5 Facts Every Contractor Should Know About Solar Power
I hope this finds you well.
Before we get into this Executive Report, I want to remind you of our upcoming Book Club.
Several years ago, our president Todd Miller worked with best-selling author Michael Gerber and his E-Myth Academy. He teaches business owners how to make their business start working for them. This message has been life-changing for business owners across the globe, including Todd! So, to spread his message to contractors across the country, we are starting a Book Club!
Beginning in October, we will host a free online study of “The E-Myth For Contractors” by Michael Gerber. We will go through the book step by step and help contractors like you understand the importance, value, and mechanics of building a business based on systems rather than on individuals! We will be holding the study through free online Zoom meetings, so please contact Todd if you are interested.
Now, let’s learn about solar power and how you can be better prepared to answer your customer’s questions.
As the solar power industry advances, many homeowners are considering solar panels for their homes. Clean energy is becoming more important, and solar power is rising to the top as the most affordable and effective way to generate it. Taking advantage of a roof’s wide, flat surface to generate solar power is becoming standard in warmer areas.
Although solar power is still a growing market, many great companies already provide solar solutions for homeowners across the United States. Becoming familiar with these solutions and staying up to date with the solar power industry will be crucial to giving your customers the best service. To get you started, here are five facts you should know about solar power.
- There are three main types of PV (photovoltaic) cells: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film. Monocrystalline cells are the most expensive, most efficient, and the best for residential applications. Polycrystalline cells are a good middle ground in efficiency and price. Thin-film cells are the cheapest, least efficient, and the best for large commercial installations .
- BIPV(building-integrated photovoltaic) cells are advanced solar cells built into a building’s structure, and PV cells are mounted externally on a roof or ground-mounted. Most homeowners will be interested in PV cells for their needs.
- Net metering allows a homeowner to generate excess power, store it in the electrical grid in exchange for energy credits, and redeem them later. Net metering isn’t available in every state, so check this map for information on your home state .
- This year marks the first decline in the Federal ITC (Investment Tax Credit), where homeowners can pull up to 26% of the cost of installing solar from their taxes. This year the ITC dropped from 30% to 26%, and next year it will fall to 22% before plateauing at 10% in 2022 .
- Solar panel technology is constantly evolving, with increases in efficiency and improvements in construction. Generally, solar panels are rated to last for 25 years, which is longer than most asphalt roofs, but not as long as quality metal roofs .
Be prepared for homeowners to come to you with questions about solar panels for their roofs. As the technology evolves and becomes viable for homes, demand will increase, particularly in sunny states. New technology can be confusing, so expect questions. When these questions arise, here are three sites to get your customers started on understanding solar power:
- The U.S. Department of Energy’s Homeowner’s Guide to Going Solar is a great starting point for homeowners to learn the basics of residential solar panels.
- With over 2000 state and local solar incentives listed, dsireusa.org is an excellent resource for homeowners to search based on their zip code and renewable energy type.
- Energy Sage’s Solar 101 is an exhaustive site for homeowners to dive into the details of solar panels, explaining everything from solar panel types to financing and operation.
For the rest of this year and into next, keep solar power in mind as more homeowners seek to take advantage of the Federal Investment Tax Credit and generate their own solar power. Use this opportunity to become a trusted resource on solar power or team up with a solar expert in your area.
Isaiah Industries, Inc.
 “Types of Solar Panels.” EnergySage, 2020, www.energysage.com/solar/101/types-solar-panels/.
 Pickerel, Kelly. “Which States Offer Net Metering for Certain Utilities?” Solar Power World, 7 May 2020, www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2020/03/which-states-offer-net-metering/.
 “Investment Tax Credit for Solar Power.” EnergySage, 2020, www.energysage.com/solar/cost-benefit/solar-investment-tax-credit/.
 “Solar Panel Maintenance.” EnergySage, 2020, www.energysage.com/solar/101/solar-panel-maintenance/.
Todd Miller has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.
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