Company: FirstFuel Software
Source: Greentech Media
Utilities should be the trusted advisors to commercial customers looking to install solar, explains FirstFuel’s Indy Ratnathicam.
The advent of solar power has undoubtedly disrupted the energy market. And with electricity costs on the rise, commercial and industrial users are increasingly weighing its value.
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association’s Solar Means Business report, as of mid-2014, more than 4,500 megawatts of commercial solar PV were installed at over 40,000 business, nonprofit and government locations throughout the U.S.
With the uptick in solar investment comes more questions around the value of the renewable energy source among consumers and businesses. How much money can be saved by opting for solar panels? Is solar the best place to put an energy-saving investment among several options?
Solar vendors aren’t always the trusted source for such questions. So to whom should consumers turn?
The answer is utilities. A recent study by Opower showed that 77 percent of U.S. customers select their utility as the preferred source of energy information. Utilities are seen as objective sources of intelligence regarding how consumers use energy and where there is room for cost savings. For instance, one FirstFuel utility client receives more than 75 calls per day — equivalent to 15,000 to 20,000 calls per year — from its commercial customers about solar.