Solar for Business
The MadiSUN Solar for Business Program was established in 2018 to further the City of Madison’s goals in pursuing 100% renewable energy. MadiSUN aims to educate and encourage Madison businesses to install solar power at their facilities. MadiSUN helps connect prospective businesses to local solar contractors.
RENEW Wisconsin is the City of Madison’s contractor for the MadiSUN Solar for Business program.
MadiSUN Business Grant:
Through an expansion of the MadiSUN solar program funded by the City of Madison, the Solar for Business program will award grants to Madison-based businesses to assist them in installing solar energy systems. Qualifying businesses will receive 150 for every 1 kW of solar energy installed. Grants are capped at a maximum value of 10,000. A total of 25,000 in grants are available. Grants will be distributed through an application and reservation system on a first-come, first-served basis.
Businesses located within the city limits of Madison, Wisconsin are eligible for this incentive.
It is the City of Madison’s goal to advance solar power among all businesses in the City. Thus, as a condition of receiving this incentive funding from the City, the business agrees to help educate and advance solar energy in one or more of the following ways.
Hosting a ribbon-cutting or dedication event to unveil the installation and describe why the business pursued solar power
HOW TO APPLY
Select a solar contractor.
Complete our MadiSUN Solar for Business Grant Application form.
RENEW Wisconsin will process each application on a first-come, first-served basis. Each application will be reviewed within 10 business days and results will be communicated to both the applicant and the solar contractor.
RENEW may contact either the applicant or the solar contractor during the application review process.
Agreements: Your business will need to agree to help the City of Madison promote solar energy through one or more of the following:
- Host a ribbon cutting or dedication event
- Host an education session for other businesses to attend and learn about solar
- Complete a case study and educational materials that can be used to promote solar for businesses
If an application is approved, RENEW will reserve funds for the installation which will be dispersed after the solar electric system has been completed and energized.
Commercial Solar Power Systems
Are you interested in a commercial solar power system for your business? The benefits of going green partially or entirely for your business’ energy needs offer a variety of benefits. Not only do you gain the benefits of renewable, clean, affordable energy, but you will also work with our expert, certified team at West Coast Solar to design, plan, install, and maintain the array. We’ve been serving Sacramento and the Greater East Bay Area for more than a decade, and when it comes to business and commercial solar panel systems, we can help.
A Safe, High-Return Investment
Many California solar panel systems have a return on investment that rivals traditional investments. This is because of the substantial cost savings from switching to solar. The solar equipment we install exceeds traditional investments in that the initial investment is typically paying for itself within ten years, and then the following 15-20 years are at a profit.
What is the estimated return on investment when it comes to a home solar power system? Our team usually starts with your current electricity bill: What if it disappeared? After your initial investment pays for itself, you can see significantly reduced, eliminated, or even credited electric bills. If you look at any moderate to long-term investment, solar power is near the top of the list when it comes to homeownership.
California has been leading the charge in solar technology for decades now. That means there is certainly no shortage of solar companies in California to choose from — but not all solar companies are the same. When you decide to make the switch to solar, you are making a huge investment in your business. That’s why you will want to work with a solar company that will go above and beyond to make sure your entire experience from start to finish is simple, streamlined, and stress-free for you and your business. But how do you choose the best solar company for you when there are so many to choose from? Let us help make the decision easy for you.
Top Rated Local® Commercial Solar Power System Installation in California
When it comes to going green, there’s never been a better time than right now to get hooked on solar power. When it comes down to it, making the switch to solar panels is one of the best things you can do for your Northern California business, for your community, and for the planet at large. Regardless of whether you own a small coffee shop, a spa, a hotel resort, or even a massive department store, virtually any and all businesses can benefit from wholly or partially powering their property with clean, renewable energy derived from the sun.
Here’s a brief rundown of the benefits you can enjoy when you install a commercial solar power system to power your business. We’ll also dig into these benefits in-depth below.
Commercial solar panels for your business can:
Significantly reduce overhead business costs and operating costs
Provide reliable future longevity that you can feel confident about
Create lasting and affordable energy independence
Deliver an excellent Return On Investment (ROI) for short-term and long-term financial benefits and returns
Positively impact your local community and the environment
Here at West Coast Solar, we want to make going solar simple and fun for business owners in Northern California. Our number one goal is to help you unlock your business’ energy potential so you can enjoy all of these benefits and so much more for years to come. If you are ready to free yourself from dependence on traditional energy sources, then it’s time to get hooked on solar energy. Connect with your trusted solar company in California to schedule a free consultation, and keep reading to learn about all of the possibilities of powering your business with clean solar energy.
