Right now is an ideal time for business owners, and building owners, to transition to clean, renewable energy. From agricultural businesses to manufacturing, or even retail spaces, solar energy is a powerful solution. Most business owners see an immediate increase in cash-flow and benefit from generous tax incentives. However, there are some important factors for business owners to consider while looking for a solar installer to work with.
It’s A Different Process
If you are a business owner and contemplating solar, it is important you realize that some of the processes connected with ‘going solar’ on a commercial building are different than installing solar on your home. In fact, residential solar installation is quite simple. Commercial installation is a bit more complex. From design, engineering and permitting, extra steps must be taken to ensure the job is designed safely and legally. Additionally, finance for commercial installations tends to be much slower and much more complicated. Finally, due to the size of most commercial installations, the time it can take to complete the installation is much slower – which may impact day-to-day business practices. It is also important to realize that the process to connect your solar panels to the utility grid is very different for commercial projects than residential and requires an interconnection specialist.
There are Different Products
Another unknown aspect of commercial solar project is that there are different products. For the most part, the mounting and racking systems used on commercial projects are the same systems. However, the major part of commercial solar installations that are different are the panels. Many people are unaware that there are commercial solar panels. The average size of a commercial solar panel is 96 cells. The average size of a residential panel is 72. Although this is not a major difference in size, there is a major difference in efficiency. What this means for the business owner, a commercially designed panel will produce about 50% more kilowatt hours of electricity than a residential panel. This is important for business owners. This allows business owners to produce more energy to answer to higher energy demands and limited roof space.
Not All Installers Are Qualified
This is where things may get a little sticky. In highly competitive solar markets, many solar companies make marketing claims regarding their status as a commercial solar installer. This puts both true commercial solar companies and business owners in a difficult position. True commercial solar companies understand the important processes and products that go into a safe and legal solar installation. From quoting, finance, installation and interconnection processes – understanding commercial parameter is vital. Otherwise, commercial customers are at a major risk of losing money, having solar panels that are not connected to the grid, or quite frankly, are not legally installed. In the long run, this costs customers thousands of dollars.
When you are ready to make the change to clean, renewable solar energy, reach out to solar companies that have a track record with commercial solar installations. Ask for references, pictures, and be prepared with questions about products, finance and their experiences with interconnection processes with the utility. You can be confident that the cost you are provided is much less than that of a true commercial installer. As your local commercial solar installer, we know this is because they do not understand the process or costs associated with the install. We also know that the lower price tag is tempting. However, our experience tells us that the initial cost savings will end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars for a true commercial company to come in a fix.
Contact a Local Commercial Installer
Now is an ideal time to install solar on your business. Reach out to a local commercial installer to learn what the commercial solar installation process looks like and how going solar can benefit your business.
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