As a small business owner, wouldn’t you welcome the opportunity to do something that simultaneously benefits your community, the environment and your business? Going solar can do all those things, and making the switch to solar power for your business can be especially rewarding in the state of Texas.
Solar energy saves businesses money in three ways: by reducing the amount of electricity a business must buy, allowing the business to sell excess electricity it generates to their local distribution company, and by qualifying the business for tax credits, deductions or other incentives.
Reducing how much electricity you buy
Installing solar panels and a generation system in your business means you’ll have to buy less electricity, and possibly none at all. In fact, on a sunny Texas day, your business may generate more power than it needs. That excess power can be sold back to the local electricity company to help defray the costs of the energy you’ll have to purchase at night.
TXU Energy has a solar buy-back program available for businesses. If your solar system generates more energy than you use in a day, we’ll pay you 7.5 cents per kilowatt hour. You’ll need to complete some paperwork in order for us to purchase your excess electricity. You can learn more on our website, and you should also read the Public Utility Commission’s regulations governing such buyback programs.
Keep in mind that like any long-term business investment, it will take time to recoup the cost of your solar power system. Solar power doesn’t pay for itself overnight. But that brings us to the other ways going solar can benefit your business.
Credits, deductions and incentives
Between now and Dec. 31, 2016, the federal Business Energy Investment Tax Credit provides a tax credit equal to 30 percent of the cost of your eligible solar energy investment, including solar equipment used to generate electricity.
The state of Texas and municipalities within the state offer a variety of tax credits and exemptions for businesses. You can find information on incentives available in our state by visiting the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy & Efficiency website. For example, the state allows corporations to deduct the cost of solar devices such as solar water heaters, space heaters, thermal electric systems or photovoltaics, either from the company’s taxable capital or by taking 10 percent of the system’s cost off the company’s income. Just remember to consult with your tax professional before you start any solar project.
Finally, solar energy could have a reputational payoff for your small business. Nine out of 10 Americans believe that America should develop and use solar energy, according to a survey by the Solar Energy Industries Association. Your customers and clients could have a positive reaction to your decision to go solar, and perceive your business as an environmentally responsible member of the community.