Why Is Solar Energy For Businesses So Popular in California?
You are probably used to seeing solar panels installed on houses and businesses all throughout Northern California, but have you ever wondered why solar is so popular in The Golden State? It could be due in part to the fact that California’s average annual sunshine rate is equivalent to nearly 3,500 hours of sunshine, averaging nearly nine hours of sunlight daily. Thanks to efficient and cost-effective solar technology, it only makes sense to harvest the sun’s energy to power homes and businesses across the state.
Solar energy is a highly viable alternative energy source that is virtually inexhaustible. To put it simply, as long as the sun keeps shining, the sunlight will continue to provide an unlimited supply of clean, renewable energy to power your business. The best part? Well, there are many “best parts” when it comes to solar, but it is especially beneficial because this energy source won’t harm the environment as other traditional energy resources extracted from fossil fuels do. But what is solar energy, exactly, and how does it work to power your business? Let’s take a look!
What is Solar Energy?
The sun is one big star made up of gases (particularly hydrogen and helium). In short, the sun generates energy in its core through nuclear fusion. A small portion of that energy then radiates out to Earth in the form of light particles called photons, which have an enormous impact on our planet. Think of solar energy as an essential life force resource for all life on Earth. Through ever-developing-and-evolving solar technology, solar panels can effectively capture the sun’s energy and transform it into usable electric and thermal energy to power everything from yard lights to cars to homes to entire neighborhoods and business campuses.
What Is a Commercial Solar Power System?
West Coast Solar designs, manufactures, and installs commercial solar panel systems that allow businesses just like yours to take advantage of all the benefits of solar. Solar technology involves the installation of solar panels, or photovoltaic panels, on and/or around a commercial building or property. This highly effective technology harnesses the sun’s rays and converts them into usable energy to power your business’s electronic systems, including computers, lights, appliances, HVAC, and more. But how does a commercial solar energy system actually work? Let’s explore!
How Do Commercial Solar Panels Work?
Commercial solar power systems have completely transformed the way businesses across all industries use energy. Our custom-designed and installed solar panel arrays are built for maximum efficiency and longevity so that you get the best possible benefit from your commercial solar panels. But how the heck do these complex solar technologies work? Check it out!
Once your custom commercial solar system has been designed and built, West Coast Solar then installs your solar panels according to your previously determined specifications.
The actual solar panels themselves are made from silicon that can effectively conduct and generate electricity. These are installed in areas that get the most amount of sun, which the panels capture and then send to an inverting system that converts and disperses the solar energy accordingly.
Solar technology allows the panels to harness the sun’s energy and then convert it from direct current (DC) energy into alternating current (AC) energy through the solar inverter.
The AC energy is then directed to your business’s electrical panel, be it on your building or on your property, depending on your type of business.
This clean solar energy flows into your building and is then dispersed to power everything from lights to electronic devices.
Any excess or unused energy is then redirected from your business to the electrical grid.
Why Install a Commercial Solar Power System?
Installing a commercial solar panel system to power your business unlocks an incredible amount of potential for you, your employees, and even your local community. As with most other things, California is leading the charge (pun intended) in the push for the nation as a whole to become more reliant on renewable energy sources in the residential, commercial, and even industrial sectors. What’s more, with this bright future ahead of us, there has never been a better time to invest in a solar array for your business than right now. But don’t just take our word for it.
Here are some captivating facts about the growth of solar in California and the United States over the last five years.
California ranks number one for solar installations as of 2019.
With the rise in solar power reliance, have dropped by nearly 40% over the last five years.
Non-residential solar panel installations have remained steady since the national peak in 2017.
Fortune 500 companies and other large retailers in California and nationally, like Walmart, Apple, Amazon, Target, and Agilent Technologies are installing rooftop solar panels at an impressive rate, saving them exceptional amounts of money in operating costs.
In 2019, nearly 20% of California’s electricity came from solar.
California continues making state solar policies a priority by setting long-term goals for renewable energy production, modernizing the electrical grid, and incorporating solar into codes and standards for optimal commercial energy efficiency.
What Are the Benefits of Commercial Solar Energy?
There are a variety of benefits when using commercial solar energy systems for your Northern California business. The main benefit is the reduction in utility bills. Whether you manage multiple businesses in a strip mall, or you own and operate a single business, you can reduce your electricity bill with solar. Many of our commercial customers enjoy bill reduction, and in some cases complete elimination of their utility bills.
The second benefit is the reputation you gain for going green. As a business established in a community, you will be communicating that you care about the community and the planet by going solar. Who doesn’t want a positive image when it comes to the customer-facing side of their business?
