Solar energy is more than just a fad—it’s quickly becoming the way of life for residents and businesses alike. Homeowners and companies have hopped on the solar power bandwagon thanks to enticing tax credits that greatly reduce the cost of installation.
However, nonprofits don’t see the same tax benefits for installing solar panels as for-profit companies. But using solar energy can still be extremely beneficial to your group.
First, there’s the obvious ecofriendly option. However big or small your nonprofit, using solar power means you’re drawing on a renewable resource rather than fossil fuels. It also has no negative emissions, so it doesn’t contribute to global warming.
Solar energy is a flat-rate cost, so your nonprofit won’t have to plan for a sudden hike in electricity costs during an especially hot summer. Unexpected costs like high electricity bills can eat away at a nonprofit’s operating margin, making it harder to focus on your work.
Solar panels also offer you huge savings going forward. Solar power converts the sun’s light to electricity, so you can pretty much write off your current electricity costs. Depending on the size of your nonprofit, that can produce significant savings.
Solar systems are also extremely reliable. After all, the sun is going to rise and set every day; if it doesn’t, we all have bigger problems than energy bills.
Employing solar panels could also drive interest and publicity in your nonprofit. It is still rare that businesses and nonprofits switch fully to solar power, so if you decide to make the change, publicize it with your donors and local media to drive interest.
And to make the process even easier, some solar panel companies have started offering reduced rates to help nonprofits offset the initial costs of installation. So even though the official tax credit is unobtainable, demand is high enough that companies are offering incentives to nonprofits.
You should always balance the cost of the system against prospective savings, but for most nonprofits, going solar is definitely a bright idea.