A solar energy investment brings immediate and significant returns, especially when you partner with Coachella Valley commercial solar experts at Renova Energy. Additionally, as electric rates from the utilities continue to grow, savings will be more significant. This is important as businesses have faced several headwinds from the pandemic and other economic factors in the past three years.

“Edison, over the last 12 to 15 months commercially, has raised their rates over 20 percent,” said Quentin La Quinta Brewery with people, tree, and tables

Kaplan is the Senior Commercial Energy Consultant for Renova Energy. Kaplan points out that there was already a 10 percent rate increase the year before. And in the future, there will likely be additional rate increases.

“So, for companies, they are noticing it more and more. ‘OK, we need to figure it out,’ and there’s renewed interest now that they’re back on their feet, they’ve got their doors open full-time, and can gauge what their near and distant future is in terms of how many years they plan to be operating.”

One thing that can deter a business from pursuing a solar panel or solar storage system is the upfront installation costs. But, with the rising electrical rates, that metric is changing to the point where going solar makes financial sense. Kaplan adds, “That saving becomes worth more and more as the rates increase. We continue to be modest with the utility increases and show a modest inflation rate annually, so we’re not overstating the benefit.”

With a solar system, customers sell back their excess energy to the utilities and use those funds to help pay off their solar system.

Analyzing Five Southern California Businesses and Their Solar Savings

We’ve selected five Renova Energy customers—Teco Diagnostic, Microflex Film Corp., Fruth Custom Plastics, Haven Plaza LLC., and La Quinta Brewery—as our case study, and each showed significant savings in the first. The largest company, Teco Diagnostics, had installed 430 SunPower 435W panels for a system size of 187.05 kW. The medical testing facility in Anaheim saw $51,587 in savings in the first year, which equates to 80 percent of the per-solar annual utility cost. With RenovaPLUS providing regular solar maintenance, Teco will see over $2.5 million in savings over 30 years.

The savings are just as significant with our smallest company, La Quinta Brewery, which installed 208 SunPower 395W panels for an 82.16 kW system. La Quinta Brewery’s system produced 131,372 kWh in the first year, for a 50 percent electrical bill reduction. Over 30 years, they predict saving over $600,000 and attaining a cost lower than 3 cents per kWh.

La Quinta Brewery founder Scott Stokes said having solar was a priority when they opened their Palm Desert restaurant a year ago. Stokes feels it has been a worthwhile investment, stating, “Rates have gone up considerably over the last year, so I’m saving quite a bit.”

So far, La Quinta Brewery’s savings have been higher than anticipated because the utility rate increases have been much higher than the modest increases in their original projections.

Solar Impact on Five Businesses

Teco Diagnostics

  • Where: Anaheim
  • Type of Business: Medical testing facility
  • Panels: SunPower 435W
  • Number of panels: 430
  • System size: 187.05 kW
  • Year installed: 2020
  • Impact: The first-year utility savings of $51,687 equates to 80 percent of the pre-solar annual utility cost.
  • Projections: The forecast is that Teco Diagnostics will save over $2.5 million across 30 years, with a 40-year panel life.

Microflex Film Corp

  • Where: Riverside
  • Type of business: Manufacturing plant
  • Panels: SunPower 360W
  • Number of Panels: 234
  • System size: 84.24 kW
  • Year installed: 2020
  • Impact: Generated 153,204 kWh in the first year, offsetting two-thirds of their electric bill.
  • Projections: A projected $1 million savings across 30 years using a modest utility price inflation factor.

Fruth Custom Plastics

  • Where: Placentia
  • Type of business: Plastics manufacturing plant
  • Panels: SunPower 395W
  • Number of Panels: 436
  • System size: 172.22 kW
  • Year installed: 2021
  • Impact: A utility savings of $47,037 in the first year.
  • Projections: Over $2 million in 30 years.

Haven Plaza, LLC

  • Where: Pomona
  • Type of business: Business offices
  • Panels: SunPower 330W
  • Number of Panels: 468
  • System size: 154.44 kW
  • Year installed: 2019
  • Impact: $32,000 in the first year and $36,480 in the second (with the higher utility rate increases).
  • Projections: Over $1.5 million over 30 years.

La Quinta Brewing

  • Where: La Quinta
  • Type of business: Brewery
  • Panels: 208
  • Number of Panels: SunPower 395W
  • System size: 82.16 kW
  • Year installed: 2021
  • Impact: They produced 131,372 kWh in the first year for a 50 percent electrical bill reduction.
  • Projections: Expected $600,000 savings over 30 years.
By Published On: December 2, 2022

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