The fact is, a lot of people out there could benefit greatly from solar power. Government incentives are at an all time high, solar panels are becoming cheaper and better, and solar installation professionals abound. So why isn’t demand as high as it should be?
Simple: Government incentives vary a great deal from state to state, and many potential customers don’t fully understand how they work. Some don’t know which panels are best for them. And who knows how to find a reliable solar installer? Some might install a great system, but others might build you a $40,000 piece of junk!
So while numerous startups are working on improving PV technology itself, companies like Global Solar Center are trying to make the purchasing process more user-friendly.
GSC (as well as competitors RoofRay and Sungevity) offers a very simple website in which you enter your address. This takes you to a satellite image of your house (either taken straight from Google Maps, or a similar service), and after filling out some basic information about where you’d want the panels to be, how slanted your roof is, and how much you currently pay for electricity, you get a rough price quote.
That’s nice, but not as valuable as the other services GSC offers. There is a section which gives short, to-the-point summaries of all financial incentives available in the state you live in (I didn’t find similar information on the competitors’ sites), which is extremely important. These incentives can cut the cost of an installation by half or more, but it’s hard to get a straight answer about them from some installers. Many people who would not even consider a $40,000 project might see a $20,000 project as very feasible.
GSC is also working to make sure you get set up with a qualified installer. They are doing their research by going into cities, finding out which installers are the best, and signing partnerships with those dealers. Effectively, they are building a strong reputation for their brand which people can trust and rely upon – just like in any other industry.
Via Greentech Media
written by cufflinks, July 24, 2009
written by Fred, July 24, 2009
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