The third benefit is the return on investment you will enjoy. Whether you’re a small business or a huge corporation, investing in a commercial solar array will give your years of rewards in the form of government tax incentives, reduced (or non-existent) energy bills, and more. With the cost of investing in solar power systems becoming more and more affordable for business owners, you can enjoy benefits such as quick paybacks and long-term savings that essentially pay for your initial investment.
The fourth benefit of investing in solar for your business is that this is a great first step in your journey to becoming a LEED-certified, 100% green company. LEED, which is short for Leadership in Energy Environmental Design, is “the practice of designing, constructing, and operating buildings to maximize occupant health and productivity,” while using fewer and cleaner resources, cutting down on landfill waste, and making a more positive impact on the environment.
Relying on energy harnessed from the sun is a great segway into becoming a full-blown sustainable and environmentally conscious business that comes with its own perks to benefit your business. Make the change to rely on clean solar energy and start your path to becoming a LEED-certified company.
The final benefit is what’s called a power purchase agreement. As a business producing solar power, you are able to go into agreement with other businesses around you and sell them your excess energy. If you have the space on your property, you can add more commercial solar panels than you need to produce more energy than you may require and sell it to your neighbors.
Why Should a Business Go Solar?
You’ll benefit from going solar in a variety of ways. The team at West Coast Solar wants to facilitate your commercial solar energy system with expert design, plan, and installation. Whether you need a small array to power your small business, or you need a large array to power your corporate building, we can help.
Not only will you enjoy the benefits of solar energy, but you will be taking a step towards bettering the future for yourself, your colleagues, your family, and your community. With carbon emissions rising steadily, a solar power system can help slow the rise or eliminate it entirely. You will enjoy a cost-effective alternative to energy.
Commercial solar power options are a great choice to invest in your business and in the future.
How To Grow Your Solar Business
Akshay VR. 23 Dec 2022
The cost that is involved in the power supply can be draining, especially in countries where electricity is not having a steady supply. This is the reason why solar systems can be helpful in reducing the usage of electricity.
Solar technology/panels have come a long way from the times of the 80s. The usage of electricity can also be utilized for commercial use. The constant requirement for solar energy is the reason behind the increasing profitability of businesses. Here in this article, we have mentioned some of the facts about solar power and panels.
Solar Energy is a feasible business anyone can venture into. It is one of the growing categories in the world due to the constant need for electricity. Both households and businesses are searching for alternatives for the usage of electricity. Renewable energy serves a variety of desirable options, given the benefits and strengths of the system.
If you are planning to initiate a business in solar energy, this article will surely be helpful to give you extensive cues on how to leverage this venture, as well as some digital marketing tips to keep your company running. Nevertheless, it is important to note that venturing into this business is capital-intensive.
How To Start Solar Business In India
Solar Energy is a form of electromagnetic radiation that generally captures energy from sun rays and later converts the sunlight energy into electricity.
There are thousands of service providers that are registered under CEC. Here are some of the tools and factors to consider:
Develop A Company Website
This simple tool makes it easier for clients to discover the overall project. This is the primary task to do as any company tends to use a website to give access to your prospect to know more about your company. The website works 24/7.
The sole purpose of the website is to convert leads into clients. The determination of the conversion on your website is how good your website is.
Create Google Listing For Your Business
Google listing makes it super easy for clients to make the allocation of yours. This includes your physical location and the services that are offered by the company.
Follow these simple steps to create a Google listing:
Approach to Google business for quick registration
On the site, you need to register your firm using an existing Google Account. You can create a new account if not available.
Mention the name of the business. Google may/may not locate your company. Select “Add your business name.”
Type your business name, then follow the instructions to the completion.
Confirm your business and finish off with the listing.
After this, you will have to be patient to get a confirmation from Google to confirm your address.
After the verification/confirmation, it will take a few days for your business profile to be visible.
Start Creating A Blog
After making the registration of your company profile, you will need to set up a blog. Blogging gives me an opportunity to connect with you. It allows you to add value, teach people, lend your opinion, and showcase your expertise.
The building of a blog helps in selling the product without building trust and creating value. You can get this done with some simple tools.
Create an Email List
To continue the conversion, you need to redirect people to your mail. Most people who visit your website are barely interested in buying what you offer to purchase.
This is all because you are yet to build trust with these people.
Repair Solar Energy Equipment
If you have less capital to invest in your business organization, you can get the skill to repair solar equipment and deliver your service to people. The moment when the equipment becomes faulty, this niche requires collaboration or affiliation with both manufacturers and sellers.
Install Solar Products
Another way to dive deeper into the solar business is to learn how to do the installation of solar energy products. Normally, not everyone can install solar panels. The requirement of the professional installer or the service provider is a must to adopt. This niche requires sound electronic and electrical knowledge.
