The Planet Takes a Breather… Time to Start Solar Planning

Solar Planning by Laura Combs

While the world is pausing to wait out Covid-19, those of us not on the front lines have time to think a bit more deeply about our next steps. And it seems that the Earth is getting a bit of a breather too. Interestingly, here is the European Space Agency’s video compilation showing the changing air pollution levels in China this year:

Nitrogen Dioxide Emissions December 20, 2019 - March 16, 2020.

While many people are working from home and thinking about how to improve or retool their businesses,  churches, schools or non-profits, this is a good time to take a look at solar and how it can save you money, increase resilience, and reduce your carbon footprint to help decrease the impact as seen in the Space Agency’s video.

Churches, Non-Profits and Schools

North Carolina adopted a law (HB 589) in 2017 that created a solar rebate and clarified the rules around third-party leasing. The rebate can be up to $75,000 depending on the system size and can be applied to a solar lease or a purchase. Duke Energy customers such as churches, nonprofits, and other tax-exempt entities like schools and municipalities, can take advantage the rebates until 2023.

Choosing whether to lease or purchase a solar system is guided by the individual analysis of each organization’s financial goals. Leasing, when coupled with the Rebate, is generally the preferred financial option for tax-exempt organizations because it does not require significant additional resources outside of the operational budget. Organizations love the hassle-free leasing option because Eagle Solar is responsible for the operations and maintenance during the lease term!


Companies can take advantage of the Rebate, but the program is first come, first served and the designated rebate amount is claimed within hours of being made available in January of each year due to intense corporate demand. Fortunately, businesses often choose to go green without the Rebate as the financials of solar still compare favorably!

There are several reasons for this, and a critical piece of those factors are the tax incentives for businesses. The federal government created an incentive to make solar purchasing easier via the federal Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, as well as accelerated depreciation of the asset. These tax incentives can equal up to 50% of the cost of solar installation. Organizations that are considering solar purchases should act in 2020, when the ITC enables them to deduct 26 percent of the cost of installing solar systems. This incentive will be reduced to 22 percent in 2021 and then permanently set at 10 percent in 2022.

If a business does not have the tax liability to fully monetize these tax benefits, a lease, as described above, can be a great option. The business can lease a system from Eagle Solar and immediately get both the financial and environmental benefits of solar without paying the full cost of the system.

Leasing or Purchasing Solar – Which is the right choice?

Eagle Solar performs an in-depth analysis of your organization’s energy use, building orientation and surroundings, and available incentives to help determine whether leasing or purchasing a solar system is most cost effective. We provide that analysis to you, along with our recommendation. {We view our role as solar facilitators- not sellers- as we want to be a trusted advisor.}- So you can expect us to tell you when the system does and does not make financial sense.

When you are ready to see if solar is a fit, please give me a call at (919)275-2245 or email at

Wishing you all strong health during these difficult times.


Laura Combs



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