Special Considerations for Solar on Nontaxable Properties

  • Governments and nonprofits face special challenges in accessing solar energy for their facilities.
  • They cannot access tax incentives like homeowners and businesses.
  • Third-party arrangements often offer the best opportunity for cost-effective installation.
    • The third party, a for-profit company, can access the tax incentives and pass the savings through in a contractual rate structure.
    • Third-party contracts allow the equipment to be installed for no up-front cost, a big savings for taxpayers or nonprofits with lean budgets.
  • Often, these entities also can leverage solar benefits by using their system to educate and inspire children and teens in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).


  • Savings vary with local utility rates.
  • Third-party financing agreements usually offer rates equal to or lower than grid-supplied power.
  • Proposed contracts should be scrutinized carefully, clearly delineating such items as maintenance and rate increases.

 Choosing a solar contractor

  • Installer should be certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) to ensures that the installer is trained and tested in the latest approved installation techniques.
Click here to read about nonprofit solar financing from New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light.

GA Solar maintains a searchable directory of professional installers to help you locate companies that may want to bid on your project :

Browse our Member Database

Two Government Models

  • The City of Atlanta announced its solar program for 28 city buildings in December 2015 using third-party financing. Here is the video of that announcement.

    Solar Atlanta from ATL26 on Vimeo.

  • On May 1, 2017, the Atlanta City Council unanimously passed Resolution No. 17-R-3510, which directed the Mayor’s Office of Resilience to develop a plan for City of Atlanta operations and community-wide to achieve 100 percent clean energy.

    The resolution calls for the electricity that powers Atlanta to come from clean energy sources, highlighting energy efficiency and renewable energy as preferred options to meet the goals established by the resolution. Specifically, the resolution defines clean energy as energy efficiency, wind, solar, existing and low-impact hydroelectric, geothermal, biogas, and wave technology sources.

    Click here to read more
  • Southface, an Atlanta-based nonprofit, published this case study on Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA, which now uses solar energy from a variety of solar installations on its campus.