If you are an expert in electrical-related things and have knowledge of connecting wires, likewise other similar electrical skills, this could be the best way to come in. Your task is to partner with those who sell solar energy products to get contacted whenever a client buys the product and wants an installer to install the things in place.
Did You Know? With Solar Labs, you can increase your solar sales conversion by a WHOOPING 300%.
Get A Physical Office Space
For those who intend to start a bigger business, it is important to get a physical office space. Prospective clients can effortlessly make a big difference. While searching for a business property for an office, choose the ideal place that is suitable for your service. importantly, find a place where the people around you can afford your solar equipment.
Solar Marketing Ideas That Generate Leads
Customer Referrals and Testimonials
Solar is a kind of big investment, so asking for a testimonial or rewarding a customer referral is a great way to secure more leads that convert.
Tapping into the existing customer base is a great way to promote your business. One must be aware of the fact that there is a large degree of comfort in knowing that someone else you know is satisfied with a service. A level of satisfaction that is held by family and friends is your best weapon when it comes to acquiring and converting leads.
Promote Any Finance Options
Payment plans help in smoothing the pain of a large upfront solar investment for a home or business owner. Sharing finance options will be helpful in encouraging your lead further down the purchase decision process.
Share The Love for Solar
A passionate solar installer understands the market and shares the belief of the customer, which is more likely to convert the leads. It has to be making sure that the office staff is competent enough to deal with frequently asked solar queries. Share your knowledge of solar and grow your reputation as a solar expert.
Partner With Quoting Sites
At some of the quoting sites like SolarQuotes and 3 Quotes, it has been seen that making the improvisation keeps an eye on cost per conversion. We have detected that location plays a big part in costs. they can be expensive in comparison to other marketing activities that convert in certain locations.
Setting up an automated email campaign is a Smart way for solar dealers to manage their sales funnel works more effectively.
This is helpful for not only keeping the sales team free from things, but it allows them to FOCUS on quality leads. You can then track the interest of the lead by reviewing open rates.
How To Sell Solar Panels Fast?
The technique of selling the solar system is a crucial part for the dealers and partners, and others who want to make the most of the growth rate in the solar industry.
To run a successful business, planning is a must. One has to study the market for potential customers, demand, supply, competition, and many more.
Make the identification of the Right Product.
The supply of a solar panel must be thrice the capacity of the batteries. For instance, if the customer has a 150A battery, it is recommended to have a 500W solar panel so that the battery gets fully charged during the whole day.
Solar is a big investment. Hence, customers are always looking for a reliable and reputed name when they are seeking a reputed company of solar. It is important to get it installed from a trustworthy source. The company must have their own visiting card, ID card, product catalogue, permanent shop, and proof of installation (such as videos/ images) in the nearby/ surrounding area.
Regular Follow Up
The company must have regular follow-ups with the customers. If possible, visit the store after they have received their monthly electricity bill. You can also keep updating them on WhatsApp.
How To Make Money In Solar Business
Making money in the solar business is a matter of the next level; you need to increase the range of your business to attain something. One must reach more and more customers. One should target such customers and markets that are related to your business. For this, you can think about facilitating some of the attractive offers. Here are some of the Solar Business Opportunities and strategies regarding the same:
Solar Manufacturing Business
Solar manufacturing is considered one of the high-level businesses. For the initiation, you will need a good high investment. And it is also important to have a greater amount of profit.
Solar Sales Strategy Business
The solar Sales business is considered a type of high-profit business. They are not concerned with manufacturing but sell by taking solar contracts from the company that are already manufacturing.
Solar Parts Business
Solar businesses are known as profitable businesses, but the amount of profit is less than a solar manufacturing business. If you make solar power sales, then obviously, you are trying to move towards a profitable business. Many companies have become a brand by selling solar parts.
The solar consultant plays a major role in the affiliation. You can start a solar consultant company on the requirements of solar; then you can guide them on what kind of solar they can have. This will strengthen your consultancy company, and there will be a chance for your business to grow faster.
Solar Installation Business
The solar installing business is known as a medium-profit business. One can start this business by taking a contract to install.
Solar Maintenance Business
If you know the workability of solar maintenance or you can hire people who know how to maintain solar. Then you can start a solar business. According to the people, contracts can also be taken.
Solar TAX Credit Expert
One can also choose to become a Solar Tax Credit Export which does tax credits professionally. In this type of business, not only can you become a solar tax credit expert, but you can also work with many types of tax credits.
