A solar system is expensive because of the total upfront costs for the system. When goverments create incentives in the form of tax credits or rebates, this helps reduce the overall systems costs. The other way to reduce the cost, is to use a third party ownership model. A PPA (power purchase agreement) or a Lease are used frequently. These allow the end user to receive the benefits of solar, without the ownership costs and maintenance.
Solar costs are continuing to fall and astronomical rates each year. In 2019, solar for residential is being installed around $2/watt. For commercial and utility scale it is close to $1/watt.
Costs will be reduced when we can automate more processes and we can find ways to reduce soft costs (costs like permitting and dealing with administrative paperwork).
Countries like Germany have reduced installation costs that they attribute to reduced soft costs
Storage is going to have a breakaway year in 2019. Tesla to LG to Panasonic and others are reducing their costs making storage more affordable. We also see solar + storage projects happening all over the globe.
Utilities are embracing storage today, as they recognize this is the future.
For folks that work with solar + storage behind the meter, this might even be a bigger opportunity. Storage will become the demand side management tool of the future. Think of it like AirBnB. Storage in a home will be a resource that is bought and sold on the grid and also be a source to stabilize the grid.
Solar companies are looking for growth. Sometimes at any cost. This is good for consumers, as it continually drives down the cost for everyone. On the other side, it puts private solar companies at a disadvantage, as they can't lose money on every project to compete with these companies.
In the future , we hope to see some stability in the marketplace.
China is taking a lead on manufacturing, engineering and deploying gigawatts of solar for their own country. They are also providing these products and services globally.
So, I see the growth to continue. In the USA, there is much debate as to what will happen with the Federal ITC (tax credit) when it fades into the sunset.
One approach would be to see local state governments increase their incentive programs to make up for the shortfalls.
Another way to alleviate the upfront CapEx costs is to have financing programs that understand the nuances of the industry and feel confident in the asset class and finance them.
Everyone needs help. No man or woman is an island. When I got started, I had a mentor or two.
They say it is lonely at the top. This is accurate. You don't want to share your thoughts/concerns with your competitor. Maybe you can share things with your spouse.
But if you want to go far and go faster in your goals, finding and hiring a mentor is a good strategy. Why make the same mistakes over and over again. Get help today.
Some have looked at this as an expense. Some as an investment.
How you look at working with me can alter your perceptions greatly.
Since we are in solar, it is often presented as the ROI (return on investment). Often we say this is in X amount of years. If it is a PPA, we talk about it much the same way. A reduced cost per kilowatt hour that is X % less than what you're currently paying.
Mentoring can pay itself back in a few months (for some its been weeks). And it is the gift that keeps on giving. You learn, grow and get a new view of the world and your business.
It allowed me to exit the business and have more freedom.
That's what I want for you.
For most companies, hiring is not their strongest talent. We often hire for a skill, but neglect other things that comprise of the whole person. Their attitude, emotions, disposition, team working, etc.
Sometimes hiring is more art than skill. But we need to learn the art to build on the skill.
Most ads are not very enticing. They list the skills they're looking for. They list the requirements. It is bland and generic.
What ads miss is the human element and what is interesting to the applicant.
If you want to find the right people, you have to speak to their heart and emotions. This builds a relationship and a bond. Hiring for a checkoff list of skills will get you someone who could be more transactional.
Which one do you want?
Like all businesses, we need to first start off with the premise that you know your costs. Then we look at the sale price of your products/services.
This is in effect the gross margin of your offering.
Quite simply, you need to look at the gross margin (gross profit) and see if the difference between the 2 numbers is enough each day/week/month to cover your overhead and have some left over for you.
How you can make money is to reduce your costs and keep your price the same, which will increase your gross profit and provide you with more retained earnings.
Marketing isn't done often in solar. Many small businesses struggle with knowing who their clients are and what they really want.
We think they are buying solar, but they are really buying something else. They are buying a reduced electric bill. Green power. Saving money for future generations who will own the home, etc.
Marketing to your prospective audience is all about creating campaigns. Be the company people think about before they need your products and services.
All businesses when they start in the "garage" start with an idea. They then serve the market well and get rewarded with more work.
This leads to hiring their first employee. And second, third, etc.
What is often missing is having crystal clear processes and systems in place to direct the people that have been hired. This leaves the owner at the center of every decision.
It's why its essential to get the things in your mind, out and on paper or making them electronic for people to follow.
This is the first step for someone to go from owning an expensive job to being an entrepreneur.
Back on the main page, are our lists of products and services.
If budget is a challenge, go buy the book first.
Then take an online course.
Then when you are ready (or if you are already), then sign up for some one on one mentoring.
Like you, I want to see your business grow and solar grow around the world.
Let me help you do that fast.