Commercial Solar FAQs
Why should my company invest in solar power from Con Edison Solutions?
- You may be able to install a new solar power system for your business for little or no upfront capital and start saving immediately.
- Solar power systems can reduce your business’ monthly operating expenses.
- Solar power provides your business a hedge against future electricity rate hikes.
- Solar power is generated when most businesses consume the greatest amount of energy – maximizing the return on investment.
- Federal and state incentives may lower the cost of solar for your business by over 60%.
- Excess energy generated by commercial solar power systems is eligible for credits off the utility bill in many states.
- Commercial solar power systems produce clean, safe, and reliable energy every day.
- With no routine maintenance, solar can act as a brilliant passive income source.
- Solar power will improve your carbon footprint and help with your clean energy/sustainability goals, allowing you to market your business differently – attracting and retaining more customers and employees, and, ultimately improving sales.
What types of buildings can be solar powered?
Rooftop solar systems can be installed on most commercial, industrial, warehouse, retail and agricultural facilities. Your roof will be reviewed for suitability prior to finalizing a system plan. Ground-mounted and carport systems are also great commercial solar options. Con Edison Solutions has experience working with companies in a variety of industries and has helped our commercial customers lower their energy costs with their own solar power system.
What part of the solar installation process does Con Edison Solutions manage?
Con Edison Solutions is a full service commercial solar provider, licensed in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. From our first meeting to discuss your objectives to the date your new solar power system is placed into service, we will guide, educate, and assist in every step of the solar power system development.
Con Edison Solutions:
- Engineers a custom solar power system specifically designed to meet your company’s needs
- Works with top solar financing organizations to provide multiple financial options for you to select
- Understands the building codes and regulations in your area, and acquires the necessary permits for your solar power system installation
- Constructs an affordable solar power system and procures the solar equipment from top-quality manufacturers
- Manages the relationship with the utility through final system connection
- Assists with financing of the solar power system as well as related items such as roofing and electrical equipment upgrades
- Stands behind the solar installation as well as its performance
How much does my business need to invest to own a solar power system on my property?
For customers who opt to self-finance their solar array, the cost for a solar power installation on your commercial property varies depending on the rebates and incentives available to you. Other factors include system size, how the roof is oriented toward the sun, roof type, location and many other possible factors. Con Edison Solutions has a team of experts that can show you how affordable solar can be. We will work with you to choose an efficient solar power system for your goals and budget. If you prefer, we can help arrange financing that may allow your business to install a new solar power system for little or no upfront capital investment.
How do I estimate my company’s potential savings?
The design, system size, and how the panels are oriented toward the sun, as well as the equipment you select, will impact the output you can expect. Your energy demand and your local utility rates are just some of the factors that will determine your total savings. As a premier solar installer in the Northeast for more than a decade, Con Edison Solutions has the expertise to evaluate your business’s property and design and install a custom solar power system that effectively reduces your operating costs. This analysis is provided to you without obligation.
After rebates, how affordable is solar power for my commercial property? Why invest in solar power?
With generous federal and state rebates and incentives available, the total cost for a commercial solar power system is often much lower than expected. A variety of financing options allow some businesses to install a new solar power system for no upfront capital expense and maintain a budget neutral position – as energy savings are used in the short term to pay down any financing. After the note is satisfied, the energy your solar power system generates drops right to your bottom line. In addition, your new solar power system will provide greater price stability, acting as a hedge against future electricity rate increases. The experienced team at Con Edison Solutions can show you how solar is most often more affordable than staying with electricity from the grid.
Why invest now?
The cost for solar equipment, particularly solar panels, has been decreasing while the efficiency of solar panels has been increasing. You should also keep in mind that some incentives, such as the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC), are scheduled to expire so you do not want to miss out on those by postponing action. Con Edison Solutions is knowledgeable of current legislation and can help you understand the most advantageous programs that apply to your business’s project. The sooner you go solar, the sooner you begin saving.
Are rebates/incentives guaranteed?
States can change their rebate and incentive programs – or cancel them – at any time. So there is no guarantee a commercial solar incentive will be in effect in the future. However, Con Edison Solutions guarantees to evaluate and access incentive programs in effect at the time you agree to have us install your new solar power system and if an incentive program is eliminated after you have signed our agreement and before we have installed your system, we will either compensate you for the amount that incentive would have provided or we will return your deposit and you will not be obligated to move forward with your solar power project. Con Edison Solutions wants you to be confident that you made the right decision to install a new commercial solar power system.
In terms of financing, what loan options are typically available for commercial solar?
Property Assessed Clean Energy loans are growing in popularity. These “PACE” loans enable building owners to go solar with little or no upfront cost. 100% financing is available. The loan is repaid via an assessment on the property tax bill. The loan is easily transferred when a building is sold. With loan repayment schedules up to 20 years, many businesses are cash positive from the first year. PACE can finance other measures as well, such as roofing, windows, HVAC and other building equipment. To see whether you qualify for a PACE loan in Connecticut, New York or Massachusetts, please contact our office at (877) 273-5066. Con Edison Solutions will design a solar power system for your business and provide information on how to get qualified for financing. Con Edison Solutions’s parent company, Con Edison Solutions, can also offer qualified businesses solar power through power purchase agreements (PPAs), with no upfront capital cost.