Every potential entrepreneur generally thinks about profits and business expansion. But to achieve the same, a certain amount of groundwork needs to be performed. By successfully understanding and following up on the above instructions, success can be achieved. Solar is a growing business in India as there is an ever-increasing demand for power.
Republic Of Solar
Insights, Resources and Opportunities.
Key Advantages of Solar Installation For Your Business or Home
Advancements in technology have brought about both positive and negative effects in the world today. While it is true that the misuse and abuse of technology have led to a rise in energy consumption, which is unhealthy for the environment, there are also numerous benefits that could outweigh the damage that has been done, and one of which is through the use of solar panels.
With countries that get to enjoy so much natural sun, solar panels are an excellent way for houses and buildings to get their energy from a natural and renewable energy source. Hence, instead of being over-reliant on coal and other non-renewable sources, solar panels utilize the heat and light from the sun to produce energy. The benefits of having solar panels are so great that many more are seeing the advantages of having these installed.
That said, here are some of the key advantages of solar panels:
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It Reduces Your Electricity Bill
This first advantage is one of the most apparent benefits that you are going to enjoy when you choose to go solar. When you use a natural source such as the sun to power your home or office, you no longer have to subscribe to energy companies from which you are getting your electricity. Hence, you can eliminate or reduce your electricity bill to a significant amount.
But as solar panel installation is also quite expensive, do not expect to gain savings right away. Give yourself time to earn that return on investment by computing your total energy bill savings and comparing it with the cost of installing your solar panels. By the time that the amount of your energy savings have exceeded the cost of the installation, this means that you are already enjoying the hundreds of dollars that you may have otherwise spent on your monthly electricity bill.
It Is Making You Environment-Friendly
When you choose to have solar panels installed in your business and your home, you are allowing yourself to become more environment-friendly. Before deciding to purchase solar panels, you have previously been paying for your energy source, which most likely came from a non-renewable source. In recent years, coal exploration for energy sources has increased dramatically, and when these deplete, there is no way for this resource to be renewed. This means it is now time for you to go off the grid and go solar instead.
With solar installation, the chances of you running out of energy is nearly impossible as the sun won’t run out of heat or sunlight. If you live in a sunny country, then why not utilize all that heat and light for your energy?
It Needs Little To No Maintenance At All
After the installation of your solar panels, you can expect these to last for over thirty years with little to no maintenance at all. After these thirty years, it is the time for you to check if your panels are still collecting as much energy as they should, or if some panels need replacement. With this, it means that you are going to have power the whole year round. With energy from energy companies you used to subscribe to, it is not uncommon for you to experience periodic energy interruptions due to maintenance and problems. Sometimes, this energy interruption can last a whole day and can be very inconvenient, particularly in warmer and more humid countries.
With solar panels, these power interruptions can be avoided altogether.
It Increases The Sustainability Of Energy
Did you know that the energy you are paying for is affected by the economic rules on supply and demand? Power is a commodity, and like gas, it is subject to economic forces and other factors. There is no guarantee for living sustainably, and there is also little to no protection from sudden price increases. In some cases, if you are running a business, even an energy price fluctuation, which would generally be considered as a positive phenomenon, can mean a negative thing in the accounting of the books of businesses. Sudden changes can also mean a less effective and a more confusing end-of-the-month accounting and cost reconciliation process.
Choosing to go for solar power, therefore, strengthens the energy market. As there is less dependency on coal, the market forces surrounding it will also have more stability. When more businesses and homes choose to switch to solar power, you are creating a new market and a new circle of more dependent and more stable energy prices.
It Is Safer Than The Energy Current Today
When more homes and offices switch to solar energy, you are also, in turn, providing for a safer physical environment in your business complex and your residential area. If you aren’t using solar panels yet, you will notice that there are many electrical wires all around your home and your building, as well as the presence of electrical lines in roads, too. You may not be aware of it, but these electrical wiring poses quite a danger to your daily life. There have been many accounts of those who have died due to electrical shocks, especially when there are power circuit problems and the like.
Choosing to convert to solar energy is akin to keeping your business and your home safe. Solar panels are generally a safer alternative as there is less wiring needed. These panels can be installed anywhere, often even in places where humans don’t pass through frequently, like the roof, or in faraway fields.
It Gives You Tax Credits, Rebates, And Other Benefits
Most governments have already provided for a tax credit incentive scheme for companies and houses that choose to go for solar power. These incentives are given to encourage more individuals to switch to a more renewable source of energy. These tax incentives and their corresponding rates can vary depending on where you’re from, so it’s best to double check with your respective local governments.
