How to Integrate Solar Panels into Commercial Buildings

City Wide Facility Solutions
Published on August 6, 2021

Installing solar panels on top of your commercial building is an efficient way to cut energy costs and reduce the environmental impact of your business. The solar panel industry is growing, but it is still relatively new, so it is important to understand what to look for before hiring an installer.

Most commercial building roofs are flat, making them perfect for solar panel installation. However, you never want to jeopardize the integrity of your roof. There are a few steps you need to take before integrating solar panels into your commercial building. We will discuss those below.    

Step 1: Consider the age of your roof

Most solar panels available on the market today are guaranteed by a 25-year warranty. Before having them installed on your commercial building, you need to consider the age of your roof. If your roof will need to be replaced before the end of the solar panel’s warranty, then it might not be a good idea to have them installed. 

Installed solar panels will need to be removed before a roof can be replaced, which is why you need to consider the age of your roof. You will also need to clear your solar panel plan with your insurance company to make sure you aren’t violating your policy. 

Step 2: Find a reputable solar panel dealer

The solar panel industry is growing rapidly and technology is finally catching up with demand. As with any emerging technology, unscrupulous dealers can take advantage of limited information and high demand. 

Before you hire any solar panel installer, consult the NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) to see if the company that you intend to hire to integrate solar panels into your commercial building is certified to do so. Always vet sellers, equipment, and installers before agreeing to any solar paneling contract. 

Step 3: Develop a sustainability plan

Adding solar paneling to your commercial building is cost-effective in the long term, but it is expensive upfront. In order to make sure your plan is feasible and will benefit your facility, you need to develop a sustainability plan. 

Your sustainability plan should include:

  • Goals for solar paneling
  • Cost savings
  • Energy efficiency
  • Green building certification
  • Consider all local and federal incentives
  • Tax credits
  • Pending legislation 
  • Use other “green” buildings as examples

Step 4: Consider the cons of solar paneling

Free energy and a reduction in environmental impact are great benefits of integrating solar paneling into your commercial building; but there are some negatives you should consider. 

Local weather can affect the efficiency of solar paneling. If your commercial building is in a location that has low exposure to sunlight, either because of constant rain or general sun positioning, then solar paneling might not be beneficial. 

Your roof must also have adequate sun exposure to make solar paneling work. If trees or mountains limit the amount of sunlight your commercial building receives, then solar paneling will not be as effective. 

Solar panels come with a lot of upfront costs and require routine maintenance and attention. If your facility is unprepared to provide your solar panels with the proper care they require to be efficient, then you need to hire a company that can do that for you. 

Step 5: Enjoy the benefits of integrating solar panels into your commercial building

Now that you have weighed your options and found a reputable installer, you can enjoy the benefits of integrating solar paneling into your commercial building for years to come. Free energy and reduced environmental impact will help you gain tenants, customers, and business. 

Citywide Facility Solutions has an office near you. Contact them today to discuss all of your roofing options for any commercial building: (855) TRY-CWFS.