DC Small Businesses Go Solar

Increasingly small businesses in DC are speaking up about the benefits of clean energy and energy efficiency measures. Solar power was once just a luxury for well-funded corporate citizens like Wal-Mart and Google. But with the price of solar components plummeting, and rebates and other financing sweetening the pot, more small businesses are considering whether to run on the oldest form of energy.

Installing solar power at his brewery, Atlas Brew Works, seemed like the right thing to do for the planet, says owner Justin Cox. But now that he’s had the system the system installed for over a year, he’s finding that it’s also good for his wallet.

Why Your Business Should (Finally) Go Solar

If you’re a business owner, installing a solar energy system might seem like a risky move in a complex and confusing market. You may have heard about major Fortune 500 companies going solar, but thought that it might not be feasible for your organization. Maybe you’re considering installing solar panels at some point in the distant future, when your organization can afford to make a major investment in something that seems like an environmental “good” rather than a strategic financial decision.

Time to shake off that old way of thinking and join the growing chorus of smart business owners that have discovered the commercial solar benefits for business. Solar isn’t just for Intel and Wal-Mart anymore. Businesses of all sizes are capitalizing on the financial opportunities of installing solar, proving that a solar energy system is a key strategic decision that virtually guarantees a solid financial return for your business.

So let’s take a look at the numbers – this is a financial decision, after all.

According to EnergySage marketplace data, the average commercial property owner paid $1,950 in monthly electricity bills before going solar. After their installation, their electricity bill was reduced to approximately $500 ­­– a 75% reduction.

The cost of buying and installing solar panels has dropped considerably in the last five years while electricity prices continue to skyrocket, making the economics of solar even more attractive. But decreased equipment and installation costs aren’t the only reason for your business to go solar. There are other factors that can reduce your business’s out-of-pocket cost for a solar panel system, including:

Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC): This is a significant financial benefit for anyone interested in using solar panels at their business or residence. Owners of newly installed solar panel systems get a federal tax credit for 30 percent of the cost of the system.
Accelerated depreciation: Businesses can deduct 85 percent of the value of the solar asset from their taxes, providing another significant offset to the upfront cost of a system array.
SREC’S (solar renewable energy certificates) is another, and the most significant incentive available in DC, to receive a credit up to 70% upfront off the solar project. Or the SREC’s can be brokered over long-term to greatly enhance financial returns for system owners over the life of the system.

Beyond the direct short-term financial benefits, installing solar panels can also help your business to hedge against electricity price volatility and inflation. The price of electricity can fluctuate significantly due to demand, creating a headache for business owners who are closely managing their cash flow. By installing solar, your business will be able to lock in electricity prices and reduce reliance on an unpredictable expense. Going solar makes it easier for companies to budget and plan for the future.

In total, the ITC and depreciation benefit can reduce the system price by as much as 60 percent. Add that to savings from a reduced utility bill and other incentives like SREC’s, and business owners are looking at an investment that’s hard to pass up. If paying up front isn’t an option for your business, not to worry – there are many financing options available to businesses with good credit, including solar loans and solar leases/power purchase agreements (PPAs).

Lastly, let’s not forget that the financial incentives mentioned above aren’t the only things that contribute to the bottom line. There are other commercial solar benefits for business, including:

Winning more customers: Many current and potential customers are attracted to businesses with a commitment to sustainability. Examples abound of businesses that have won large contracts due to their solar investments – buyers love products and services that are sun-powered! In addition, a solar installation is a great opportunity to promote your organization and raise awareness of your offering in the community.
Improving employee satisfaction: Employees are increasingly looking to work for sustainability-minded companies. By demonstrating your company’s commitment to solar power, your employees will be happier, more productive, and invested in the company mission.
Supporting the local economy: When a business contracts with a solar company, workers in the local market complete the installation. Greater demand for solar projects increases the availability of high quality, good paying jobs. Those workers could become your future customers, too.

As you can see, the numbers add up – solar panel systems are a smart capital investment for businesses. They have short payback periods, provide steady financial returns, and help business owners hedge against rising energy prices. There are lots of great resources available today that can help you evaluate whether “going” solar makes sense for your business, so be sure to do your homework!