In general, however, examples of tax incentives that can be given include:
- Investment credit or rebate on the total cost of your social power installation
- Accelerated depreciation on your solar panels, which allows for an increased ability to continue financing your solar panels
- Financial assistance programs to encourage more homeowners to purchase solar panels
With these benefits, it is not difficult to see why solar panels are slowly becoming the mainstream source of energy for most homes. Big and small companies alike and even residential areas are gradually converting to this energy source. Despite the initial installation cost being quite expensive, the benefits, in the long run, outweigh this expense, making solar panels one of the best positive changes and investments that you can do for your business and even for your home.
A true environmentalist by heart ️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no ‘Planet B’ in this whole universe.
What If My Solar Company Goes Out Of Business And I Need Service?
Solar power can provide your home with clean, renewable energy for decades. Since solar equipment lasts so long, you may be wondering, What happens if my solar company goes out of business and I need service?
With stiff competition among an ever-growing number of installers, many solar companies have declared solar bankruptcy or stopped operating. So what happens when your solar company is no longer around? This guide covers the causes of solar company bankruptcy, and what to do if your solar installer goes out of business.
Why do solar companies go out of business?
The solar industry is growing, so you may be wondering why a solar company goes out of business. There are many reasons why, including poor customer service, low-quality equipment, legal action, and fly-by-night solar companies.
Poor Customer Service
Many solar companies are more interested in installing solar equipment on the homes of new customers than they are in supporting the solar equipment of their existing customers. For these companies, ongoing customer service is not a priority.
In some cases, companies lure consumers into buying cheap, substandard solar products with low and ‘too good to be true’ offers. When users experience problems, installers might ignore these claims because they can’t fix the underlying issues, or they aren’t experienced in solar service so they try and fail to find a solution.
A business that cannot provide solutions to customer complaints isn’t going to have a good reputation, and those unhappy customers spread the word about their unfortunate experiences, making it hard for that company to get new business. Eventually, their reputation catches up with them, and the company declares solar bankruptcy.
Cheap solar equipment might bring the initial cost of going solar down, but that low-cost equipment is more likely to develop problems over time. This can result in customers making multiple requests for service, repairs, and replacements, which can strain the company’s resources. If an installer isn’t able to service equipment that fails, they might be forced to go out of business.
False advertising and violating consumer laws can wipe a business out of existence if someone takes legal action. One reason for lawsuits against solar companies is that some companies will mislead consumers into purchasing products that don’t meet their promised specifications.
Consumers have also complained about companies misleading them about the total cost of installing solar power, or overestimating their solar savings. The Federal Trade Commission levies hefty fines on these dishonest businesses, sometimes forcing them to close.
‘Fly-by-Night’ Solar Companies
Government incentives like the solar tax credit and a steady reduction in solar energy system have resulted in a strong demand for solar power. As a result, many fly-by-night solar companies popped up to try and capture some of that demand.
These companies were often experienced in other parts of the construction industry, such as roofing contractors, electricians, general contractors, and investment firms, but they didn’t have the expertise needed to run a solar business.
Since the solar business was new to many, the learning curve was quite steep. Some inexperienced companies had challenges installing and maintaining their systems, while others offered warranties they couldn’t honor.
Eventually, these companies either closed down or moved on to the next ‘hot’ construction market, leaving consumers with no clear options for solar maintenance and support.
History Of Solar Companies Going Out Of Business
Between 2000 and 2016, about 8,700 unique solar companies installed at least one solar energy system in American homes. By the end of 2016, only 2,900 installers were still active, meaning two-thirds of all solar companies had faced solar bankruptcy, or simply vanished.
Most of the companies that closed were smaller solar businesses that only serviced a few homes, but even some solar heavyweights, like the examples below, have struggled to stay in business over the long term. The list of bankrupt solar companies is long, and filled with companies of all shapes and sizes.
2020 was an especially tough year for solar companies, as the COVID-19 pandemic placed restrictions on how companies could do marketing and how they could install solar power systems. Customers were hesitant to have anyone in their home, and this resulted in some big names facing big challenges to stay in business.
Real Goods Solar. As a pioneer in the U.S. solar industry, installing rooftop solar panels as early as 1978, Real Goods Solar raised more than 50 million from investors when it went public in 2008. Unfortunately, they struggled to make the business profitable and tried to pivot to selling Dow’s Powerhouse solar shingles in 2019, before finally declaring solar company bankruptcy in January of 2020.
Sungevity. At one time the fourth-largest U.S. rooftop solar company in terms of market share, Sungevity was founded in 2007, and had raised 70 million in equity from investors by 2014. In 2017, following a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing and private equity acquisition, they created two separate companies, Solar Spectrum and Horizon Solar Power, that were going to operate under the Sungevity umbrella. Unfortunately, that plan didn’t work, and they laid off 400 employees in March of 2020, before ceasing operations entirely in November of 2020.
