Many schools in BC are considering making the switch to solar power. However, the main factor why they hesitate is the cost. Will the system give them more pros than cons in the long run? And how can they shoulder the initial cost of installing a solar PV system?
Understandably, these financial concerns should not be taken lightly. School is still a business, and what will happen if the venture slows down? How can they recuperate the amount they have invested in installing solar panels?
Here’s a look at top concerns regarding the matter:
The school must meet, and all the decision-makers must be present. These include the committee, board, and school council. Everybody needs to decide based on the two major components of the project: installation and financing.
All those present in the meeting must come up with answers to the following questions:
- What are the government incentives and tax breaks you can avail yourself of?
- Are there any financing options you can get?
- What is the equipment needed to operate and install the solar PV system?
- How much will the long-term savings that the school will get from having solar panels installed?
Answering the questions will be like weighing the venture’s pros and cons. You also have to ask the people involved about the government incentives because they are bound to change from time to time.
Paying for the solar PVs
Non-profit institutions and public schools are not qualified for solar energy-related rebates and tax breaks. This makes many people hesitate or think about leasing the system from a third party or buying the equipment outright.
The decision heavily relies on the third party or contractor your school chooses to partner with. Initially, it may appear tempting to lease with a PPA or power purchase agreement. However, purchasing the equipment might be best, and you will gain more savings.
You may want to get quotes on equipment and installation from different solar PV providers to make it easier to decide. This way, you will know how much this project will cost to complete.
Factors that affect the average cost
In BC schools and other big institutions, the main lure of solar power is that the bigger the system is, the lower you have to pay per watt. Having a solar PV system installed and viewable to many will also make a good impression on your facility.
It will attract more students to enroll since you are projecting the image that cares about the environment. More students mean higher earnings. This will make it faster for you to regain your initial investment in having the system in place.