Hey, Orange County business owners! If you’ve been considering making the switch to solar energy, you’ve probably asked yourself, “What size solar system do I need for my business?” 

You’re not alone.

Many businesses in our community have successfully transitioned to solar power, reducing their energy costs and demonstrating their commitment to sustainability.

At REPOWER Orange, we bring our extensive expertise to the table, specializing in helping businesses like yours find the perfect solar solution. Let’s delve into the key factors that will assist you in determining the right solar system size for your commercial rooftop. Here’s a guide to help you navigate this process.

What Are Your Energy Needs?

Understanding your business’s energy usage is the first step in determining the size of your solar system. Take a look at your electricity bills from the past year to get a clear picture of your average monthly and annual energy consumption.

This data will provide a foundation for how much energy your solar system needs to generate.

Let’s try an example.

Imagine you run a small retail store in Irvine. Over the past year, your electricity bills show you use about 8,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) monthly. This means your total annual energy consumption is 96,000 kWh (8,000 kWh x 12 months). To cover this energy usage, you would need a solar system that generates around 8,000 kWh per month.

Knowing this helps us design a system tailored to meet your specific energy needs, ensuring you have enough power to run your business efficiently.

Evaluating Your Rooftop Space for Solar Panels

The size and layout of your rooftop are crucial in determining the appropriate solar system size. Commercial rooftops vary in shape and size, and making the most of the available space is essential for efficient energy production.

An optimal roof for solar panels typically has the following characteristics:

  • Large, Unshaded Area: The roof should have a large, unobstructed area that receives ample sunlight throughout the day. For instance, a flat or gently sloped roof without nearby trees, buildings, or other structures casting shadows is ideal.
  • South-Facing Orientation: In the Northern Hemisphere, south-facing roofs receive the most sunlight, making them perfect for solar panels. If a south-facing orientation isn’t possible, east or west-facing roofs can also work effectively.
  • Sturdy Structure: The roof should be in good condition and capable of supporting the weight of the solar panels and mounting equipment. This ensures the longevity and safety of the installation.
  • Minimal Roof Penetrations: A roof with few penetrations, such as vents, chimneys, or skylights, allows for a more straightforward and efficient solar panel layout, maximizing the usable area.

At REPOWER Orange, we conduct a detailed assessment of your rooftop to design a system that fits perfectly and operates effectively.

Considering Future Growth

As your business expands, so might your energy needs. Whether you’re planning to increase your operations or introduce new equipment, it’s crucial to factor in future energy requirements when considering a solar system.


  • Facility Expansion: Adding new production lines or expanding office space will increase energy consumption. Planning for this now ensures your solar system can handle future demands.
  • New Equipment: Upgrading to more powerful systems (e.g., servers) increases electricity use. A larger solar system installed today can accommodate future equipment upgrades.
  • Workforce Growth: More employees mean more energy for lighting, heating/cooling, and office equipment. A scalable solar system can grow with your business.
  • Electric Vehicle (EV) Integration: Incorporating EVs into your fleet will raise electricity needs. Planning for EV charging stations now can save future costs and ensure sustainability.

By planning ahead, you can ensure that your solar system will meet your current demands and continue to do so for years to come. This long-term perspective is critical to maximizing the benefits of your investment, providing you with a reliable and sustainable energy source.

Calculating Solar System Efficiency

The efficiency of the panels you choose will impact the overall size of the system required. In simple terms, a solar panel’s efficiency refers to how much sunlight it can convert into usable energy.

Panels with higher efficiency can generate more power in the same amount of sunlight, so you might need fewer panels to meet your energy needs.

High-efficiency panels produce more power per square foot, making them a great option if your rooftop space is limited.

Consulting with Orange County Solar Experts

Determining the right solar system size can be complex, but you don’t have to navigate it alone. At REPOWER Orange, our team of experts with years of experience in the industry is here to assist you. We’ve helped numerous businesses in Orange County make the switch to solar power, and we’re ready to help you, too.

We consider your energy needs, rooftop space, future growth, and panel efficiency to create a customized solar solution for your business. In short, solar installers like us can make things a whole lot easier for you.

Is Solar Worth It for Business Owners?

Investing in solar power is more than just a commitment to sustainability. It’s a smart financial move. It can significantly reduce energy bills and show commitment to sustainability—an increasingly important value to customers and clients. In California, various incentives and rebates make the financial benefits of going solar even more appealing.

In sunny Orange County, solar panels can greatly lower your operating costs and provide a reliable source of clean energy.

How Many Solar Panels Does It Take to Power a Business?

The number of solar panels needed for a business depends on several factors:

  • Energy Consumption: Look at your average monthly and yearly energy usage from your electricity bills.
  • Rooftop Space: Check out how much space you have on your rooftop for solar panels.
  • Panel Efficiency: Think about the efficiency of the panels you choose; more efficient panels generate more power in less space.
  • Sunlight Exposure: Consider how much sunlight your location gets, as this affects energy production.
  • Future Energy Needs: Plan for growth—will your energy needs increase as your business expands?
  • Local Incentives and Rebates: Don’t forget about local incentives or rebates that can make your solar investment even more attractive.

At REPOWER Orange, we tailor each solar system to meet the specific energy demands of your business, maximizing efficiency and savings.

Now that you know how many panels you might need, you’re probably wondering about the financial side of things. Specifically, can you write off solar panels for your business?

Can I Write Off Solar Panels for My Business?

Absolutely! Investing in solar panels for your business can come with significant financial benefits, including tax write-offs. Here’s how you can take advantage of these incentives:

  • Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC): This credit allows you to deduct 26% of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes. For example, if your solar system costs $100,000, you could deduct $26,000 from your taxes.
  • Accelerated Depreciation (MACRS): The Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) allows businesses to depreciate the cost of their solar panels over five years, reducing taxable income more quickly. Additionally, bonus depreciation under the current law allows for 100% depreciation in the first year​.
  • State and Local Incentives: Depending on where your business is located, you might qualify for additional state and local incentives. In California, for instance, various rebates and grants are available to further reduce the cost of your solar investment.
  • Utility Rebates: Some utility companies offer rebates to businesses that install solar panels. These rebates can help offset the initial cost and improve your return on investment.

Taking advantage of these tax benefits and incentives can make your solar investment even more cost-effective. At REPOWER Orange, we’re here to help you understand and navigate these options to maximize your savings. Going solar not only helps the environment but also boosts your bottom line!

What Size Solar System Do I Need? Final Thoughts

Determining the right size for your solar system involves several key factors: understanding your energy needs, evaluating your rooftop space, considering future growth, and choosing efficient solar panels. By carefully assessing these aspects, you can ensure that your solar investment will meet your current and future energy demands, maximizing both savings and sustainability. At REPOWER Orange, we’re dedicated to helping Orange County businesses navigate this process.

Why Choose REPOWER Orange?

At REPOWER Orange, our mission is to help customers enjoy the benefits of affordable, clean, and attractive solar power from a local provider they can trust. We install solar systems throughout Orange County and neighboring areas.

Ready to take your business to the next level with solar power? Contact REPOWER Orange today! Our team of local experts will guide you through the entire process, from the initial assessment of your energy needs and rooftop space to the installation of your customized solar system. We understand that your business operations are important, so we’ll work with you to schedule the installation at a time that’s least disruptive to your operations.

Join your fellow Orange County businesses in making a smart, sustainable choice.