solar panels on commercial properties

Hello! I’m Mike Tolj, your commercial real estate expert. With over 18 years of experience helping clients buy and sell properties, I love sharing smart ideas that can save business owners money. One big opportunity is solar panels. Putting solar panels on commercial properties, offices, or stores cuts electricity bills a lot. This extra savings means you make more profits. Other benefits happen too – like positive attention from eco-friendly customers. As your advisor who cares about sustainability and your bottom line, I strongly recommend going solar before competitors do. Let’s discuss how solar power can help your commercial property today!

Key Takeaways

  • Solar panels can eliminate electricity costs for businesses, with federal and state tax credits reducing installation expenses.
  • Appraisers confirm solar panels increase commercial building value from $20k to $100k-plus for resale.
  • Excess solar energy can be sold back to the grid, and sustainability-focused buyers actively seek out green buildings aligning with ESG mandates.

Leveraging Solar Power to Enhance Commercial Buildings

The modern commercial landscape glitters with opportunities for sustainability upgrades. Solar technology has advanced further and faster than anyone imagined even a decade ago. Business owners now stand at the exciting crossroads of environmental values converging with bottom-line savings. This blog explores the practical methods, lucrative incentives, and proven business case for complementing your company’s mission and margins with commercial solar power. Let the sunshine on both ideals and revenue through creative clean energy investments.

So if you’re on the fence about installing solar photovoltaic (PV) solar arrays on your commercial building, read on for enlightenment! I’ll be covering:

  • The financial upsides of switching to solar
  • Impacts on your property value
  • Options for solar systems
  • Vetting if your building site is viable
  • Plus answers some “burning questions” commercial owners have about transitioning from conventional to clean energy.

Let’s get started!

Slashing Electric Bills with Commercial Solar Panels

One big reason to add solar panels to your business property is lower electricity bills. Utility costs are a large ongoing expense for companies.

By harnessing the sun’s renewable energy, solar panels shrink high electric charges. Solar panels give buildings their supply of clean energy, needing less from the electric grid.

For some companies, the sunlight hitting their rooftops or parking lots allows complete self-supply from solar. This makes their electric bills zero! The sun provides their needs.

Other businesses need more electricity than their solar system makes. But their utility bills see major savings, often 70% cheaper. They still partly use the grid, just less.

And when solar panels make surplus electricity, there’s still financial value. This extra clean energy can be sold back to utility companies to generate income.

Over the 25+ year product lifespan, the compounding savings to businesses from slashed electric bills offer great value from commercial solar panels through lower operating costs.

Lucrative Financial Incentives for Going Solar

Installing solar also unlocks lucrative financial incentives from federal, state, and utility programs:

  • The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) rebates 26% of your capital expenditure on a commercial solar energy system.
  • Additional state-level solar incentives can cover 5-10% of costs through rebates and production-based payouts.
  • Utilities themselves offer special commercial rates when generating surplus solar power.

Collectively, these financial catalysts tremendously boost ROI for commercial solar projects.

solar panels on commercial properties

Boosting the Value of Your Commercial Property

As a commercial real estate broker, I always have my eye on tactics and improvements that can enrich a property’s value. And solar panels check both those boxes resoundingly.

There are a few pathways by which solar energy enhances the value of your commercial asset:

  • Appraisers consistently confirm higher valuations for solar-equipped buildings, to the tune of +$20k to +$100k.
  • Increasingly, commercial buyers actively seek out green buildings for eco-compliance.
  • Lower operating expenses increase the net operating income valuation.
  • Plus, on-site power generation conveys business continuity benefits that attract buyers.

Ways Solar Power Can Enrich Commercial Property Value

Specifically, commercial solar energy boosts asset value through:

  • Higher Appraisals: Licensed appraisers apply income-based and cost-based methodologies yielding higher valuations for sold buildings.
  • Elevated Market Perception: Green building certifications like LEED positively sway buyer opinions and pricing.
  • Risk Mitigation: On-site solar electricity lowers vulnerability to grid outages, easing investor concerns.
  • Expanded Buyer Pool: Corporations and institutional buyers have ESG mandates to acquire sustainable buildings.

And buyers are willing to pay higher price premiums for sold commercial real estate.

Surveying Solar Options for Commercial Sites

Now you may be wondering — what are the solar energy systems suitable for commercial buildings?

There are a few routes property owners can pursue:

  • Traditional Rooftop Arrays: PV panels mounted atop commercial rooftop spaces, either flush or tilted.
  • Parking Lot Solar Canopies: Elevated structures create covered spaces for parking spots underneath.
  • Ground-Mounted Solar: Freestanding solar panel racks installed on the sides of buildings, vacant land, etc.

Each approach has pros and cons based on site layout, construction costs, and panel efficiency considerations. An adept commercial solar installer can survey your property and advise on the optimal system design.

solar panels on commercial properties

Evaluating the Viability of Your Building for Solar

Of course, not every commercial building site works seamlessly for installing solar panels. Space constraints, surrounding structures causing shading, and suboptimal rooftop angles can pose challenges.

As part of scoping your solar potential, experts analyze:

  • Rooftop size, age, and load capacity
  • Shadow analysis based on nearby trees and towers
  • Custom panel tilt angles to maximize solar capture
  • Energy efficiency tactics to right-size the system

This feasibility evaluation will determine if your property can support an economic solar energy system or not.


How expensive is a commercial solar array installation?

The costs vary widely based on system size, panels, etc. but roughly $100k to $500k+ for medium to large installations.

What are the drawbacks of solar panels for commercial buildings I should consider?

Potential downsides include upfront capital needs, visual aesthetic impacts, and roof penetration considerations.

What solar incentives exist for commercial buildings?

The federal ITC tax credit, state/local rebates, property tax exemptions, special utility rates, and accelerated depreciation.

How much can solar panels increase my asset’s value?

Valuation lifts range from +$20k to +$100k+ for commercial buildings with solar power systems.

Who owns the solar array after installation?

You maintain full ownership as it becomes a permanent improvement to the real estate. No separate solar company owns panels on your building.

A Seasoned Commercial Real Estate Expert Advises Businesses to Go Solar

After 18 years of working in commercial real estate, I highly recommend business owners consider installing solar panels. With various financing options available, you can slash electricity expenses dramatically. This not only saves money every month, but solar energy increases property value as tenants desire sustainable buildings. Going solar delivers rapid returns through electricity bill savings and tax incentives.

As a seasoned agent representing tenants and landlords across countless deals, I assure you solar is a shrewd investment. Take advantage of the sun rather than miss out on thousands in savings and lease negotiations. With my consultation, I can connect you to reputable solar firms to capitalize on these immense commercial solar benefits.

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The information presented in articles on our website or affiliated platforms is exclusively intended for informational purposes. It’s crucial to grasp that this content does not constitute professional advice or services. We strongly recommend our readers to seek guidance from appropriately qualified experts, including, but not limited to, real estate and other attorneys, accountants, financial planners, bankers, mortgage professionals, architects, government officials, engineers, and related professionals. These experts can offer personalized counsel tailored to the specific nuances of your individual circumstances. Relying on the content without consulting the relevant experts may hinder informed decision-making. Consequently, neither Tolj Commercial Real Estate nor its agents assume any responsibility for potential consequences that may arise from such action.

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