By Vikram Aggarwal FOunder and CEO, EnergySage
Article link: https://www.inc.com/vikram-aggarwal/calculating-the-benefits-of-going-solar.html


Support Local Businesses in DC That Have Gone Solar!


Capital Grocery Wholesaler

2910-2916 V St NE

Capitol Grocery Wholesaler Inc is a small organization in the grocer’s wholesale company industry located in Washington, DC.


Occasions Caterers

655 Taylor St NE


Occasions Caterers was founded in 1986 by twin brothers, Eric and Mark Michael with big ideas in a tiny apartment kitchen. Believing that food at catered parties should have the same high-quality ingredients, inventiveness and style as the best restaurants anywhere and knowing that the people preparing and serving the meal should be as gracious, knowledgeable and polished as the best service ever experienced; they created Occasions Caterers and became the standard-bearer for catered events in DC and beyond. Today, the kitchen is bigger and the team has grown but the ideas are the same: Food first. Inspired by ingredients. Great service.



2135 Queens Chapel Rd NE


Echostage is DC’s newest and largest nightlife concert venue. Between a sprawling, 30,000 plus sq. ft. layout, top-tier sound design, and advanced LED visual displays, it’s no surprise that the versatile space – which opened in September 2012 – has already attracted industry heavyweights such as David Guetta, Calvin Harris, Avicii, Armin van Buuren, Hardwell and Tiesto. Though the bulk of Echostage events originate from owners Antonis Karagounis and Pete Kalamoutsos’ preexisting entertainment repertoire – which includes Club Glow and Panorama Productions – the site was renovated to accommodate live bands, emcees and a myriad of other large-scale productions.


Self Storage Partners

1850 New York Ave NE & 645 Taylor St NE


For self-storage in Washington, DC, look no further than Self Storage Zone. Our self-storage facility that is just two miles from Downtown DC is equipped with a variety of features to provide you a convenient storage experience. 24 Hour Security Monitoring, Climate Controlled Units and Free Truck Rentals are highlights of our facility. Self Storage Zone offers you everything you need to store your belongings with ease. Contact us to learn more about our facility features in Washington, DC.


Atlas Brew Works

2052 W Virginia Ave NE


Atlas Brew Works was born of passion for craft beer and community. We produce hand crafted artisanal beer in 20 barrel batches at our facility in Ivy City in Northeast DC. We welcome visitors to stop in for a tasting, tour, growler to go, or just to say hi. As of August 2015, Atlas is a 100% solar-powered brewery through our partnership with Solar Solution. Learn more about the partnership here, and see our full solar production here.


Off The Beaten Track

2414 Douglas St NE


Off The Beaten Track is an historic warehouse in NE Washington, DC modernized to include light-filled art studios, flexible warehousing spaces and creative workshop areas. It’s also home to the district’s only Clay Center and Gallery.


MB Arts and Productions Dance Studio

4618 14th St NW

Arts Space, Dance Studio, Rehearsal Space, and future Performance Space.


Crystal’s Flower Shop

4313 Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave NE


Crystals Flower and Gift Shop proudly serves the Washington area. We are family owned and operated. We are committed to offering only the finest floral arrangements and gifts, backed by service that is friendly and prompt. Because all of our customers are important, our professional staff is dedicated to making your experience a pleasant one. That is why we always go the extra mile to make your floral gift perfect.


Dean Ave Cleaners

4262 Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave NE

African American owned laundry and dry-cleaning services.


Washington Ethical Society

7750 16th St NW


The Washington Ethical Society is a humanistic congregation that affirms the worth of every person. We strive through our relationships to elicit the best in the human spirit.  With faith in human goodness, we appreciate each person’s unique capacities.  We joyfully celebrate together and support each other through life.  We nurture a sense of reverence and responsibility for each other and the earth.


BP Gas Station

2600 14th Street NW

Located on the corner of 14th St and Euclid St NW.


Yes! Organic Market

3809 12th St. NE


Yes! Organic Market is a family-owned local grocery chain offering fresh, natural and organic foods. We are committed to bringing healthy food options to underserved areas and have stores in six unique neighborhoods of DC and one in Hyattsville, MD. We aim to provide you with an exceptional experience through our customer service, store environment and product selection.


