Construction Today - January/February 2013 - (Page 14)
THE TENANT ON THE ROOF
A new solar procurement program allows owners to lease their unused rooftops. BY BRIAN VON MOOS
he volatility of today’s real estate market has many commercial
property owners searching for new revenue streams. While
improvements and renovations can increase the overall value of
a property, the upfront costs of labor and materials as well as the
potential revenue that could be lost if tenants are forced to vacate during
construction are often too large of a financial risk for most owners.
However, commercial property owners have a new opportunity to
increase the value of their properties without disrupting the income
generated by their tenants.
A new type of solar energy procurement program allows property
owners to lease their unused rooftops, and generate a guaranteed revenue stream that not only provides cash but increases the property’s
resale value. In many ways, it’s very similar to the process that was used
to lease roof space for cell phone towers.
CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2013
Net Energy Metering (NEM) projects are the
most common type of solar power installation. NEM is a billing mechanism that allows
retail energy customers to receive credits on
their energy bill for the energy they produce
from a solar energy system, while they continue to pull energy from the grid to fill their
electrical consumption needs. The utility debits and credits the customer’s account on a
rolling basis as energy is put in and pulled
from the grid, and settles up a final bill at the
end of the year.
The advantage with NEM for businesses is
that solar happens to be most efficient and
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Construction Today - January/February 2013