Listen before you leap on solar

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Peter Belisle
Energy and Sustainability, President

The opportunity to create cost-effective solar power solutions at commercial properties has arrived. The cost of generating solar power onsite in the has fallen by 40 percent over the past two years, while federal and state incentives currently sweeten the deal. In the right situation, an owner can recoup the upfront cost of installation in less than five years, enjoying essentially free energy for the remaining 15-to-20-year lifespan of a typical photovoltaic system. If that’s not sufficient reason to act, consider the other benefits: solar power provides a hedge against rising fossil fuel costs, produces clean energy with no carbon emissions and provides a visible reminder of your commitment to sustainability.

But there’s a catch; well, more like a few hurdles to get over. First off, incentives vary widely from state to state, so solar is a much better deal in some places than others. The federal incentives are set to expire at the end of 2011, so there is not a lot of time to act. Plus, there are several different ways to install solar. For instance, you can own a system, or rent rooftops to solar developers, or get your aging roof replaced in lieu of rents.

So the opportunity is here, but it’s not as easy as 1-2-3. A great way to get a handle on the issues is to listen to a new webinar hosted by our Director of Renewable Energy, Dave Gralnik. If after listening, you think solar is right for your property or portfolio, Dave can help you navigate the issues to get the solution that works best for you.

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