Solar panels have revolutionized the business of residential energy, but your project’s array of panels may not be living up to its full potential.
It’s a common, preventable mistake that costs consumers money, while your company pays the price in the form of losing clients.
“Statistically speaking, 46 percent of all SolarCity contracts that got cancelled after signing were due to the fact that clients weren’t getting the system they needed to cover 100 percent of their usage,” says Schultz, who started his own energy solutions business, in late 2014, after witnessing how these difficulties impeded on solar energy’s potential.
Solar with a Side of Cork
The primary lesson learned by Schultz, and the main goal of his business, The Energy Specialist, is finding ways to pair solar panel systems with other solutions that create what he calls “true energy efficiency.”
A similar mindset is held by Daniel DeCesare, CEO of Ark Coatings—a company that produces a unique cork coating technology called Suber by Kolmer.
“Our focus is really true environmental consciousness paired with energy savings,” says DeCesare. “And we are looking for partners and applicators that dovetail into that concept.”
Thus, a partnership between The Energy Specialist and Ark Coatings was born, with the former using the latter’s cork coating in order to fully enhance the energy efficiency of its solar panels. What Schultz and DeCesare found was that, when Suber was added to the roof, it reduced the energy load required of the solar system.
“We originally estimated 25 to 30 percent, but the reality ended up being 40 to 45 percent energy reduction,” says DeCesare.
And there’s a kicker, as well. The texture of Suber on the roof is so effective it actually refracts UV light. This results in the dual-sided solar panels installed by Schultz receiving more reflected light on their backside, which improves efficiency even further.
Adding More for Ultimate Efficiency
Solar alone cannot achieve the energy goals desired by so many clients these days.
Even with Suber added, the energy load can be lessened even further by incorporating other elements. Schultz notes the importance a proper HVAC system, for one, and is also pursuing energy storage solutions via Germany-based home battery company, Sonnen.
Europe is actually leading the charge in many of these regards, based on its deregulated utilities. This allows people to produce, store and share energy amongst themselves. “We are not at that point in the U.S., as of yet. But as energy storage begins to play a bigger role, it will become more prevalent,” says Schultz.
He calls the promise of energy storage “an insurance program.”
“You have insurance for your car, insurance for your home and now you will have insurance for your electricity.”
These examples set by The Energy Specialist and Ark Coatings indicate the importance of combining other energy efficient elements with a quality solar system. Panels alone are not the solution.
Relation to Net Zero Homes
This is especially true when considering the goal of net zero homes. National homebuilder PulteGroup recently unveiled a net zero home in Northern California that achieves its energy goals, not just through next generation solar panels, but everything else included in the project.
It is an emphasis on energy that must be embraced, says Schultz. He compares it to a leaky faucet.
“If you have a leaky faucet, what would you do? You’d get it fixed. Why? Because you’re wasting water and money,” he says. “Electricity is the same way. Except, you don’t smell it. You don’t see it. You don’t hear it. So you really don’t realize how much you are wasting.”
Builders need to take this same knowledge and apply it to electricity and energy use. Additionally, utilizing the help of a specialist, such as Schultz, could prove to be massively beneficial for business.
It could end up being what separates you from the competition.
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