Installing solar power systems on commercial property is the newest mainstream practice. Property investors generally look at the long-term value of their assets. Solar energy provides steady, affordable and clean energy. The lifetime of the panels is 25 years, they last a very long time because they do not have any moving parts that can easily be damaged. Purchasing a solar PV system is a phenomenal investment if done well. Knowing the right questions to ask will help make this investment as smooth as possible. Here are the top 10 questions to ask commercial solar providers:
Top 10 Questions to Ask Solar Energy Panel Providers
What Is The Optimum Size Of the System?
The size of a solar system is one of the most important aspects of making certain that solar PV works for you and your business. This is due to the fact that there are many factors including; operational requirements, roof space, reliance on diesel. Those are all factors in the ideal size for a PV system. When evaluating solar feasibility, it is crucial to check that there is no optimal configuration of the system design (that all components bring their maximal value and make the system more efficient).
Is My Building Fit For a Solar Energy System?
Before seriously considering any system options from a commercial solar provider, you must confirm that your business location is suitable, the best way is to get an evaluation of the property. This is important because solar energy is derived from the sun’s rays, if your location does not get sunlight then you, in turn, will not get energy. A description over the phone can give a provider the basic information they need to determine if your business site is suitable or not. For an elaborate confirmation, you will want to have a professional visit your site and make a decision after physically being at the desired location.
Things a commercial solar provider will search for when determining if a building is fitting for a solar system includes:
- The roof
- The parking lot and/or parking garage roof
- Neighbouring land to the building (does it block the sun)?
- The integrity of the building
- The angle of the sun and shading around the location
- Power grid interconnections
Before seeking a commercial solar provider be sure to have all the correct building ownership documents (historical reports and local ordinances). This information will also be critical in determining whether your building is the right fit for a solar energy system.
How Much Capital Will My Business Need To Pay Upfront?
When it comes to the price, simply asking “How much do solar panels cost?” is defiantly not the right question for any business to be asking. In reality, what your business could spend on upfront capital hangs on a variety of variables. The cost of solar panels defers just like the cost of a home or car. For solar, the panels cost change based on the amount of energy each panel could produce. Be sure to have your commercial solar provider to talk on the capital for the entirety of the project, not just the panels.
Explore the options, hear the professional’s advice and then do more research on your own. Create a budgeting plan of how much you are willing to spend and see which option helps you stay within your budget while still providing you with everything you need.
What Type Of Solar Energy Solution Is Best For My Business?
To make it possible to determine the greatest solution for your business, they will need to analyze your past and current energy needs, as well as evaluating whether or not they are able to fit enough panels on your site as you need. Many businesses consider high-efficiency panels or and offset solutions as their “plan B” if they’re building site cannot accommodate enough solar panels that they need to produce the correct amount of energy. It comes down to finding the right solution through your commercial solar provider.
The most common locations for commercial solar solutions are rooftops, parking lot carport or a parking garage roof, ground arrays for any combination of these. You are able to have solar installation on your cellular offsite. When choosing what type of solar energy solutions the best fit for your business it’s beneficial to think about the future of your company. Is it appropriate to Bill just enough solar to meet your energy needs for the present, or build more than you need in preparation for the future of your company? This could possibly provide your business with the credit for any excess energy that your system produces.
Will The System Meet Legal Requirements?
This is the most obvious question to ask, by far one of the most important. It is surprising how often this is overlooked by people. There is a why the number of legal standards when it comes to installing a solar system, and in order to confirm that there are no legal hassles, commercial property owners need to deal with to make sure that the solar system provider ensures the compliance that comes with all relevant requirements.
Compliance with legal expectations change in every country, so the service provider will need to be familiar with the requirements for each specific property location.
What Do Good Quality Components Look Like?
Just by asking Siri to show you pictures of what solar panels look like, you will realize that there is a wide range of manufacturers to choose from, and trying to find the best quality vs price components can be very exhausting and scary, to say the least. The most significant thing to evaluate when searching the different types and quality components use for your solar system proposal are that the warranties and guarantees meet the expectations and requirements of the length of this investment.
What Tax Incentives or Other Cost-Saving Strategies Are Offered For Going Solar?
You possibly have heard of the 30% Federal Investment tax credit when purchasing the solar energy system. Although, it is important to remember not everybody is able to obtain this incentive. If you decide to install a solar, or any other renewable energy system, through a lease then you are not able to receive the ITC. The company you would be leasing the system through would be able to qualify for the ITC however, not your business.
It’s a smart idea to purchase sooner then later if you’re considering a solar energy system for your company. 2019 was the last year businesses were able to qualify for the 30% ITC. It is rapidly decreasing as the next few years go by. The credit tax reduces by the following increments:
- 2020: Tax reduction of 26 percent of the cost of a new solar panel system
- 2021: Tax reduction of 22 percent of the cost of a new solar panel system
- 2022 and onward: Tax reduction of 10 percent of the cost of a new solar panel system.
What Maintenance and Other Expenses Do I Need to Plan For the Lifetime of the System?
Quality solar system installations are typically very low maintenance and trouble-free. However, commercial solar energy systems do in fact require occasional cleaning, ongoing monitoring and possible repairs to ensure the best performance out of the panels. It’s a good idea to know who will be maintaining this system, be sure to monitor its performance and keep it operating at optimal efficiency.
The maintenance of your assistant is dependent on the size and complexity of the panels. The commercial solar provider that you have chosen should go over how to do this on your own, or many providers can’t do it for you if it’s been arranged in the agreement.
What Other Companies Like Mine Have You Done Business With?
You want to make sure that the provider you are using can be trusted and has done this before. The last thing you want is an inexperienced provider who is unsure of what they have to do. You also want to make sure that you can look at the previous work and evaluate if that is what you want, and if their service meets the requirements you’re looking for. You should ask for referrals from your commercial solar provider. Any good business will have a list of customers that are willing to provide a recommendation and explanation of their experience working with the provider.
Will Energy Storage Improve the Solar System?
Even though batteries were common in the past, they are currently an inexpensive addition to solar PV systems. It’s now important to ask about energy storage when considering this option for your commercial or industrial property. Fortunately, the prices for the batteries have decreased significantly and are able to offer more efficient use of abundant solar resources. It is worth asking about when evaluating a new solar proposal, no matter if you had originally planned to include batteries or not. You maybe wondering how combining solar PV batteries and generators will improve the entirety of the business case. It’s all dependant on your specific building and location. A provider will be able to answer all these questions in enough detail for you to understand what solar panels mean for your company.
If you need to install solar systems in Vancouver, or questions about how Vancouver solar energy contractor works then please contact us.
Brad is proud to be of First Nation’s descent with ancestry traced back to the Manitoba Red River Band. With over 20 years’ experience in the construction industry, Brad offers an extensive background of project procurement in industries from agriculture, electrical distribution to commercial construction. Brad is a NABCEP certified professional with a thirst for ongoing education in the renewable field.