The Sun is Finally Shining on Nonprofits

BY STEPHEN OWEN & STEVEN LEITNER

The year 2018 is a new dawn, and non-profit organizations in New York City can now save up to 50 percent on their electricity costs with a unique solar developer, CAP Solar.

CAP Solar is expanding its efforts past its pilot to bring a much needed product to non-profit and community facing organizations across New York and the tristate area.

In the first phase of the CAP Solar program, over two megawatts of solar electricity projects were built for 36 nonprofits, saving the participants more than $3.5 million dollars over 15 years.

If you are a non-profit or a community facing organization and you own your own building, CAP Solar will install solar panels on your roof for free and provide you with the solar electricity at a significant discount to your current electricity price from the utility company.

Community Action Program Solar, or CAP Solar, is providing inexpensive renewable solar electricity to childcare centers, healthcare clinics, hospitals, schools, religious facilities, private schools and colleges, and homeless shelters, to name a few.

CAP Solar is able to provide enterprise level benefits for smaller organizations by achieving economies of scale, taking advantage of tax incentives, and engaging high-quality partners and socially motivated investors.

With this model, the overarching goal is to push the price of electricity down as far as possible.

About 1.5 million charitable entities operate in the U.S., per the National Center for Charitable Statistics, which arguably need the benefits of solar more than most, if not all.

However, until now most solar companies have chosen to ignore nonprofits because there has not been a way to deliver them financed solutions. There is a stigma in the investment community that nonprofit organizations are not credit worthy because of the nature of their business.

CAP Solar understands the nonprofit sector, and our relationships unlock the opportunity for nonprofit organizations to realize the benefits of renewable solar electricity.

There is also the U.S. tax code, both the current and former versions, which arbitrarily sends American nonprofit organizations to the back of the solar line, as they cannot monetize the federal tax incentives for solar investments.

Without financing or the ability to use the value of the tax credits and depreciation, your local YMCA and Boys and Girls Club of America roofs have been a no-shine zone for solar projects.

CAP Solar has solved these issues by setting up a social impact investment vehicle which is paid back, in part, by the tax-driven incentives in order to realize a return on capital.

The remainder of the investment is paid back through revenues earned from participant consumption and purchase of solar energy. Furthermore, since part of the return on investment of a social impact investor is to provide social benefit, CAP Solar is able to offer rates to its customers that are between 30 to 50 percent lower than retail electricity pricing.

To get started, either email info@capsolar.org or visit capsolar.org and provide your organization and contact information; addresses of all the properties in your organization, copies of electricity bills for one year for each property, and the property ownership structure.

CAP Solar will do an assessment of your property and electricity billing history that will assist you in understanding the process and savings. There is no cost or obligation for this service.

If your building needs a new roof, CAP Solar works with many vendors and professional service providers, and its partners may be able to replace your roof and install solar panels at the same time.

And it’s not just for nonprofits. If the for-profit business wants to provide benefit to the community in which they work and live, it can also participate.

CAP Solar was born in 2011 from a 50-year-old non-profit organization seeking to increase its mission-based revenue by lowering its energy costs. CAP Solar was created to help non-profit organizations realize the benefits of solar electricity and reprogram their energy cost savings into program funding that furthers the work of their core mission, while dramatically lowering their carbon footprint. For more information, call (888) 815-8020 or visit capsolar.org.

 

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