Whether it’s PACE, PPA, or another financing option, Con Edison Solutions is prepared to answer any questions you have regarding financing your business’ new solar system.
What size solar power system will my business need?
An energy expert at Con Edison Solutions will meet with you and determine how much electricity your company uses and what space you have available for a solar power system. Based on that analysis and your budget, our in-house team of engineers will create a custom design for your facility that offers the best return on your investment. The optimum size of a solar array is not always the largest system, but the smartest system for your needs!
What happens to the excess electricity if my solar power system produces more energy than I need ?
Because any excess electricity you generate is not useful to your business but may be useful to others in your community, bi-directional meters are installed to allow for net metering. Net metering is the process of providing a credit for any excess electricity your business’ solar power system produces and delivers to the power grid. Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York all offer net metering programs but eligibility and restrictions may apply. Each participating state adjusts credits and charges differently. Con Edison Solutions’s experts can advise you about the programs available where your business is located.
What is a renewable energy credit (REC)?
In many states, electricity produced from a solar power installation has an assigned value in a legal sense. Essentially, “property rights” are assigned to the solar electricity that is generated, and some states have rules to allow those energy property rights to be traded or sold. A quantity of production (1000 kilowatt-hours, or kWh) is translated to Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) and that REC has a defined value.
How long will my solar power system last?
Solar panels used by Con Edison Solutions have performance warranties of 25 years, however, testing and experience indicate they last 30 years or more. Other system components may not carry as long a warranty but Con Edison Solutions only uses quality components so that we maximize the life of your solar power system.
We also guarantee our work for up to 10 years and even offer a guarantee on the output your solar power system will generate.
What happens if the solar power goes out from a storm or rolling blackout?
In this case, your business’ solar power system will automatically turn off, and when the power comes back on, your business’ system will turn itself back on automatically. Commercial property owners who want or need to have power available in storms or blackouts can invest in a battery backup system paired with their solar installation. Con Edison Solutions can design and install a battery backup system with your new solar power system, and advise what energy storage options are available in this rapidly changing area related to solar power production. By installing batteries at the same time as solar, some or all of the battery costs may also be eligible for the Federal investment Tax Credit.
How much sun does a solar power system need to generate electricity?
Two environmental factors are most significant in determining how much power your business’s solar energy system may generate: your position on the earth (latitude) and the history of weather conditions in your specific area. These factors are used to predict your business’ solar power system output. On average, Connecticut, Massachusetts and southern New York have as many sunny days as Florida. The average length of each day and exposure to the sun is different, especially in winter, but solar panels still produce some power under cloudy skies. The seasonal variation of the sun is also very predictable and well-documented for all regions. Most buildings in the northeast are well- suited for solar installations. Even snow doesn’t necessarily present an obstacle to the value and effectiveness of a commercial solar power system. Based in the northeast, Con Edison Solutions understands the two biggest factors that can influence the solar output at your business and can make accurate predictions on what you can expect.
What happens to solar panels when it snows? Do we need to manually clean the snow off the panels?
Solar panels are self-cleaning when it comes to snowfall. Panel materials are designed to resist accumulation of contaminants, including snow. Sun can penetrate thinner layers of snow, and even a tiny exposed corner can set off the generation that eventually warms the panels and melts the snow. Some solar companies will sell snow maintenance programs at an additional cost for the panels they install, but Con Edison Solutions does not. We do not recommend manually clearing solar panels of snow as it can damage the panels and can be dangerous in slippery conditions.
Can batteries be added to an existing commercial solar power system?
Yes. However, not all batteries systems are compatible with every solar power system. Speak to a battery expert at Con Edison Solutions about your business’s needs and let us design a commercial energy storage system that is configured to work with your current solar power system.
Does the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) apply to new solar batteries?
If you are purchasing a new commercial solar power system and have it designed to include batteries, the entire cost of the new system may qualify for the ITC. The I.R.S. also has ruled that a tax payer can claim a renewable energy tax credit to offset the cost of a battery system integrated with existing solar power equipment. As tax regulations often change, Con Edison Solutions strongly advises you to speak with your business’s financial advisers for tax advice before moving forward with your decision.
Can a battery replace my property’s generator?
One advantage of a commercial solar battery is that your business can draw from the stored power in the event of a blackout or system outage. Depending on the size of the energy storage system and your business’s power requirements it is possible to design a solar storage solution that could eliminate the need for your business to have a generator
How much does a solar battery system cost?
The cost of the storage system depends on the make and model of the battery, which is determined by the needs of your business. It is also important to remember that, with batteries, the need to purchase additional electricity from the local utility is reduced – minimizing those costs for your business. It’s best to speak to a Con Edison Solutions battery expert to get a better understanding of what system will best meet your business’ goals and budget.
How long will my solar battery last?
How long a battery lasts is dependent on a number of factors. Major battery manufacturers rate the lifespan of their battery based upon how often it is charged and discharged, and warranties are typically available that tie to that estimated lifespan. Speak with a Con Edison Solutions battery expert to learn what battery system may best meet your business’s needs and the lifespan of the battery and warranties will be part of that conversation.