It’s just plain Science.

I’ve been excited about green tech since I sold the Prius 15 years ago. Back then I studied hybrid technology, from drive systems to regenerative braking to battery tech.

The first gen Prius was a little dorky, but it got great gas mileage:

The Prius buyers who had a technical background loved me, I could answer all their questions about the science and the technological advances that made the Prius possible.

The technology behind the Prius was new in 2001, but the buyers who bought the first gen Prius loved their hybrid, my wife drove a 2nd generation model, when that wore out she got a 3rd generation (2011) model.

Science is based on quantifiable data, and I get to deal in that data when I’m talking with a client about solar:

  1. We know that the client will use electricity as long as they live in their home. That money will be spent every single month, the money sent to the electric company has ZERO return on investment.
  2. We know that inflation exists, and that the utility will raise electric rates over the next decade.
  3. By looking at their electric bill (daily kilowatt hours usage) I know exactly how many panels (at 330 watts per panel) we will need to replace that usage. This can be figured out on a $3 calculator.
  4. If you divide the price of the system by the energy generated per year we know the Return On Investment averages about 7 years. That’s 2024 folks.
  5. We know the LG brand solar panels we sell have a warranty that runs out to the year 2042 (25 year warranty).
  6. We know that panels and inverters don’t have moving parts, so there is no maintenance. Florida rains will rinse off the panels.
  7. We know the panels are rated to 150 mph winds.

But what about the non-science? The subjective stuff that is less quantifiable?

  1. The client might not know who WE are at Tampa Bay Solar, but they can read about our founder in the newspaper:
  2. The client doesn’t know me, that I’ve lived in this community since 2003, raised my family in this community and served as the President of the local Rotary club.
  3. The client might not realize that we are not only in the solar business for profit, but also as part of a larger mission. Wars are fought and soldiers die over scarcity of resources, deploying solar all over the planet cleans the air and lessens the need for global conflict.

If I sit down with a client and they decide to go with another solar installer I’m glad that we got them thinking in that direction. I’d rather see my clients implement solar with a competitor than not at all.

I read up on green tech daily, not only about solar, but also about electrical vehicles, wind turbines, geothermal systems and the emerging smart grid. I attend seminars and workshops in my off time in order to deepen my knowledge and become more effective out there in the field.

At the end of the day its the client’s home, and the client’s high electric bill. I can present the facts and answer their questions, but they have to decide to think short term and do nothing or think long term and get a system.

Long term thinkers have a finite payoff date on their panels, but short term thinkers will pay the electric company forever.

Ben Alexander

June . 2017


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