When weighing the pros and cons of a solar energy investment, it’s important to consider the financial, social, and environmental benefits of clean energy.
Increase the value of your building.
As more businesses turn to solar power for their energy source, the real estate industry has seen the need to develop reliable and credible opinions of value of solar installations and the solar power they generate. In January 2012, Sandia National Laboratories and Solar Power Electric™ released a spreadsheet tool they developed with the intention to set a standard methodology for valuing new or existing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installed on commercial properties.
The PV Value spreadsheet model works using an income capitalization approach to determine the value of a solar PV system, meaning that the value of your solar system is equal to the energy value calculated over the lifetime (20-25 years) of the PV module warranty. In other words, the value of your solar-energy system is in the energy it produces, resulting in your reduced electricity costs.
The tool was developed for use by real-estate appraisers, mortgage underwriters, credit analysts, real-property assessors, insurance-claims adjusters and is supported by The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real-estate appraisers.
Fixed energy costs.
Utility rates have risen an average of 5% nationally over the past ten years, and have recently proven to be very volatile. When you make the decision to start generating solar energy for your nonprofit or government organization, you are fixing your price of energy and taking control of your energy costs.
SOCIAL BENEFITS OF CLEAN ENERGY
By going solar, you demonstrate your environmental awareness and responsibility. Customers, peers, employees, and investors are more likely to work with organizations who adopt sustainable practices.
Generate power with clean and renewable energy.
Solar-panel systems collect clean energy from the sun, turning it into a source of renewable energy for your business. When you use solar power as a primary energy source for your building, you are helping combat global climate change and reducing our collective dependence on foreign energy and fossil fuels.
ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS OF GOING GREEN
Reduce your carbon footprint.
When fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas are burned to generate energy, they emit toxic gases into the air that cause pollution, resulting in global climate change. Solar power, on the other hand, is infinite, clean, and renewable.
A typical 25-kilowatt solar-panel system is the environmental equivalent of planting over 18,000 trees, removing 700 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, or 1.7 million car miles not driven, over the 30-year lifetime of the system.