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Why Solar is Inevitable for Auto Dealers

You may have considered solar in the past and for whatever reason - timing, cost, logistics, sheer disinterest - it didn’t make sense for your dealership. It’s time to look again. Solar is the future for car dealerships, and that’s a fact we stand behind. What is up for debate is whether you’ll catch the most advantageous part of the wave, or if you’ll be left scrambling to catch up and lose money in the process.

Why Solar?

Let’s start with the basics. Benefits include:

  • Reduced operating costs thanks to thousands of dollars of savings on monthly electricity bills
  • Lower tax liability with the federal solar investment tax-credit (ITC)
  • High internal rate of return on a long-term warranted asset
  • Hedge against rising energy costs
  • Marketing and PR opportunities related to sustainability efforts with a lower carbon footprint (even if saving the polar bears isn’t high on your list of priorities, it likely is for a sizable fraction of your buyers. Take the edge and use it wisely).

Why Solar for Auto Dealers?

According to the NADA, auto dealerships use on average 18% more energy than typical office buildings. Toss in the fact that electricity is one of the biggest cost factors for businesses and you're looking at the potential for significant savings for decades to come. For dealerships, energy is usually the third highest overhead expense, and to top that off, EV charging stations are coming, and with them come unwelcome spikes in your energy use...and your electricity bill. More expense, but not if you take action now and turn your roof into a viable profit center.

Rooftop solar is quickly becoming the standard for commercial buildings that opt for solar. Your large, flat roofs are ideal, but what’s really appealing is being able to reduce your electricity bill while hedging against future energy costs and making a profit concurrently. The untapped savings from solar is equal to 2-3 more vehicles sold per month. Stretch that out across several decades and, well, you get the idea.

Is Solar Right for You?

All you need to do is ask your Office Manager or Accounts Payable person to scan and send your last 12-months of utility bills.  We are teamed with the nation’s top dealership solar experts that effectively identify where you’re losing money, where you will make money, and how to best leverage solar to reduce operating costs immediately and for years to come. Here’s what to expect:

  • Our team will provide a no-cost feasibility analysis based on 12-months of your dealership’s trailing utility bills.
  •  Your analysis will include all tax incentives and subsidies and detail the options unique to your store so you’ll be able to make an informed decision.
  •  We’ll explain all the variables in your solar proposal that impact ROI.

Ok, But Again, Why Now?

Common question, and we get it. If you wait, you’re giving all your money to the utility, vs creating ‘My Power Company LLC’ (similar to an F&I reinsurance concept) and reaping the financial benefits for years and years to come. Your CPA can identify the LLC entity/shareholders that will benefit from incentives and tax appetite. You’ll lease the equipment and sell the energy back to the store, saving on monthly energy costs while the LLC creates an off-balance sheet revenue for 25+ years. Win-win.

What’s Next?

Not much on your end. All we need is scanned copies of the last 12-months of your electricity bill. Our team will do a financial analysis on your dealership to see if it makes sense for your dealership. It’s that simple.

Contact Drew Pangborn to get started: dpangborn@appienergy.com | 667.330.1164