Does Solar Energy Make Sense for Your Multifamily Property?

It’s not uncommon to see those ubiquitous rectangular solar panels sitting atop residential and commercial rooftops across the country. Solar power continues to be a renewable and clean energy source that has expanded rapidly throughout the United States and the world.

But does installing solar power at your multifamily property make sense?

The answer is typically yes. If you want to not only increase the value of your property, qualify for tax breaks, and make your property more attractive to tenants searching for lower electric bills and an environmentally cleaner lifestyle then yes, installing solar power is a way to save money and increase the marketability of your property. And it’s an even better idea if your property is in an area that gets a lot of sunshine, like California.

Following are the four main reasons you should install solar panels on your multifamily unit.

Lower Your Building’s Electric Bills

The decision to install solar comes down to whether it enhances profitability. An owned system is an expensive up-front investment that pays a return in the form of offsets — essentially, a kilowatt produced by the system replaces a kilowatt purchased from the utility.

The payoff period for a solar system varies by size and local energy prices. With California’s energy prices rising every year, we have seen the payoff period on existing solar systems shrink. As offsets increase in value, the fixed cost of the solar system, either in depreciation for a fully funded system or in interest payments for a financed system, looks better and better.

These benefits stabilize the electrical expenses associated with the building’s systems, like laundry machines, HVAC systems, pools, and hot tubs. They can also become a component of leases. Property owners may find that providing tenants with flat energy rates creates a predictable revenue source that helps to pay back the cost of the solar system more quickly while also giving tenants added value.

Get Power Outage Protection

If you install solar panels and battery storage at your multifamily property you will be safeguarding against power outages. Solar systems that include batteries will stay on even when the power goes off, which means your tenants won’t be inconvenienced by a daytime power outage. And if it occurs at night, solar batteries let you store energy for backup power. Rebate programs may allow battery backup systems to be installed at an economical price, with costs passed along to tenants who are willing to pay extra for the added energy security.

Reduce Your Building’s Carbon Footprint 

Many of today’s renters are committed to fighting climate change and living a more sustainable lifestyle. Electricity generation is the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Solar power is a big part of the solution, and many savvy renters are paying attention. Installing solar panels, especially as part of a broader effort to create a “green building,” can give the property a marketing boost among people who tend to be willing to pay more for sustainability.

Receive Solar Incentives and Tax Credits

There are excellent tax benefits and incentives available for commercial solar installations throughout the country. Federal solar tax credits are available, and many individual states provide incentives to those installing solar systems in their residences. While installing solar panels are worth it in most areas, certain factors—including the cost of electricity, available incentives, the climate, and the property’s sun exposure—will all impact how quickly you break even on your investment in relation to other areas. Given its climate, California is at the forefront for solar system growth in the U.S. and is one of the best states for installing solar.

Let Pan American Help You with Your Solar Installation

In general, there are many reasons to support the use of solar panels for your multifamily home. Not only does it help to reduce your electricity bills, it increases the value of your home and helps to reduce your impact on the environment. And you will be incentivized for it. Need more information? Pan American can help. Call them today at (888) 754-9700 or email them at [email protected] to learn more.

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