TD Bank

Shady Grove Rd & Little River Turnpike Locations

150 Shady Grove RD & 7209 Little River Turnpike


TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., with approximately 26000 employees and deep roots in the community.


DC Self Defense and Karate Association DCSDKA

5123 Georgia Ave NW


DCSDKA is a non-profit 501-c-3 tax-exempt school (“dojo”) at 5123 Georgia Avenue NW. We love to help you stay safe, gain tremendous fitness, learn the lessons of self-defense on multiple levels, and “get it” how the martial arts transforms you from the inside out. Join us for self-development, discipline for adults and kids alike, focus and respect, all of which will improve your life now and into the future. Come, make friends, have fun, and be transformed!


Lutheran Social Services

4406 Georgia Ave NW


Since 1917, Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area has boldly served, confident in the knowledge that every small gesture is a miracle unto itself. We offer love to those in need, creating new families in the process. We engage our communities to welcome the displaced. We embrace those whose present circumstances make them feel unwanted and marginalized by society, strengthening their lives and providing hope for the future.


Super Saver Grocery

4413 14th St. NW

Local grocery store on the corner of 14th St NW and Allison St NW. “Best place in the neighborhood to pick up one or two things you might need.”- Google review.


Emergence Community Arts Collective

733 Euclid St NW


ECAC is a model for a true community center – not one imposed on a community, but one built by the community.  Our activities are designed to rebuild social networks, empower people and organize around a common vision. “Discover” the treasure that has always been here serving the community since 1927.


Menick’s Market

4401 Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave. NE

Local grocery store on the corner of Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave and 44th St NE.


Teatro de la Luna

4020 Georgia Ave NW


Teatro de la Luna was founded in 1991 as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization whose purpose is to provide the Washington capital area –both to its Spanish-speaking community and to its English-speaking community as well – with a source of high quality theater as seen from a Latin American perspective.


Casey Trees

3015 12th St. NE


Casey Trees is a Washington D.C. based nonprofit, established in 2002, to restore, enhance and protect the tree canopy of our nation’s capital.


Milestone Senior Housing

3605 Minnesota Ave. SE


Milestone Retirement, which was originally founded in 2008, set out with the collective vision of creating an environment where residents, employees, and senior living investors, all felt equally valued and respected. Now, years later, we’ve created a culture of caring and are proud to provide management services to senior living investors specializing in independent living, assisted living, memory care and specialty care.


Henry S Washington & Sons Funeral Home

4927 Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave NE


Reverend Henry S. Washington founded our company in the 1920’s. Now the company is operated by the grandchildren—the third generation. With nearly 90 years in business, we are extremely confident in meeting the needs of all of our customers.


Addison Ripley Gallery

1670 Wisconsin Ave NW


We feature changing exhibitions of work by leading local, national and internationally recognized artists as well as work by younger, emerging artists. Work in all media is represented in the gallery and styles range from traditional landscape to overall abstraction. The gallery displays work in large scale: painting, photography, drawing and sculpture, as well as more modest scale pieces in the same mediums. The gallery frequently arranges exhibits in other spaces for both clients and artists.


Beyond Pesticides

701 E St SE


Beyond Pesticides (formerly National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., which works with allies in protecting public health and the environment to lead the transition to a world free of toxic pesticides. The founders, who established Beyond Pesticides as a nonprofit membership organization in 1981, felt that without the existence of such an organized, national network, local, state and national pesticide policy would become, under chemical industry pressure, increasingly unresponsive to public health and environmental concerns.


Uncle Chip’s Cookies

1514 N Capitol St NW


Uncle Chip’s is committed to bringing you the best cookie experience you’ve ever had! Our cookies are all natural, made the same day that they are shipped. A one-of-a-kind sassy card is included FREE with every order. Check out the rest of the site for our full line of products.


Bright Future Early Learning Center

2535 Bladensburg Rd NE

At Bright Future Early Learning Center, our attentive staff is available Monday through Saturday to answer your questions and ensure you are 100% satisfied.