Considering Solar for your Business?

Here are some Common questions we receive from local businesses when considering Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency:
1.      How much will I save?

The amount any business can save depends on a few things:

a. Square Footage – It is always our goal to bring your utility bill down to zero. The question how much roof space is available or car parking spaces are available for us to install PV panels.

b. Direct Purchase – We always recommend that you purchase the system directly and in full. This will provide you with the maximum savings potential from the moment the utility places your system in service.

c. Power Purchase Agreement – Sometimes it is difficult to come up with the money needed upfront. That is why we can work with you and present a couple Power Purchase Agreement options for you.

d. Schedule G or J – If you look on your Utility bill you can see whether you are a Schedule G or J. If you are a small business and/or a Schedule G we can get you a free lighting upgrade through the Hawaii Energy HEEP program. If you are a Schedule J that means that you have a Demand Charge. This can only be reduced by using a PV system with a Battery back-up. Look on the second page of your bill, and then look for Demand Charge. There you can see how much the utility charges based on your regularly “high” demand.

2.    How much will it cost?

The Cost of the PV System will depend on which Panels and Inverters you choose.  We can offer multiple options which gives you the choice of which amount suits your budget the best.  Ask us for our options.

3.     What if I don’t have that much money?  Are there options?

Yes, we can provide a couple options, including working with you and your bank or with a 3rd party Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) provider.

4.    How do Power Purchase Agreements (PPA’s) work?  Can I get one?

a. Power Purchase Agreements are contracts between the property owner and the PPA provider. The PPA provider assesses the credit of the business, the quality of the contractor and the costs of the PV system. Based on those criteria, they make an offer to pay for the system to be installed on your property at zero cost and then bill you monthly at a discounted rate from what you are currently paying.

b. The discounted rate can be up to 50% reduction in your utility bill for the electricity produced by the PV system.

c. If you are interested in a PPA, please let us know. We will need the following items to process the PPA proposal:

i. Signed LOI

ii. Most recent utility bill

iii. 2 years of tax returns and a balance sheet


v. Architectural set of drawings for your building

vi. Other doc’s tbd based on site and credit

5.      How do the tax credits and depreciation work?

a. If you purchase the PV system directly, then you are eligible for the Federal 30% tax Credit as well as the State 35% Tax Credit for the year in which the project is completed, ie permit is closed. In addition, you will be eligible for the MACRS depreciation on the system, typically the 5 year schedule. All of this adds up to a return on your investment between 1.5years and 3 years, typically.

b. If you select the PPA option, then you will not receive the tax credits or depreciation, the PPA provider will instead.

c. We will work with you to provide the exact projections for your project.

6.    What is the typical return on investment (ROI) and Internal Rate of Return (IRR)? 

a.  Most installations these days have an ROI between 1.5 – 3 years

b.  Most IRR’s for installations these days range between 30-45%

7.    How long will it take to complete the installation?

The install process has 3 primary steps:

i. Utility Pre-Approval and DPP Permitting – Could be 2 weeks to 9 months – Utility directed

ii. Installation of the system – Could be 1 week to 4 weeks depending on system size and whether there is ground mount to go with roof mount

iii. Closing of the permit and utility placing system in-service – Could be 1 week to 6 months – Utility directed

8.   How will the construction impact my business?

We work around your business as much as possible and try to minimize our impact.   You should be able to run as usual.

9.    What happens if the roof leaks?

There will be an assessment done to determine the cause of the leak.  If the cause is a result of our PV installation:

a.   We provide a 5 year warranty on our workmanship.  If there is a leak within the first 5 years, we will take care of it

b.   If you have selected a PPA, then the PPA provider will take care of it fully

10.   What if the utility says no?

a.  The utility cannot say “NO”

b.  They will only require additional studies and maybe additional infrastructure installed in order to accommodate your system.   There are typically significant costs associated with each of these.  Costs are dependent upon your system size and percent of Renewable Energy installed on your circuit