If you’re in business, it’s a good time to go solar. Demand is rising, costs are dropping, and federal and state incentives allow businesses to start saving money as soon as they turn on their solar system. Owning a solar energy system is more feasible and rewarding than ever—and it’s a surefire way to achieve energy independence, reduce your carbon footprint, and save on utility bills. When you invest in renewable energy, you can expect extraordinary returns and a number of competitive advantages:
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TAX CREDIT
The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a bedrock solar incentive. The federal government provides a tax credit worth 30% of the cost of your system. It’s a dollar for dollar, uncapped tax credit that can be carried forward into the future. After your system has been commissioned, you can take advantage of the credit the next time you file a federal tax return.
MACRS DEPRECIATION INCENTIVE
Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) is a depreciation method that allows the owner of solar energy equipment to claim a significant tax deduction. As an incentive, the IRS has classified solar energy as a 5-year property under the MACRS depreciation schedule. Classifying solar as a 5-year property boosts the returns on your investment, which means you get more money back early on.
STATE OF IOWA SOLAR TAX CREDIT
A major state-level incentive, State of Iowa Solar Tax Credit is 50% of the Federal Government Tax Credit (Investment Tax Credit) or 15%. The State of Iowa Solar Tax Credit is capped at $5,000 for Residential installations and $20,000 for business. The State of Iowa currently has a 5 million cap on credits awarded and are rewarded on a first come first serve basis.
CLEAN RENEWABLE ENERGY
Solar power is an infinite resource that allows you to independently create your own energy. When you invest in solar, you gain energy security and a clear conscience. No greenhouse gas emissions, no nuclear waste—just clean, reliable energy. In addition to lowering your operating expenses, solar power can help insulate your business from volatility in the power markets. By producing your own electricity, you can save your company money and guarantee a fixed rate. Net metering, a policy which allows you to sell surplus energy back to utility companies, will help you maximize the value of your electricity production.
INCREASED PROPERTY VALUE
Incorporating solar power into your commercial building can dramatically increase the economic value of your property. Renewable energy systems are known to increase resale value by $20,000 for every $1,000 in annual electricity savings. In some states, solar power systems are also exempt from sales tax and property tax increases. By investing in solar power, you not only boost the economic value of your property but also make it more attractive to investors who might be willing to pay a premium for a building that is economically and operationally efficient.
POSITIVE PUBLIC PERCEPTION
No matter what business you’re in, your reputation matters. While more businesses are beginning to appreciate the virtues of going green, “eco-conscious” businesses are still in the minority. Therefore, the decision to install solar power on your building will automatically differentiate you from competitors. More than anything, it represents a commitment to quality, care and operational efficiency, as well as the environment. By marketing your building as “green,” you’re also likely to attract publicity. Soon you’ll be known as a leader, an innovator, and an environmentally responsible corporate neighbor.
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR ELECTRIC BILL
By adding solar power into your business, you control what you pay for electricity and don’t have to be concerned about rate increases. As a business there are not many fixed expenses that you can erase and by adding solar you can eliminate or substantially lower what you pay for electricity.