Will Solar Work?
To determine if solar will work at your business or nonprofit organization, and if your roof will work for solar, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I own the business and the building?
- Is a good deal of my roof free from obstructions like HVAC equipment?
- Does one slope of my roof face south, east or west? (If you have a flat roof, or if you’re installing a ground-mounted system, roof “azimuth” doesn’t matter.)
- Is my roof shade-free for most of the day?
- Is my roof in good condition?
- Do I pay the electric bill or does a tenant? If a tenant, have I determined how to bill my tenant for the “free” solar electricity?
- Is my electric bill big enough that spending 40-80 hours of staff time over the next year to reduce it sounds like a worthwhile investment?
- Will demonstrating sustainable business practices and/or financial savvy through solar benefit my business?
- Do I know what maximum payback period (in years) I am comfortable with?
- Do I have a hurdle rate for an IRR or NPV?
- Do I feel good about a project that could pay for itself in less than 5 years and produce returns for more than 25 years?
If you answered “yes” to most or all of these, you could be a very good candidate for solar. If solar won’t work for you, there are other energy-efficient technologies you can invest in to improve your bottom line, such as ductless mini-split heating and cooling systems.
“Solar reduced our operating costs and gave us long-term financial relief. We don’t have to worry what electricity prices are doing, because our prices are fixed for the solar we have installed. Solar just makes a whole lot of sense.”