Professional site visit, shading analysis and system design by NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) Professional Commercial Designers and Installers.
The system design includes the location of the solar array, inverter, AC & DC disconnects, meter and electric panel boxes. Engineering will assure proper codes are met and that we achieve the intended ROI.
Required applications and forms for permits, utility, associations and other agencies are completed and filed to collect potential incentives and necessary permits.
The system is then installed, construction is completed and quality checks are performed.
The local government’s building department will inspect the installation and complete documentation required for the utility company prior to solar interconnection.
Upon the building department’s approval, the utility company will complete their review of the system and installation. Once satisfied, they will issue a permission to operate (PTO).
Final testing is completed to ensure your system is operating properly and it is officially turned on.
Operations and maintenance include 24/7 monitoring, on-site services, inspections, upgrades and repairs.
Reduce Energy Costs and Build Resilience
Battery storage solutions for Commercial & Industrial (C&I) customers can lower utility bills, generate new revenues and provide resilience with backup power. When paired with solar PV and other distributed energy resources (DER), battery storage gives your business tremendous flexibility and control over managing energy use and costs.
26% Federal Tax Credit
The investment tax credit (ITC), also known as the federal solar tax credit, allows you to deduct 26 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes. Don’t wait! The federal ITC steps down to 22% in 2023 for businesses and homeowners. The residential market will drop to 0% while the commercial and utility markets will stay at a permanent 10% credit beginning in 2024.
There are a number of other state and local incentives. ECS energy solar consultants will help you find and qualify for all of those that are available to your company. Some of them are:
Solar Renewable Energy Certificates, also called SRECs, available in New Jersey and other states, are ‘certificates’ that represent all of the positive environmental impacts of generating clean solar energy. One SREC is generated for every megawatt-hour (MWh), or 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of solar electricity a solar panel system generates.
*ECS energy are not licensed tax professionals; please consult with your CPA or licensed tax professional. The information provided within is to serve as an illustrative guide and is from publicly available sources.
With net metering, when your solar energy system produces more electricity than your facility uses during the day, the unused electricity is sent back to the grid. When your facility uses more electricity than your system produces, your property draws electricity from the grid. At the end of your billing cycle, your property is charged for the balance or “net” of what you put into the grid vs. what you took off the grid.
Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System is a method of depreciation where the value of your asset reduces at a faster rate in early years. The depreciation is accelerated. MACRS allows business owners to deduct the cost of your solar installation from your taxable income over a period of 5 years. Currently, commercial systems can be 100% depreciated in the first year of operation.
$0 Down Solar Financing
Zero Down Solar Financing for solar depends on your taxable income, preference, and your desired savings. ECS energy will work to find the solution that best fits your situation. Whether it be a cash purchase, a financed purchase, or a lease, we have the right type of funding that will best suit your needs.
Cash Purchase Is Good For You If
- You pay taxes and can use the tax incentives
- You want the highest return on investment
- Your system will pay for itself with savings on your utility bill
- You want to increase your property value
A Capital Lease is similar to a loan. Your business will receive all of the tax credits and depreciation benefits that come with solar. The Capital Lease is on the balance sheet and allows cash to be preserved in the business.
- No up-front capital outlay
- Fixed monthly payment over term of lease
- Term is typically 7 years
- Receive the 26% Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
- Receive the state incentives like SRECs
- Equipment is capitalized as an asset
- Receive accelerated depreciation to reduce taxable income
- Buy-out at the end of the lease term is usually $1
A traditional Operating Lease is off the balance sheet and provides the least cost of ownership. It also includes attractive purchase options to provide companies with an affordable path to ownership at a discounted price means your system is owned by a financing company which then leases it to your business. The lessor receives the tax benefits including depreciation and the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC).This is ideal when your business cannot use the depreciation or tax credits.
- No upfront costs
- Simple fixed monthly payments with no escalation that are 100% tax deductible
- Terms are typically 7 years
- Companies keep all energy savings and state and state and local incentives
- Companies keep all environmental benefits, including solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs)
- Buy-out at the end of the lease term is usually the fair market value
- Monetized value of lessor’s equipment tax benefits used to subsidize lessee’s payments
- Companies obtain greater energy savings and more overall value than available from cost reduction programs, such as power purchase agreements (PPAs)
Power Purchase Agreement
With a PPA, a third party owns, maintains and repairs the solar power system for 15-25 years, and you simply agree to buy a guaranteed amount of electricity for significantly less than from the utility company. You pay nothing out-of-pocket, never have to worry about the system and start saving immediately.
- No out-of-pocket or ownership costs
- Low price cost per kWh
- PPA provider claims tax credits and incentives
- Low payments for energy and immediate savings
SunPower® Complete Confidence
Every part of your SunPower® Equinox system is meticulously designed to work perfectly together and is rigorously tested for long-term reliability. That’s why the SunPower® Complete Confidence Warranty is the only solar warranty to cover your whole system (not just the panels).
The SunPower® warranty ensures both the product quality and the highest power production in the industry. If you experience issues with your system within 25 years of purchase, SunPower will happily replace, repair, or reimburse you — hassle free.
Complete Service – Covers 100% of repair or replacement costs
It’s the best warranty you may never have to use. But if you do, we make it simple and quick. Labor, shipping, parts – we take care of everything.
- 25-years – Panels, Microinverters, Racking and Power production
- 10-years – Monitoring hardware
Checklist To Choose A Solar Installer
Here is a helpful checklist with guidelines for selecting the best solar company for your solar installation. These tips and questions will help you identify which solar companies have the experience, quality products, trained personnel and the financial strength you want. The quality of the solar installer and equipment you select will directly affect your long-term savings and the system’s reliability. Choose the right combination and you’ll be setup for decades of success.
Make sure you’re getting the best equipment and service from a trusted company that is authorized by leading solar manufactures.
If a salesperson pressures you, they’re not the right partner. A trusted company will help guide you along every step in the process including selecting the best financing for you. It is very common for solar companies to push a single financing product that makes them the most money even if it’s not in the customer’s best interest. Be very cautious about any company that only recommends a solar lease or a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) as these can cost the most and may not be best for your situation. At ECS energy, we are not incentivized by any of our financing options and strive to find the optimal financing solution for your business.
Cut out the middleman and deal directly with the solar contractor. Never e-sign a contract before you ask them if they handle service requests and repairs. If the right equipment is installed in the right way, your solar system should operate without incident for decades. But what if something does go wrong? If it ever does, you’ll want a company that has a dedicated and experienced service department that can quickly diagnose and resolve issues in the field. ECS energy has a dedicated service department and we make every effort to correct any issue in the shortest time possible.
Ask for a copy of the contractor’s and subcontractor’s license, insurance, and worker’s comp policies to ensure that you will not be liable for damages or injuries during installation.
Don’t sign a contract until you review which payment method is best for your situation.
Show Off Your Sustainable Side
The sun is the most abundant source of energy available. In fact, the sun produces more energy in an hour than humanity uses in an entire year! Reducing our carbon footprint is critical to ensuring our planet can provide a safe environment for generations to come. More new solar energy generating systems have been added to the grid than the worst carbon emitting power plants every year for several years, and this trend is expected to grow!
Did You Know?