If you’re thinking of “going solar” you’re probably spending a lot of time online researching and getting referrals from friends or family. Then it’s sitting down to review quotes, matching hardware and labor costs, filling out forms and emailing utility bills. All this effort to find the absolute lowest cost possible. We’re used to thinking of the idea of “going solar” as a one-time expense. A once and done transaction to reduce our electric bill. While cost comparing is necessary, treating the process of going solar by shopping solely on price can be a big and very costly mistake.
The first steps
Let's face it, the cost of adding solar isn't cheap, and that’s why you want to price shop in the first place. Even though the price for hardware has dropped significantly, a modern day system can still cost tens of thousands of dollars. Thinking of a battery back up? Another ten thousand or more. Then there's the roof to consider. What if it isn't in the best of shape? Do I replace it now, or wait? What if it’s good condition but needs replacing in a few years? For anyone thinking about going solar, these first steps can be the mental breaking point. Spending that much money as a one-time expense is weighed against all of your other pressing needs. In the end, even though the utility savings may look compelling, for a lot of people this is where the idea of “going solar” stops.
But the hidden costs for solar aren’t in that initial expense. To reveal them, we need to first talk about energy efficiency as a strategy.
Newly constructed homes also come with the latest in energy efficient products. That’s obvious. But stop to think about it for a minute. When a new home is designed, every component in the home is designed around the strategy to maximize overall energy efficiency. Why? Because it will result in the lowest overall electrical use (and the smallest bill). Using less electricity also means needing a smaller solar system to power it. The more energy efficient the home is overall, the smaller the solar system needed to power it. Energy efficiency is a strategy, and one that is designed to produce maximum savings.
This is exactly where the traditional solar model falls short and the hidden expenses begin to reveal themselves. Your home isn’t new. Your systems are aging or may even be obsolete. New technology, including solar panels are continuously introduced into the market. Even products that are relatively new, or things like your roof may still require replacement in a few years.
The traditional solar process doesn’t take any of this into consideration. Systems are designed to be as large as possible to offset historical demand. There’s no solution for improving energy efficiency and no help to fund the upgrades. Without those things, treating solar as a transaction ultimately costs significantly more over the long term.
A better way.
At Reef Energy Group, we believe going solar is a part of an overall strategy. So we start by identifying the age of each of the critical energy systems that the new solar installation will support. We create a timeline to plan for upgrades. We call this our Home Energy Improvement Plan. By creating an overall plan, we are able to size the solar installation based on an overall strategy to maximize energy efficiency and savings.
To fund potential upgrades, we teamed up with Safeguard Loyalty to offer our customer loyalty program that earns cash back rewards. Our program significantly reduces the cost of your purchase over time by earning equity for each year of ownership. This equity can be utilized at any point to fund energy efficiency upgrades, or even saved up and redeemed for up to 100% of the total purchase cost.
Combining our Home Energy Improvement Plan with our customer loyalty program completely changes the traditional solar model from a transaction to an investment. Equity can be leveraged for upgrades such as battery storage, EV’s or roof replacements. Or it can be saved up and the entire amount paid back to you in cash, completely erasing the cost.
Don’t make the costly hidden mistake of treating solar as a one-time expense. Contact us today and let us customize a Home Energy Improvement Plan for you.