Currently under construction, stay tuned.

Commercial renewable tax credits and incentives are very generous. The 30% tax credit applies to solar PV, wind turbines and solar hot water with no cap. The Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System (MACRS) reduces cost to almost 50 cents on the dollar. In particular Solar Hot Water for Restaurants, Hotels/Motels, Schools, Apartment Buildings, Hospitals and Laundromats provides the best return on investment (ROI). Many light industrial applications such as machine part cleaning, commercial linen services and just about any business that uses hot water or needs to heat liquids are perfect candidates for solar. Payback periods of less than four years are possible.

Solar Electricity can be produced from both wind turbines and from solar PV panels. In areas which have strong average winds of at least 12 mph, wind turbines are a good choice to offset the cost of electricity. Payback periods are longer than for solar hotwater but can be as short as 7 years.

Solar electricity generated from PV panels may have payback periods longer than both wind and solar hot water but have special advantages. Solar PV systems have the lowest maintenance, longest life cycle and provide unique advantages to a business that must function even during a power blackout. Good candidates are: Hospitals, Police and Fire Organizations, Military Installations, Public Utilities and Transportation Hubs. Renewable Energy Credits ”RECs” or carbon credits are issued on the energy produced. RECs can be earned from both electricity generation and thermal BTU production. These are issued by the Public Utility Commission and are based on the amount of green energy produced. They can be sold on the open market. Their value will change over time. As pressure for industries to go green increases they may increase in value.

Return On Investment

Shown below is a plot from our return on investment calculator. It shows the ROI for a commercial solar hot water system that costs $21,000 and produces 1.28 Therms of heat (128,000 BTUs of heat energy per day). It considers the federal credits, the rapid depreciation allowances, efficiency of the existing system and a nominal inflation rate. Depending on the fuel currently used, and the current cost of energy, the various returns on investment are shown. Systems that currently use electricity to generate hot water have a payback of about 4 years, while propane systems have a payback of about 5 years. Natural gas systems take longer.
Business Grants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers assistance in the way of grants to commercial entities in rural areas to encourage use of renewable energy. These grants are typically 25% of the project cost. Many "rural" areas are actually in newly developed locations such as Dayton, Stagecoach, Fallon, Yerington etc. Even business's around Lake Tahoe (e.g. Incline Village, Tahoe Vista, Tahoe City etc. qualify as "rural" areas. These grants are competed for nationally, and often represent the enabling factor for a business to go green.

For more information on USDA grants go to: www.rurdev.usda.gov

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