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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Investment in Solar Energy Yields Consistent Returns

By Chris Fraser (Charleston, SC)

The sun is literally shining on new investment in a particular form of renewable energy across the U.S. and especially in South Carolina.

As someone who has had a long interest in solar power development, I was encouraged to see legislation in place – at the federal and state levels – to stimulate personal and business investment in solar technology as an alternative source of energy production.  As a result of increased tax incentives in South Carolina in particular, we installed an eight-kilowatt solar system on the roof of our family home in December 2015.  Given a mild month of March, our power bill was $0! In looking closer at our actual March power usage, which would have resulted in a $200 power bill under normal conditions, this savings was effectively a 10% return on our after-tax installation cost.

Avison Young’s office in Charleston, SC also has solar panels that generate electricity to supplement power for our operations. Like my family in the case of our home, Avison Young receives ongoing energy savings, depending on the actual amount of energy generated by solar, which will offset monthly costs and the cost of installing this system over the long term. In other words, Avison Young’s solar power system in Charleston will produce consistent annual returns on investment through reduced operating expenses and other benefits.

My personal and business experiences with solar energy reached another level recently with the release of the Avison Young Topical Report  Solar in South Carolina: Great for Business

As the report explains, the business case for investing in solar power has never been stronger for businesses and property owners in South Carolina. Bottom-line benefits can start accruing after just five years of solar power use, with longer-term benefits including ongoing savings on electricity bills and a reduced reliance on more traditional forms of power generation, which contribute to global warming.

The recent extension of the federal government’s solar energy investment tax credit (ITC) to 2021 and the state’s solar energy tax credit (which provides another 25% tax credit based on the purchase and installation costs, along with a five-year depreciation schedule), have helped establish an investment environment conducive to promoting solar power as a viable alternative energy source in South Carolina.

Recent advances in solar technology and mass production are driving costs down; and, with tax credits like those in South Carolina and other incentives, solar is becoming a more cost-effective solution across the U.S.

I encourage you to investigate your state’s solar power incentive programs – for residential or business purposes – and consider this positive form of investment.

For more details, please read the Avison Young Topical Report Solar in South Carolina: Great for Business on the Avison Young website.

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