Case Study: Commercial Storage and Energy Storage

March 11, 2020

Tice Gardner & Fujimoto LLP capitalizes on Solar ITC and energy storage SGIP incentives to lower energy costs

The Irvine CPA firm knows a thing or two about investment tax credits. When they saw their electricity bills growing, the accounting firm sprung to action investing in solar and energy storage to offset their energy costs.

Tice Gardner & Fujimoto LLP is committed to providing close personal attention for its clients. The CPA firm offers tax preparation and financial services for individuals and businesses. The firm has a small footprint but due to the nature of work, their electricity usage is comparatively high.

Office buildings are good candidates for solar and energy storage systems (ESS), especially those located in Southern California. The summer months see high spikes in energy usage due to HVAC systems, lighting and extensive computer usage.

On average, the firm uses upwards of 72,000 kWh a year. Rising energy bills and the Solar Investment Tax Credits were motivators for the CPA firm to explore solar and energy storage. “We heard the tax credits were stepping down over the next few years so we thought now was a good time to go solar, plus our bills were not any lower than they had been in the past,” explains Stan Gardner, CPA.

For the LLP, it was better to act right away instead of losing several thousands of dollars in tax credits and continued high energy bills. “This was a relatively small project for our team at Revel Energy,” explains Ken Fournier, Marketing Manager. “Nonetheless no matter if you’re a small installation or several megawatt projects like Hokto Kinoko, ITC credits and energy savings are very valuable for our customers.”

Revel Energy, of Irvine CA, installed 104 (qty) 370W solar panels with a 40.5kWh/28.5kW energy storage system (ESS). The system is estimated to offset 77% of their energy usage. The battery ESS will drastically shave and peak demand charges the firm incurs.

Here’s a look at how the load profile is affected by solar and energy storage.

Other equipment includes (1) SolarEdge Inverter, (52) Power Optimizer and a corrosion-resistant racking system. The racking supports a system capacity of 38.48 kW. All equipment used is code compliant, tier 1, commercial grade equipment. “We used an Energy Consultant and he liked the equipment used [by Revel] for the project,” Stan Gardner CPA.

The Energy Consultant on this project was Scott Gordon a solar energy expert.

The CPA firm’s energy spikes made them a prime candidate for an ESS battery system for “peak shaving.” Energy Storage Systems reduce high demand charges that can make up 50% of an electricity bill. The (general) load profile in Figure 1 is an ideal candidate for ESS peak shaving.

The solar and storage system is expected to produce 55,744 kWh of electricity in the first year. Over the lifespan of the system, the firm is estimated to save upwards of $800,000 in electricity costs.

The total value of incentives (including ITC) equated up to 75% of the total investment for the system (solar and storage). This brought the payback period down to an estimated 3 years. Most commercial solar projects see about a 2-5 year payback period.

Incentives used:

2019 Solar ITC

  • Federal Depreciation
  • State Depreciation
  • SGIP

Commercial solar and energy storage is more affordable than ever. Firms like Tice Gardner & Fujimoto LLP capitalize on the generous incentives and energy cost savings to create a healthy investment that decreases carbon emissions. Consult a Revel Energy commercial solar specialist today for your free energy evaluation.

Revel is on a mission. Dedicated to renewable energy solutions since 2009, Revel Energy was formed to provide Commercial, Industrial and Agricultural businesses with alternative energy beyond solar. Revel stands out from the competition by paying attention to what makes good business sense to each individual client, implementing a wider range of technologies to free up capital and make businesses sustainable and more profitable. CSLB #1038433

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