The National Auto Dealers Association (NADA) notes that auto dealerships face close to $2 billion in energy costs annually, their third highest operating expense. Many dealerships and auto manufacturers like Honda, Toyota and Ford are investing in a variety of energy upgrades like solar energy, efficient LED lighting, and electric vehicle charging stations.
Today, more automotive dealers are turning to solar as a way to alleviate energy expenditures, which are a direct result of energy-intensive showrooms and lots accompanied by long operating hours. Dealerships are not only looking to reduce their operating costs and boost margins, but also to build a more sustainable business.
When evaluating a car dealership for a solar installation, here are five factors that come into play:
- Dealership location
Is your dealership located in California, Hawaii, New Jersey or New York? Higher energy prices in these states make solar a particularly attractive option for auto dealerships seeking to reduce their electric bills. Contact REC Solar to find out how much your business could save.
- Quality and size of roof
Many dealerships have a limited amount of usable roof space, and solar carports or canopy systems could be deployed to provide shade for vehicles and power for EV charging stations.
- Multiple financing options for dealership-specific needs
There are a range of financing options available to auto dealerships and other business owners that make going solar easier than ever. REC Solar offers financing packages with no upfront expenses, such as solar power purchase agreements (solar PPAs) and solar leases, in addition to cash or loan purchase options.
- Brand integrity and customer loyalty
The marketing value of an onsite solar system should not be underestimated, not only as an advertisement for plug-in electric vehicles, but also as a demonstration of the dealership’s commitment to environmental sustainability.
- Tax incentives
Combined with lower costs than ever before, the 30% business investment tax credit (ITC) for installing solar is available, but expires at the end of 2016. The window for taking advantage of the ITC, however, is actually much sooner. Unless Congress extends the ITC—which is an open question at this time—business owners should begin planning now for solar projects to be completed by the end of 2016.
In a highly competitive market, auto dealers are ideally positioned to benefit from solar in numerous ways. Want to know more about how your dealership can start saving?