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Spend $2,500 now and SAVE $340 each year... ROI = 13.6%
The sun’s energy can simply help heat water. For small businesses, residential-style solar water heating systems can work well on office buildings. A solar collector can cut hot water bills in half. Heating the water in your office accounts for about 6% of your annual energy costs. The sun generates more power in a day than all of the fossil fuels on earth, so let it heat up the water you use every day to wash your hands and clean coffee mugs. Save up to 50% on your hot water bill by channeling water from the rooftop panels to your existing water tank. You may be surprised at how small the panel is and how much hot water is generated even on overcast winter days.
Since the vast majority offices operate during the day when the sun is typically out, you benefit from the timing. Naturally, the 'back-up' system is the electricity or natural gas that powers your hot water tank. Worry-free systems have no maintenance and last decades, so savings extend well beyond ten years. An average employee uses $34 of energy for hot water each year. An office of ten employees only uses $340 per year for hot water, so saving $170 does not work well since the payback takes more than 14 years. However, an office of 20 or more starts to work much better and cuts the payback time in half since the upfront costs are fixed.
The ROI Calculation is based on saving $340 per year based on the typical demands for an office of twenty employees. (With natural gas costs at $1.15/gallon and electricity costs at 7 - 10 cents/kilowatt hour). Per the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT), Tax Credits will equal 30% of qualifying expenditures for purchase for qualified photovoltaic property and for solar water heating. The same incentives exist for residential but there is a $2,000 cap, so commercial properties have a significant advantage. The added cost of $2,500 is based on an initial outlay of $3,500 with 30% of it coming back to you as a tax credit.