March 29, 2016
We are all familiar with excuses. “I slept terribly last night- I’ll skip the gym today;” “I’ll be more productive if I do this project later;” “It’s too complicated.” Often these excuses make all kinds of sense in our heads, but prevent us from thinking logically about the situation at hand. Making the decision to go solar is no different- it can seem expensive and confusing, and our brains can cook up never-ending excuses to allow us to stick to the status quo. Today, we debunk some of the most common excuses for not going solar.
“We don’t have the money now”
Money talks in business decisions. Financing is perhaps the most common excuse given in the solar industry, and we understand why – a solar array is a major investment for a business, and can require significant capital outlay. The good news is that there are multiple financial solutions available to solar customers that fit the financial requirements of almost any company. Plenty of these solutions, such as a solar operating lease, capital lease, or Power Purchase Agreement require little to no upfront costs, while still providing significant energy savings and environmental benefits. The return on investment is generally greater for those who are ready and able to make the capital investment and own a system outright. Typically solar owners see a 2-3 year return on their investment with current rates and incentives. That leaves over 15 years of operational savings and revenue generation post payback period!
Visit our Solar Financing page to learn more about which financial solution works best for your organization.
“My roof is too old and needs to be repaired or replaced.”
If there is one thing you do not want to take a chance with, it is an old roof. Your roof’s integrity is obviously very important and we wouldn’t typically recommend installing solar on a roof over 10 years old. However, if you are considering repairing your roof in the next 10 years, now is an ideal time to consider solar. Solar systems can help recoup or offset some of your roof repair costs, and in some cases the cost can even be incorporated into a solar financing solution. In the long run, if a roof in need of repair is preventing you from going solar, rolling the repair into the installation process might be the most cost effective way to kill two birds with one stone; replace your roof and make the switch to clean, affordable solar energy.
“We live in New England; won’t winter be a big issue for solar production?”
Solect is a Massachusetts-based company, and we understand what comes with a New England winter. While snowfall will affect production while blocking the sun from hitting the panels, it is not a death knoll for return on investment. Snow on panels can actually melt more quickly than snow on a non-solar roof, and solar array owners can rest comfortably knowing their roof has been the subject of a thorough inspection prior to installation, accounting for the weight of the panels and any snow expected to fall. Also, colder temperatures actually increase the production rates of a solar PV system, provided the panels maintain their exposure to the sun. An experienced solar developer in the Northeast should account for snowfall and lower production rates when developing your proposal. This will give you more accurate return on investment figures to help you make your decision. For more details regarding solar in winter, check out our recent blog post on the subject.
“Solar is just a short term trend and will go away.”
Nearly 784,000 U.S. homes and businesses have now gone solar and in 2015 a new solar project was installed every 2 minutes in the United States. Looking ahead to 2016, it’s estimated that roughly 20,000 MW of solar capacity is expected to come online over the next two years, doubling the country’s existing solar capacity. And in Massachusetts alone, solar installations have grown 200 times since 2006.
The success of solar in the state and the country suggests only an upward trajectory for solar growth. Every day, more people discover the real impact solar can have on their bottom line, and they choose to take advantage of current solar incentives to help them adopt a clean energy source. With a lifetime of 20+ years, solar arrays are hardly a short-term fad.
“My tenants already pay their own utilities – why should I care about lowering energy costs I don’t even pay?”
While you may not pay for your tenants’ utilities, electricity use in common spaces can add up quickly. Often, landlords choose to install a system that’s sized to meet the energy demand used in common areas of the building and can eliminate that monthly spend all-together.
If you’re not responsible for powering your common areas and you don’t need the energy produced, consider taking part in a site lease. With a site lease you simply lease out your roof space to a third party and they build, own and operate a solar array on your roof. The benefit to you? You’ll get a monthly lease payment turning an otherwise unused resource into a revenue-generating asset. Such an agreement brings you additional income without any further operating or maintenance responsibilities to take on.
An experienced solar developer can walk you through the benefits of going solar, and help answer any questions you have about the process.