Solar energy is attractive to many different client types and is almost always a smart business decision, though some businesses are more suited to solar than others. Here are some guidelines to follow when qualifying a solar project:
The business must have suitable space for solar; ensuring there is shade-free, accessible space to place solar panels is important.
Look for the following when qualifying a solar project site:
Qualifying Question: How old is the roof? What condition? Any leaks?
The Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and Asset Depreciation (MACRS) can account for up to 50% of the PV system cost in avoided tax savings.
Qualifying Question: Do they have tax liability (do they pay taxes?
Nonprofit - 501(C) (3) entities & municipalities:
Nonprofit organizations do not have tax liability and cannot take advantage of the avoided tax savings, therefore the ROI will likely be sub-par. However, some of these organizations are driven to solar purely for the environmental benefits and have the funds to purchase a PV system in cash.
Qualifying Question: Can they pay for the system in cash? Or would they need to finance the project 100%?
Owning the property is best; if the business leases the premise they will need to get the property owner/landlord to agree to the solar system installation. This is possible, typically for business entities that have long term leases.
Qualifying Question: Does the business own the property?
It is best when the business that operates at the property (uses the power) is the same as the building owner (Owner Occupied). However, there are times where a property owner leases the property to another business (Tenant). If the property is owner occupied, then no need to further qualify.
Qualifying Question (Non-Owner Occupied): Does the owner currently, or plan to, pay the electric bills for the whole property or just for the common areas?
Qualifying Question: Do you have a Copy of the Electric Bill?
An ideal customer may also
While none of the above are considered requirements for solar, meeting these criteria does increase the attractiveness of a project for both the client and the developer.