When I first heard that we were getting solar panels, I kept thinking about that time when I was ten or so watching a show about a space station that was powered via solar panels. Renewable energy has always seemed as out of reach as living in space, to me–I figured we had at least another thirty years until that became the way all of humanity generates the power to float around for the rest of eternity.
Then we found out we were getting 430 panels to cover two thirds of our building’s rooftop and I realized the future had come a bit sooner than I had thought. In partnering with the Downwinders at Risk Sue Pope Fund and Sunfinity Solar to make this project come to life, we quickly came to learn that solar power has been rapidly become attainable over these past five years. Since 2012, the price of PV panels have dropped more than half, with the Federal government providing 30% tax credits to individuals to install panels at their house.* Businesses receive additional benefits thanks to accelerated depreciation.**
This intial tax credit isn’t the only boost to your bottom line – you will keep realizing savings from the day you plug in your panels.*** Buildings that range in the 50,000 sq ft. range and larger have the potential to saving $15,000 or more in energy bills in the first year of use alone, with 20-year investments floating somewhere in the range of half a million dollars of savings.
This isn’t to mention how much you can help our air quality by offsetting power plant emissions. The EPA estimates that for every kilowatt saved, 1.8 pounds of Carbon Dioxide, .006 pounds of Sulfur Dioxide, .003 pounds of Nitrogren Oxide, and .043 milligrams of mercury are saved.
And in the long run, the Department of Energy estimates that over the next twenty years, our 430-panel system will alleviate the equivalent of taking 638 cars off the road, planting 78,317 trees, or preserving 24.1 acres of forests.
All of this data means that is some serious good going on. Whether you look at the positive or the negative, these numbers add up fast, not only preventing Carbon Dioxide emissions, but keeping money in your bank account during the Texas summer heat!
Contributing to cleaner air in Texas and proving that renewable energy makes sense for Dallas are part of the mission of our organizations and it’s amazing to see it all realized before we’ve even opened the doors. And like any ambitious project, it could only be accomplished through strong partnerships – we’re so honored to to collaborate with Downwinders at Risk, Sunfinity Solar, and GGOArchitects. And for those like me who thought that renewable energy was only a thing of the future, there’s good news: that kind of limited thinking is simply for the past now.
*Please note, this tax credit is being phased out and will no longer be available after 2020. So the best time to purchase solar panels is right now!
**We understand solar panels are not the best solution for everyone. For those who would like to see if there is a way to make solar happen for your own home or business, reach out to our friends at Sunfinity Solar! For those of you who have other ways people can be a part of utilizing renewable energy, please let us know so we can help spread the word.
***While our research proves this fact correct, please see your Certified Tax Professional to guarantee all of the ways that you can save. Since we don’t know how your business financials look, we don’t know if you have a unique situation.