Solar installations keep getting more and more affordable! According to a report from Ernst and Young, the price of solar panels could fall to as low as $1 by 2013. This is $0.50 less than the current cost, which means solar energy could be half as expensive in just two years!
In addition to drops in prices, you can also greatly reduce the amount of time you spend researching solar installers, panels, etc. A new business has formed: solar energy brokering! It was only a matter of time before the need for these middle men was recognized. Unfortunately, this broker process is not available yet in Illinois.
“A solar broker makes the whole process easier, operating like independent insurance agents who educate customers about coverages and help them to identify their particular needs. Solar brokers can also assist with obtaining rebates and incentives. The solar broker acting as an independent agent is an alternative to a direct-sell company that markets and sells directly to the end-customer.” While the consumer should always remain knowledgeable about renewable energy and installations, having one main contact to guide you through the process could relieve some headaches.
Another option is to lease solar panels! Yes, this is another new business venture, in which homeowners are able to lease rooftop panels undefined some with no upfront costs undefined and pay only for the power produced. At least four large California-based companies offer such leases, in which they install, maintain and continue to own the panels. One company, SunRun, headquartered in San Francisco, doubled its number of leases undefined to 10,000 undefined in one year and expects to add 12,000 new ones this year. Unfortunately, this leasing option is only offered in a few cities, where there are financial incentives and high utility rates. As solar energy expands, though, we can expect to see this spread to Illinois.
With new solar business ideas emerging, and a decrease in solar panel prices, what is stopping you from investing in solar? If you want to learn more about solar power for your home or business, check out one of ISEA’s courses! Be sure to stay up-to-date on this growing renewable energy market; follow us on Facebook and Twitter!