Why Solar Makes Good ‘Cents’ for the U.S. Auto Industry

September 6, 2019

Whether a dealership is interested in saving money on energy, installing new protective, renewable-powered covering and/or upgrading existing canopies, or demonstrating its commitment to sustainability, the reasons for implementing solar are many and financially beneficial. Here’s more information on why solar makes good ‘cents’ – and why NOW is the time…

1. The cost of installing a solar canopy is at the lowest it may ever be.

A decade ago, installing a solar system was three times the cost, returns were in the single digits, and payback was over 10 years. But with today’s lower costs to install, along with tax credits and depreciation, payback is down to a few years and returns are up to 20 percent. Additionally, production and installation time is down to only few short months.

2. Reduce or eliminate energy expenses with a payback of five years or less.

Solar arrays eliminate some or all of a dealership’s electricity costs. With the escalation of the cost of power, this provides a valuable hedge against ever-increasing energy bills. These savings increase a dealership’s cash flow, along with the value of the business and property at the time of sale.

3. Capitalize on your carbon offset.

Solar provides the opportunity to convert dormant roof space or simple car canopies into solar-power generators. For example, every 5,000 square feet of area suitable for hosting solar can create $10,000 of free cash flow, produce 75,000 kilowatt hours, and offset approximately 53 metric tons of CO2 (and more) EVERY YEAR – great for the environment and a powerful marketing tool that highlights its commitment to sustainability.


This includes promoting the use of new solar-powered electric vehicle (EV)-charging stations. For these structures, Renewvia can install a specified canopy to cover and recharge current and future electric and plug-in hybrid models. Designed to match the high-caliber aesthetics of each dealership, these structures will amplify an auto group’s commitment to shrinking its corporate carbon footprint.

4. The Solar Investment Tax Credit is a huge benefit, and not here forever.

First offered in 2006, the 30 percent federal investment tax credit (ITC) was extended until the end of 2020, at which point it begins to decrease. This credit lets businesses recoup 30 percent of the cost of the systems — and any structure to host it — in the first year. Combined with current 100 percent accelerated depreciation and local rebates, a dealer can recoup more than 50 percent of the capex in the first year alone. In 2020, the ITC steps down to 26 percent and then 22 percent in 2021.

Enter Renewvia’s Solar Solutions

Renewvia Energy Corporation is a Top-500 Solar Contractor based in Atlanta, Georgia. Since its founding in 2008, Renewvia has designed, installed, owned, and operated over 80 megawatts (MW) of power across the United States, Pacific Islands, South America, and sub-Saharan Africa.  

In partnership with an auto group or individual dealer, Renewvia will create:

Digital Triage Tool

Dealers interested in accessing an individual dealership’s financial viability for distributed solar can quickly and easily access Renewvia’s online digital triage tool. After answering a few straight forward questions, the algorithm powering the application provides an immediate initial assessment of the overall attractiveness for solar based on three metrics:

  1. The dealership’s available surface area for hosting solar;
  2. Location, which factors in the average solar production for the region;
  3. The local utility’s price for electricity and use of favorable solar incentive programs such as net metering, which pushes excess electricity back onto the grid and allows customers to receive a credit for energy generated above what is consumed and apply it to future energy bills.

Tailored Package of Options

After completing the application, Renewvia will respond within 24 hours to a dealer’s initial request with a suite of options for rooftop, parking deck, parking canopies, showcase EV charging stations, or a combination of items.

Lead Management Tools – for every stage

Renewvia provides the full range of services from inception, all the way through to commissioning, and then, ongoing maintenance that includes:

  • Consistent rapid response time (under 24 hours);
  • Educating on the financial and environmental benefits of solar, along with the time and space requirements for each system;
  • Creating individualized designs that meet each dealer’s specific needs and budget;
  • Taking a hands-on approach to construction – when it comes to building new structures and retrofitting existing;
  • Diligent maintenance with real time system monitoring.

Interested in figuring out whether your dealership is a good candidate for taking advantage of solar savings?

Happy to chat about how Renewvia adds value to businesses and provides above market returns on our clients’ investment. Please email me at eric@renewvia.com.

Eric Domescik is Renewvia Energy’s co-Founder & President.