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Businesses

Solar Pays Off for Commercial Property Owners!

GO SOLAR with the CITY OF MILWAUKEE With technical support and solar financing available through our Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program, the City of Milwaukee's Environmental Collaboration Office invites you to consider solar energy for your new development. PACE helps commercial property owners affordably finance energy efficiency, water efficiency, and renewable energy upgrades in their buildings. This public-private partnership leverages private capital to supply upfront funding for the improvements and collects payments through a voluntary municipal special charge. The special charge is attached to the property, not the owner, and is paid back through the property tax system over time. Projects are designed so that the annual energy and other savings pay for the special charge providing a net positive cash flow. Learn more at Milwaukee.gov/PACE

 

City Ordinance 355-5 requires that development projects receiving more than $1 million in city assistance must explore the potential for solar energy on the project, according to the standards set forth for the Environmental Collaboration Office (ECO). ECO can help get you started. Meet with us to discuss the basics of solar and financing operations, and to identify a solar contractor for the required solar analysis which must include: estimated gross cost of solar project, net cost after federal tax credits, Focus on Energy rebates, and accelerated depreciation, annual energy savings, lifetime energy savings, simple payback, greenhouse gas savings. HOW SOLAR PAYS OFF: (Example of a 50 kw system) $150,000: average cost of $3 per watt, $45,000: federal solar investment tax credit, $4,000: Focus on Energy incentive, $56,000: additional tax savings with accelerated depreciation over 5 years ; $49,000 net cost. Annual savings will produce 65,000 kwh ($7,500), Return on investment in 6 to 8 years!


Financing Available with Commercial PACE


PACE Financing ecoCity of MilwaukeeThe City of Milwaukee’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) funding helps commercial property owners affordably finance energy efficiency, water efficiency, and renewable energy upgrades (including solar!) in their buildings. This public-private partnership leverages private capital to supply upfront funding for the improvements and collects payments through a voluntary municipal special charge (City Ordinance 304-26.5). The special charge is attached to the property, not the owner, and is paid back through the property tax system over time. Projects are designed so that the annual energy and other savings pay for the special charge, providing a net positive cash flow.

Visit the City's PACE website for more information and next steps!


 

Step-by-Step Process Guide for Installing Solar on Your Business
 

  1. Learn about the types of systems available. The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) provides information and also holds solar workshops.
     
  2. If you are interested in financing your system, learn more about Commercial PACE financing for businesses offered through the Me2 program.
     
  3. Schedule a solar site assessment to help determine which technology is best for your home or business (optional). You can find a list of qualified and certified solar installers on the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) website.  MREA also provides a list of Certified Site Assessors. Please note - there may be a fee for the site assessment. Be sure to get a few bids from installers to find the best fit for your needs.
     
  4. Make your business more energy efficient to maxmize the benefits of solar. The Milwaukee Energy Efficiency (Me2) program or the Milwaukee Economy, Energy, & Environment (ME3) program can help.
     
  5. Select your installer and sign the contract. We recommend getting at least 2-3 bids prior to making your final selection. Focus on Energy has information on how to find and choose solar installers that are eligible for incentives.
     
  6. Work with your installer to make sure you get all the incentives your system is eligible for.
     
  7. Have your system installed by your solar installer.
     
  8. Enjoy the benefits of your new solar system!

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