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How to Propose Solar to Your Management Team

Anthony Santana

December 2018

Self StorageGoing solar can be a sizable investment for some, especially small and medium sized businesses. But, unlike many property additions, solar starts returning money to your bottom line the moment it's turned on and will keep producing energy for decades. In addition to all the positive financial benefits, a solar energy investment also adds to the "green" reputation for your company, which will appeal to an increasingly environmentally-savvy marketplace.

The intricacies and process of installing a commercial solar energy system can be confusing, which might make proposing a solar investment to your management team an intimidating feat. If you think your self-storage business could benefit from solar, but you aren't quite sure how to approach management or the owners with the idea, don't worry, we're here to help.

We've put together this simple blog to highlight the various positive benefits your self-storage organization can reap when switching to solar. Use this material to guide your pitch and if you happen to get stuck, contact us. We'd be happy to help you make your case. 


When you’re producing your own clean, affordable energy with solar panels, that’s money saved by not paying your utility for more expensive electricity. By reducing your reliance on the utility, you free up money that can be allocated to other areas of your business, which in turn adds to your bottom line. Every business has unique energy usage patterns and goals. A reputable solar contractor will help you determine the impact that adding solar can have to your specific organization's bottom line. Take a look at this compelling data from an actual self-storage facility here in Arizona that we helped go solar. In their case, the goal was to simply offset a percentage of purchased energy, rather than eliminate their reliance on the utility entirely. They set the savings target and our engineers helped them reach it. 

Solar Savings

If your storage facility offers temperature-controlled units, you can realize even bigger savings, especially in the hot summer months. By generating your own electricity to cool down your units, you'll be paying less money to the utility and add that money to your bottom line.

Tax credits to offset purchase

For a limited time, there are tax credits available that can dramatically reduce the costs of installing commercial solar. The federal government will currently offset up to 30% of a solar purchase via the solar investment tax credit (ITC). A qualified solar installer can help you explore the programs available in your area.

Download Our Free Whitepaper: Is Solar Right for Your Organization?

The 30% tax credit won't last forever. After 2019, the ITC will reduce to 26% and then in 2021, it will decrease again to 22%. After 2021, it'll drop to 10% permanently. If your company has been thinking about making the switch to solar, now is the time to act! With solar's growing popularity, installation schedules are filling up quickly for 2019, with some already being booked out til June. If your organization wants to reap the benefits of the full 30% federal ITC, it's vital to start your solar journey today so your project will be eligible for the entire 30% 2019 rate.

Offset empty units 

Unlike other commercial real estate where tenants cover their own electricity costs, many self-storage facilities pay their own electricity bills and recoup this investment through rental fees. By generating your own solar electricity, you can easily hedge against this variable and shield your business from fluctuating inventory and operating expenses.

If your storage unit offers spaces for RV parking and charging, you can help offset the cost of the electricity they use to charge through your solar energy system. This will help add to your bottom line and speed up the return on your solar investment.

nec-solar-carportsShade structures can be more affordable with solar

Many self-storage facilities are implementing parking shade for vehicle storage rentals, or simply as a shady parking spot for customers. Installing solar panels to these parking shade structures is a great way to extend the solar tax credits into an adjacent addition (shade structures) while installing solar at the same time. This will help give you an edge to your competition by providing protection from the harsh Arizona sun while also helping you save money over the decades you'll be generating your own electricity.

Other companies investing in solar

Solar is here to stay and it's evident through all the companies who are making an investment in this clean form of energy. Industry movers and shakers, like Target, TJ Maxx, PepsiCo, and Sub-Zero have all made the switch to solar. Check out SEIA's list of the top corporate solar installers for 2017 graph below to gain even more insight to what companies are reaping the positive financial and environmental benefits of solar. 

Screen Shot 2018-12-17 at 11.57.37 AM

There’s never been more help available to those self-storage organizations who would like to start offsetting the rising cost of energy with their own solar power plant. Contact our commercial solar team to find out what’s available for your business.

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