You can offset your company’s energy costs and possibly save hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) in electricity costs over the life of your solar system.
Gain Tax Incentives
Purchasing your system will give you the biggest financial return over the long run with the 26% Investment Tax Credit (ITC).
Prepare for the increased energy usage associated with the transition of major OEMs to electric vehicles over the next five years.
Solar Energy Helps Auto Dealers Operate Sustainably
A growing trend in the automobile industry to operate more sustainably was highlighted recently when GM announced plans to exclusively offer electric vehicles by 2035, ending production of cars, trucks and SUVs with diesel- and gasoline-powered engines. It’s not surprising given that by 2025, it’s expected that 1-in-6 vehicles sold in the U.S. will be an EV. GM’s move is part of a larger plan for the Detroit automaker to be carbon neutral by 2040. The goal is to power its operations and their all-electric fleet with 100% renewable energy by 2030 in the U.S. and by 2035 globally.
The greening of Fortune 500 corporations isn’t entirely new. At SunPower by esaSolar, we saw early signs of this movement in 2002 when Toyota first started installing commercial solar systems at its California and Texas facilities. Other top companies followed, including Apple, Walmart and Target. In the last several years, auto dealers in the Midwest, Colorado and Texas also installed SunPower solar systems that will collectively save those businesses nearly $10 million on energy costs over time. And it’s not just auto companies benefitting from solar. Here in Florida, we’ve provided solar to cities and counties as well as Advent Health, Window World and Duke Energy.
The switch to solar makes sense for auto dealerships given that energy is often one of the Top 10 highest overhead expenditures. On average, auto dealerships use 18% more energy than typical office buildings, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA).
18% more energy
consumed by auto dealerships than a typical office building
$2B in energy costs
faced by the auto dealership industry annually
Types of Commercial Solar Installations
There are two types of commercial solar installations that are popular among auto dealers.
Electric vehicle charging station
Provides added overhead protection
Generates approximately $350 per parking space of electric bill savings per year
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Traditional solar rooftop system
Generates approximately $2.85/per square foot of electric bill savings annually
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Since auto dealerships usually devote a large amount of square footage to parking lots for their fleets, many who go solar opt for a solar carport system. A solar carport doubles as an electric vehicle charging station and provides added overhead protection from the elements. This type of installation generates approximately $350 per parking space of electric bill savings per year.
Another option, which can be utilized in addition to solar carports or instead of carports, is the more traditional solar rooftop system. It's an easy-to-install choice that generates approximately $2.85/per square foot of electric bill savings annually.
Ready to Learn More About Going Solar?
The process isn’t as complicated as you think. Our solar experts will walk you through every step of your solar project along with a complimentary review of your energy usage by analyzing your utility bills and will craft a proposal that meets your savings goals.
We’ll also guide you in selecting the financing option that will be most beneficial to your business and will recommend a solar installation type along with the best solar panel technology.
Get Your Solar Feasibility Analysis
Frequently Asked Questions
Whether you’re ready to meet your sustainability goals or want to boost your company’s bottom line, going solar can benefit your business in many ways. Here are some of the most common questions business owners ask when exploring solar options.
There are usually three primary reasons organizations choose to invest in solar:
- Financial benefit
- Positive environmental impact
- Brand elevation
If your business strategy aligns with any or all of these reasons, it probably makes sense to do more research about whether solar is right for your company.
Most companies focus on the financial benefits of solar. While solar may not be the right choice for everyone, many companies will see a significant increase in their bottom line, primarily with their utility bills. Here’s how:
- Paying a lower price for electricity by entering into a power purchase agreement (PPA)
- By generating free electricity by leasing or purchasing a solar system
- Reducing utility demand charges by also incorporating an effective energy storage solution
There are a few reasons why going solar sooner makes a lot of sense and can save you more money in the long run:
- Favorable policies and tax incentives for installing commercial solar panel systems that are currently available may not always be in the future. For example, the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar is equal to 26% of the amount invested in an eligible installation (e.g., if you invest $100,000 in solar, you could receive a $26,000 tax credit). The ITC credit is scheduled to decrease to 22% in 2023, which is another example of why going solar sooner rather than later can benefit your business more.
- A commercial solar system can also turn those utility bills into a fixed cost and protect against the rising price of electricity. When you pair solar with a commercial solar storage battery, a facilities operation manager gains 24/7 control over their building energy usage. A solar plus storage system will also keep your power on during outages or whether events such as hurricanes.
- Current solar technology is quite advanced thanks to constant innovation over the last few decades. As a result, we’ll likely see the same fast increased efficiency rate of photovoltaic (PV) solar systems.
- Many well-known companies have already gone solar. For those who haven’t, it’s often because they simply don’t know the full range of benefits. The bottom line is the cost of solar makes it a highly viable money-saving solution.
- In other cases, some businesses may think their only option is to purchase a solar system outright and don’t know there are other financing options (such as leasing or entering into a PPA). As a result, business owners may believe they need to raise capital first or secure a loan.