Solar technology users who invested in clean, renewable energy in 2010 have been saving on utilities every month since then. For many, their system has paid for itself nearly twice by now! Property owners who invested in 2010 still saw more ROI than their business counterparts who continued buying 100% of their energy through the grid. Here are the facts about how solar technology has changed in 7 years.
Changes in the basic solar array components are few. Back when solar arrays began gaining traction, more efficient panels were developed and some interested parties held out. Now, the design of the panels themselves has plateaued and better solar capture is no longer a motivation for waiting.
The cost of new commercial solar installations obviously depends upon the size of the system. While larger systems may be more up-front, the per watt cost is lower due to cost efficiencies. Short of having cash up-front, there are a couple different ways to finance the array and get it hooked up to the grid. Some property owners chose a solar power purchase agreement (PPA) for its little to no up-front cost while immediately reaping the benefits of saving on monthly bills. The energy is cheaper but it is not 100% free.
Over time, however, this arrangement became less popular once PPA customers realized that by not owning the array outright, they were missing out on the amazing ROI which comes after the system pays for itself. Now, more users are electing to go with direct purchase, often financing a portion or all of the system cost.
Once you make the call, a project coordinator will handle everything, simplifying the process. Estimates have become very reliable thanks to a backlog of data and detailed satellite maps. The contractor’s office will help you to understand your initial investment and can help calculate future energy production. They factor in everything from expected SRECs to panel degradation, which is usually .25%-.5% annually.
At the beginning of the decade, many governments had yet to get up to speed with the nation’s changing power infrastructure. In the time since 2010, laws have been enacted to ensure property assessments do not penalize green energy improvements like solar technology.
User demographics have shifted dramatically. In the 2000s, most new adopters of solar energy were eco-conscious and/or wealthy enough to opt in. Now that green energy has proven itself to be a reliable investment, solar energy contractors are working with more and more commercial property owners. Many business services have come on board, too. In 2010, many of the businesses your company worked with were inexperienced at serving clients using solar technology. Since renewable energy has experienced a surge, having a solar array does not create roadblocks when you decide to sell or need to maintain the building. Most commercial real estate brokers have listed a property with a solar array by now, and can help estimate the increased value of the property that is equipped with a solar electric system.
Going solar means going green, and now businesses are realizing the many benefits. Invest in the shift away from expensive fossil fuels this year – it just makes sense.