Solar Power to offset Electric Bills

8 Replies

I'm purchasing a 3 story office building (37k sqft total) in the Orlando Fl area and my electric bill is $80k annually, with the monthly usage ranging between 48,000 kWh to 65,000 kWh. Has anyone found the ROI on installing a solar system to have a good ROI. If so what was the cost/size for your system. Did you pay finance it? Any links to a good calculator that'll determine, number of panels and required square footage. I've searched and so far only found residential and click bait sites. With a 12k sqft roof, I don't think I have anywhere near enough space to offset a significant part of the electric bill.

On the surface project solar, estimates a cost of $600k to fully offset the $80k in electric bills which is a 7.5 cap, not bad and considering that the NOI of the building increases by $80k, at a 6.25 cap, the building would be worth $1.3m more. I just don't know how realistic it is.

Any experience/input is appreciated. 

Hi Ken I work in the solar industry and would be happy to help in any way possible. One cool thing about commercial solar is you get the federal tax credit as well as you can claim accelerated depreciation on the system which usually equates to an extra 30% you get to write off within the first 5 years. So between the federal tax credit and depreciation, usually the total cost of the system is more than cut in half (50-75% comes back to you in the form of credits and rebates) and significantly increases ROI especially when compared to residential solar.

Hope this helps!


@Joshua Dickman do you know where the federal tax credit is applied in the tax code?  My understanding is that if I’m a passive investor that already has the $25k maximum loss (or whatever it is right now) deduction, that the solar tax credit would be pushed out to future years.  I want to be able to take my solar tax credit and my passive loss limitation together. Otherwise, if my solar tax credit is not able to be applied for a number of years (when my losses are all deducted) then it doesn’t make sense to buy a system now.  Does that make sense?

Hi @Greg V. From what I understand, if an individual is a passive investor in a project, the tax credit would also be passive and would only offset the liabilities generated from passive income. Thus, if the individual has passive losses, the credit would be carried forward to offset future tax liabilities generated from passive activities. Does that help? 

Get the book Photovoltaic Design and Installation by Ryan Mayfield on Amazon on paperback, or Kindle and read it carefully before you install solar so you know exactly what will work, what will not work, exactly what type system you need and then when you talk to solar installation companies you will sort of know what you want.