EnergyONE. From their start in 2013, EnergyONE was once a national brand with several divisions, installing commercial, residential, and rural PV solar energy systems in the midwestern states of Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. As business slowed, they consolidated over a two-year period, before eventually merging with KC Energy Solar in October of 2020 to become EnergyONE Renewables.
NRG Home Solar. NRG is one of America’s largest power providers, and NRG Home Solar was their attempt at entering the solar market, including the acquisition of the portable solar power company Goal Zero. At one point in 2015, NRG Home Solar was the fourth-largest residential solar installer in the country, but that same year, their solar division lost 175 million. In 2016, they tried to restructure, pulling out of California, Connecticut, and North Carolina to FOCUS on Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, but they still couldn’t make the solar business work. Eventually NRG announced that they would shutter their NRG Home Solar installation business, and FOCUS instead on generating solar leads through their retail business to pass along to third parties.
Petersen-Dean. Founded by Jim Petersen in 1984, Petersen-Dean was once one of the nation’s largest independently owned solar and roofing companies, with nearly 3,000 solar and roofing employees in nine states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Texas. COVID-19 hit Petersen-Dean especially hard, and they said their solar leads dropped 87% between March and May of 2020. Facing mounting debts, they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June of 2020.
Empire Solar Group. Founded by Abby Buchmiller and Amanda Roseburg, Empire Solar Group was a female-led solar company that had a dealer-based Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) model operating out of 14 states, and was worth over 150M at its peak. Enormous financial obligations built up, and Suntuity Solar stepped in to collaborate with Empire and help address the financial uncertainty of the company. Suntuity provided millions of dollars in financial support and brought on Rock Creek Advisors to guide a restructuring, but even after extensive cost-cutting measures, Empire was unable to continue its business without significant external funding. In August of 2021, Empire Solar went out of business and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, with former employees bringing a class-action lawsuit against the company’s founders.
Sullivan Solar Power. Founded by Daniel Sullivan in 2004, Sullivan Solar was focused on the San Diego, California area, having installed more than 9,000 solar power systems in San Diego, Orange, and Riverside counties. Perhaps their most well known installation was a 336,520-watt solar power system for the San Diego Padres at Petco Park, the largest solar install of any stadium in Major League Baseball. In November of 2021, Sullivan Solar Power locked its doors and stopped returning phone calls, leaving customers without a clear option for what to do about servicing or installing their solar power systems.
What happens if my solar company goes out of business?
What happens when your solar company goes out of business depends on your installer. Did you work with a large national or regional installer, or a relatively small local contractor? Here is how each situation might affect you:
Large, National-Scale Installers
When a large solar installation company shuts down or goes out of business, another company in the clean energy space usually comes in and acquires the remaining assets, and takes over solar support for their existing customers.
For example, when Sungevity declared solar company bankruptcy in 2017, Sunrun acquired all of the existing solar lease agreements, so Sunrun became the service provider for Sungevity customers, ensuring their continued solar service.
Small, Local Installers
Depending on the size of the company, when a local solar installer goes out of business, sometimes larger clean energy companies will come in and acquire the existing customers. In this case, the acquirer assumes responsibility for all services promised to the customer, and you get a new provider to maintain and service your solar power equipment like your original installer would have.
However, not all small-scale solar companies find a willing buyer, and even if your original company gets purchased, you might not like working with the new company. For this reason, we suggest that solar customers should invest in a Solar Operations and Maintenance (OM) program like Palmetto Protect.
An OM Plan, which you purchase from a third-party solar service provider, offers long-term solar maintenance and support. Think of it like solar insurance that makes sure everything is working correctly, and helps you save when things don’t work like they should.
If your solar company goes out of business, your OM provider will continue to service and repair your solar energy system, just like your original installer would have, so you never have to worry about getting solar support when needed.
If your solar installer goes out of business, you may still have a warranty that covers potential issues with your equipment, but solar warranty work can be tricky to manage, so it’s a lot easier to let the OM provider negotiate with the solar equipment manufacturer on your behalf, as they may be able to save you money, and they can definitely save you a lot of headache.
What happens to my solar lease if the company goes out of business?
If your solar power was acquired through a lease, you may have some protection if your solar company goes out of business. Solar leases typically include a production guarantee, since the lease company owns the equipment, not the homeowner. Thus, if the solar power system isn’t generating power because of a maintenance or service issue, the lease company is incentivised to get that system working properly as soon as possible.
