One of the reasons business owners give for not investing in solar is that they are waiting for the prices to drop and are looking for a more affordable proposition. In most cases, however, the hesitancy is more due to a lack of knowledge rather than whether or not the project is fiscally possible. In fact, when the proper research is done, most businesses are surprised at how much the solar costs have changed and how quickly it could make a positive impact upon their business.
The costs of solar modules have dropped 82% since 2011. This has offered cost saving options to businesses that have truly helped add to the bottom line. Wood Mackenzie predicts global electricity growth will rise from 10% to 30% solar production within 20 years. More importantly, costs are expected to drop an additional 15-25% within the next decade. This will dramatically accelerate growth for businesses wanting to save on their energy costs and help drive profitability.
Another excuse businesses have for not investigating solar is they want to work with American made panels. There are solar manufacturers in the US now making excellent, highly-rated panels and production keeps ramping up. SunPower makes some of the world’s most efficient panels. In the US, SunPower purchased the manufacturing plant from the now bankrupt Solar World. Since 2018, SunPower has been producing the highly efficient X-19 panels at the Oregon facility. Full scale production began in 2019 and is now making 220 megawatts of panels annually. Full disclosure, Smart Roofs Energy uses SunPower panels.
Businesses have also used the excuse of a new roof to put off a solar solution. In fact, this is an opportune time to look into solar. Most roofs and panels offer a 25 year warranty and pairing up the solutions makes it easier for maintenance as the roof and panels age. Also, for a flat,membrane roof, there isn’t a need for any physical penetration as the panels are installed using a ballast-based solution. This helps ensure the integrity of the roof and doesn’t compromise the roof warranty. In many cases, the roof is further protected from the elements because of the solar array.
There are potential customers who are waiting for the next solution to hit the market...the next breakthrough. “I’m waiting for the panels to be more efficient and then I’ll buy in.” This isn’t the logical path and the customer should be shown not just how much more efficient solar is now but also, what continuing to pay top dollar for electricity is costing them. Solar is not a turnkey solution. It takes time. There needs to be an initial assessment and then discuss how the financing will affect them. Is it better to lease or buy the panels? If they decide to purchase, would it be better to pay in cash or to finance? Perhaps a combination of both. In addition to financing, there are physical inspections, scheduling and related processes to address to ensure the project goes as smoothly as possible. Sometimes this can take just a few months until install day but the steps may take the better part of a year. There are many variables to address and they have to be done correctly. The point is, during all this time, that pesky electric bill continues to be due at the end of each month with rates steadily growing. So the savings they would hope for regarding waiting on more efficient panels is being lost in higher electric bills as they continue to postpone a solar project.
Cost is rarely the reason companies don’t look into solar. It is the responsibility of the salesperson to identify the actual hesitation on behalf of the client and to match it with the proper information.