BUYER MOTIVATIONS ARE SHIFTING IN THE SOLAR INDUSTRY

The entire goal of the energy industry has always been to provide safe and reliable energy at a low cost, and the fact that we do have electricity as reliably as we do is nothing short of a miracle of engineering. However, surging costs and aging infrastructure has led some people to worry about the stability of their power supply going forward. Rising electricity rates, an increasingly volatile climate from excessive carbon emissions, and an increase in power outages has many people concerned about their power for the future, and this has led to a shift in buyer motivation for those who switch to solar.

We were proud to discuss this trend with our friends over at Scoop Solar, a developer of solar management software. While the majority of those who initially made the switch to solar because of the financial benefits (and many still do), today there’s a new type of buyer who is becoming increasingly common in the solar market: those looking for security and reliability. These emotionally-motivated buyers are looking for ways to protect themselves and their families and ensure that they have as much control as possible over everything from the reliability of their power to the cost that they pay for it as well.

THE RISE OF SOLAR

Why has solar become so popular? The industry has been blessed by a metaphorical “perfect storm” of circumstances. In addition to rapidly plummeting costs of hardware, the industry has also been blessed with new financing options which have made more investment capital available for those who want to make the switch. Falling interest rates have lowered costs, reduced payoff periods, and decreased the payoff period. Home and business owners, particularly those in states like California where energy costs only continue to climb dramatically, are seeing a positive return on their investment in an increasingly short amount of time.

All of this made solar a more affordable and lucrative investment for the future, and California even went so far as to pass a law requiring all newly constructed homes in the future to be outfitted with solar panels. As decades pass and more and more homes are constructed in the state, the strain on our public power grids should alleviate, and not a moment too soon as power infrastructure continues to be threatened by natural forces and the passage of time.

AN EMOTIONAL APPEAL FOR SECURITY

This is where a new type of solar buyer is becoming prominent. With power becoming more and more inconsistent, people are seeking a better way of guaranteeing a consistent supply of power. On the heels of one of the worst wildfire seasons in recorded history, PG&E, one of the largest utility providers in the state, began implementing a policy of Public Safety Power Shut-offs where the utility provider would begin turn off power during times factors like wind and heat make wildfire danger at its highest. For homeowners who depend on power for their comfort and health and business owners who need their energy to operate, going without power for days at a time because of the weather simply isn’t an option.

And to make things even more complicated, the way we buy power from the public grid is changing as well. Time of use rates (or TOU rates) are becoming mandatory throughout the state—a change that has increased distrust in public utility companies. Rates were already confusing as it is, but shifting of peak power rates to later in the day along with complications in price structure indicates that home owners may soon see a huge spike in power costs, all because they’re going to pay the most for their power during the times when they actually need it the most. It’s no wonder the average home or business owner is wondering if their power will even be affordable in as little as 10 to 15 years’ time.

All of this means a lot of stress on homeowners in the Golden State, and that’s why many people have made the emotionally-fueled decision to go to solar. Whether it’s installing a battery backup system to have emergency power at the ready in the event of a blackout, or a solar energy system to provide more power during California’s many long hours of energy-filled sunlight, more and more people are choosing to move to renewable solar energy for better security in the future. Security for their power supply, security against rising costs, and even security for the environment, as solar helps reduce dependence on environmentally-harming fossil fuels.

Want to learn more about switching to solar? Call HES Solar at (619) 350-0032 today to request a consultation with one of our installation experts.

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NET ENERGY METERING 3.0 INFORMATION

Net Energy Metering 3.0 (NEM 3.0) is the incoming law created by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The new tariffs and fees will impact both residential and commercial solar systems built in California. 

As this notice is posted in November of 2022, the Proposed Decision from the CPUC outlining the proposed NEM 3.0 terms is expected soon. This comes after a year’s delay. Once the new agreement is finalized and passed into law, there will exist a designation of the deadline under which new systems will continue to qualify for NEM 2.0 rates. 

The new NEM 3.0 rates will be designed to lower the value of electricity during the daytime hours, when solar is producing, and increase the value of electricity during the evening hours, when solar homes and businesses purchase electricity. In short, NEM 3.0 will create a “sell low, buy high” proposition to new solar system owners. 

To Californians looking to install a solar system on their home or commercial building, the NEM 2.0 rates will be preferred. As of this post, the solar industry does not know the details of how different the NEM 3.0 rates will be from the NEM 2.0 rates. 

Please use the HES Solar website as a resource to learn more, and please take our offer to speak with an HES Solar Energy Consultant at no obligation.

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Robert Laverty

Senior Energy Consultant, Residential

Robert Laverty joined the HES team in the summer of 2018, bringing his ten years of solar design experience and his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound with him. Robert is dedicated to finding solutions to help families produce and store electricity in order to reduce their reliance on grid power as well as help reduce their household’s carbon footprint. Robert’s experience as a newspaper editor as well as his involvement with the sustainability-focused Rocky Mountain Institute drives him to constantly seek out innovative ways to meet energy needs through renewable resources as well as helps him share those ideas with Southern California homeowners. When not at work or volunteering time with his church or community, Robert spends time with his wife and two sons or pursues his passion of fly fishing.
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