If your original solar lease company goes out of business, it’s almost guaranteed that your lease contract will be acquired by another company that will then become your main provider of service and support, in exchange for your continued lease payments.
When a solar leasing company goes bankrupt, the liquidation process treats your lease contract like an asset. Therefore, other solar companies will look to acquire those assets for a price that make them profit over the long term. The new entity that acquires the old company then assumes the responsibility of maintaining your solar panel system.
What kind of service and maintenance do solar panels need?
Regular service and maintenance is essential to keeping your solar energy system operating correctly, safely, and efficiently. Optimum performance lets you enjoy maximum savings on your energy bills, and a well-mainted system can last for decades.
One of the main service and maintenance requirements for solar panels is to keep them clean. Dust and debris can accumulate on the surface of the solar panels, which can compromise the whole system’s performance. Additionally, water seepage and extreme weather like hail storms and excessive heat can cause system damage or production degradation.
The following is a list of some of the service and maintenance tasks that a solar service specialist might perform:
- Cleaning the panels and ensuring they are free of defects
- Inspecting parts for corrosion and deterioration
- Removing dust and debris from vents
- Confirming all electrical components are functioning properly
- Checking the wiring and switches for defects
- Ensuring that fittings and cables are secure
- Clearing the access to isolator switches
- Reviewing inverter data for any recorded faults
- Ensuring that emergency procedures are visible and legible
Pro Tip: Keep all the paperwork from your original solar installer, since the product warranty might cover some issues, but you’ll need to know who manufactured the equipment, when it was purchased, and other details that your paperwork should contain. In addition, keep in mind that many warranties require you to keep your solar equipment in good working order, so a service plan like Palmetto Protect is an easy way to show that you’ve stayed current with any maintenance and support needs.
Does every solar company offer service?
If you want to install new solar equipment on your home, it’s easy to find multiple installers that are ready to do that work. Unfortunately, locating a company that can diagnose and repair solar equipment is not as easy. Only about 0.1% of all solar companies FOCUS on service, so it can be difficult to know who you can trust to get your solar equipment working properly in a safe and efficient manner.
The shortage of qualified solar maintenance technicians is because many companies don’t want to invest in training people to do service. It’s easier to train people to install new solar equipment, compared to learning the details of a wide range of older equipment types and manufacturers, some of which may have gone out of business since the equipment was first installed.
For a high-performance solar energy system that serves you reliably throughout the year, partner with a full-service provider. Palmetto is proud to be one of the top five solar service companies in the United States, and we’re trained and equipped to deal with any issues that your photovoltaic power system might have.
What if I want to upgrade my solar power system?
The good news is, even if your solar company goes out of business, it’s usually still possible to upgrade your solar equipment or add additional solar panels. This work doesn’t have to be done by the original installer, but it is good to find a company that’s experienced with working on a wide range of solar equipment types, since they’ll know what equipment can be made to work together.
Keep in mind, most solar companies do have a minimum number of panels that can be installed, but they don’t specify a maximum limit. The minimum number helps ensure that the installation makes economic sense, but it might not take into account the future growth of your family and your long-term energy needs. Also, unplanned additions like the purchase of an electric vehicle might mean it’s time to upgrade your solar power system.
As with most solar projects, the cost associated with permitting and labor can be considerable, so you’ll want any upgrade project to be cost-effective. If you’re interested in learning more about your upgrade options, Contact Palmetto today so we can review your home and help create a plan for solar upgrades.
My solar power system isn’t working. What are my options?
There are a few things you can do yourself to fix minor problems with your solar energy system. For instance, you can remove obstructions like tree branches that may be preventing the panels from receiving maximum sunlight. You can also confirm that the inverter LED light is on (usually green) or switch on any circuit breaker switches that may have tripped.
If your solar power system isn’t working and your solar company goes out of business, it’s best to contact a solar service professional for any repairs. Palmetto has committed to providing comprehensive, long-term, and robust energy savings support to any solar homeowner, regardless of who installed your system, so if you need work done, submit a Service Request and we’ll gladly help you get your system back up and running.
An experienced solar service company like Palmetto will perform a comprehensive diagnosis that can help quickly pinpoint any faults in your installation. Once the issue has been diagnosed, experienced technicians will know the right parts for various solar equipment components to ensure that your equipment gets fixed safety, and will continue to provide reliable service for many more years.
Even if your original solar company has gone out of business, you can save on any solar operations, service, support, and maintenance needs with Palmetto Protect. With real time energy monitoring, one-click customer support, comprehensive energy recommendations, and best-in-class service, you can put your mind at ease knowing that your solar power system will always be running at peak efficiency, and that we’ve got your back if something isn’t working right.