Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The New Era Of Solar

By Joe Bono, CEO / Founder

It’s been seven years since I launched Solar Universe; where did the time go? There are moments when it feels like we moved through time at warp speed, and then there are the memories of challenging times where we bested competitors and charged the Bastille. After seven years, I can honestly say, it’s been worth it and I could not be more proud of the great company we’ve created or the good partners we’ve surrounded ourselves with. 

Shepherding a solar company in such a highly competitive and quickly maturing market has been one of the most rewarding accomplishments of my career. Part of our mission is to be nationally known and locally owned, and we now operate 40 franchises across the U.S., from Hawaii to Puerto Rico.  Solar Universe has over 10,000 customers, we employ over 700 across our network, and are on track to add another 300 in 2015. I am proud to say that in 2014, Greentech Media ranked Solar Universe as the fourth largest residential solar integrator in the U.S.!

Certainly, the recent growth we’ve seen in residential solar was partially due to the combination of lower equipment costs and finance programs, which have made adoption of solar significantly more attractive. However, despite all the efforts of the industry, only about 1% of the U.S. market has adopted solar.  To survive and grow, solar players in the industry will need to do something they haven’t done well in the past: put the customer first. Gone are the days of pressing customers to buy solar with hard sell tactics. We’re now moving beyond the early adopters to a wider early majority audience who already understand the benefits of solar.

This year, solar consumers will get smarter and they will do their homework on social media and the Internet. By the time we meet the prospect, most will have already made a decision to go solar, and the salesperson will simply help the customer to make a buy decision based on the value proposition they can offer. Speed, collaboration, a sophisticated sales process, and a high-tech touch will all be required, but the consumer experience will need to be fun, easy, approachable, and simple to understand.

What will Solar Universe or the solar industry look like another seven years from now? Given how much we, and the industry, have changed in the last seven years, I couldn’t posture to say. I am certain residential solar is an enormous market opportunity, and it will take decades to install solar on every home in America that it is suitable for. As for our aspirations as a company, we intend to continue the vision of creating a national solar brand for sales, installation, and finance of solar, one that stands for quality and one that delivers the most outstanding customer experience in the industry.

PowerOn!

Joe Bono
CEO / Founder
Solar Universe

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Top 5 Solar Myths

By: Mike Gallagher

Myth #1: Solar Is Still Too Expensive
If you've hesitated to go solar because of cost, we have great news: solar has never been cheaper. In fact, you can install a solar power system for no money down. The combination of solar incentives, wide selection of available financing options, and recent reductions in the cost of solar equipment, have made solar the most cost-effective option for millions of people across the country, and more than half a million U.S. residences are already solar powered.

Myth #2: Installing Solar Is A Long, Complicated Process
From the moment you say “go!” with Solar Universe, we take care of everything for you. Prior to installation, we work with you to create the perfect power system one that meets your needs today, and gives you the power you’ll need in the future. We obtain all the necessary permits, coordinate delivery of your solar system, and ensure you receive all available rebates and government incentives. Once the equipment arrives at your home, our highly-trained, professional solar installation team will quickly build your new power system – usually in just 1 or 2 days. Curious to see how we build a solar system? Check out our time lapse video and see how it’s done.

Myth #3: Solar Is Not A Good Idea If I Am Planning A Move
We know most people understand the financial benefits of going solar, but a question we are asked routinely is, what happens when you install a solar power system then move in 3 or 5 or 10 years from now? If you go solar with our “no upfront” monthly energy agreement, it is completely transferable to the new homeowner, just like your existing energy agreement with your current utility provider. The new homeowner will have the same benefits you enjoyed when you owned the home: clean power at a lower price than the utility, plus the peace of mind that the system is covered under warranty. If you chose to invest in solar by prepaying or purchasing your system, the new homeowner won’t be responsible for any monthly energy payments for the solar system. Either way, we've made it easy to go solar now, and sell your solar-powered home later.

Myth #4: Solar Is Only For ‘Environmental’ People
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, as of October 2014, over 600,000 U.S. homes and businesses were powered by solar systems. Solar power has become the mainstream choice for spending less on power. Today, solar systems are being installed at a rate of one every three minutes by smart families who want to save money to use for home improvement projects, vacations, and retirement. And solar is perfect for young families who want to build college funds for their children. Regardless of how you use your savings, going solar is the smart choice. Plus, you get to feel good about doing the right thing.

Myth #5: Owning A Solar System Won’t Improve The Value Of My Home
For years, we've known anecdotally that homes with solar power systems have sold at higher prices, compared to similar homes without solar. Now there’s proof. According to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, owning your solar system increases your home’s resale value by an average of $15,000. In the most comprehensive research project done to date, 22,000 homes in 8 states were studied from 1999 through 2013, and the conclusion was clear: in addition to all savings, purchasing solar now will allow you to sell your home for a premium later.

Visit our website today for a free quote and more information about all the ways you can save when you go solar.