According to PosiGen Founder and CEO Thomas Neyhart, the combined effects of inadequate customer education, ineffective policy, and poor business strategies are hampering solar adoption to the detriment of us all. Is there a better way forward? Mr. Neyhart shares some of his thoughts.
Research shows that there are substantial returns to be gained by investing in energy efficiency solutions. According to the American Council for Energy Efficiency Economy, investments worth $8 billion in 2017 led to an over 7% increase in electricity savings - enough energy to power about 2.5 million American homes per year.
Similar research from the Energy Information Administration found that the energy efficiency space grew faster than any other industry, indicating a clear trend toward the adoption of better, cleaner, and more effective energy solutions by a wide range of players and organizations.
However, there is still a lot of ground to cover, and according to industry insiders such as Thomas Neyhart, three broad issues are hindering solar adoption. Mr. Neyhart believes that industries and sectors must be more proactive and creative when it comes to developing clean energy solutions that can overcome these challenges and meet industrial and consumer demands.
Firstly, many people and businesses are simply unaware of the benefits of going solar. It seems that they believe that if something is too good to be true, then it isn't. This is an education problem, and consumers must be made aware of how much they can save by going solar - and why going solar may not be as hard as they believe it to be.
Next, ineffective policy can hinder solar adoption. Many green and renewable energy programs are targeted at the affluent. The logic seems to be that these target users are the only ones who can afford the high startup costs of installing a solar system, therefore these systems should be designed for and targeted at these users. This approach excludes tens of millions of would-be customers who otherwise stand to gain substantially from solar deployments in their homes and communities.
Finally, poor business strategies can hold back solar adoption. Most solar companies require proof of your energy consumption, income, and credit before agreeing to provide you with solar services. Instead of considering that a lack of financial stability is what holds so many would-be solar customers back, these companies lose out on helping underserved communities by focusing solely on the current financial standing of their clients.
Thomas Neyhart founded PosiGen to address some of these issues.
According to company sources, PosiGen believes in solar and energy efficiency for all and does not have any credit or income requirements for an installation. All that is needed is a sound business case for savings that are based on a feasibility analysis. This analysis will guarantee the amount of savings and energy production a client stands to enjoy from a PosiGen installation. Before a client decides, the PosiGen team presents them with a detailed specification of the proposed solution. Once a customer signs up, PosiGen handles all of the work, from gathering the necessary documentation to securing local, state, and utility permits.
PosiGen also provides hassle-free maintenance and insurance and offers fixed monthly payment options so that you know what you have to pay every month with no surprises.
An energy efficiency audit and free energy efficiency upgrades are also included in every PosiGen package to help onboard new users who may be unfamiliar with the requirements and benefits of a solar install.
In addition to the above, part of Thomas Neyhart's mission has been to help underserved, low-to-moderate income families achieve financial and energy independence. By investing in local communities, providing job and growth opportunities to clients and their families, and helping clients secure predictable savings every year, PosiGen and Thomas Neyhart are helping families at the grassroots, community levels. They aim to bring about meaningful change to communities that are traditionally deprived of access to green and clean solar energy.
There are many benefits to homeowners and the wider economy when individuals and families make their homes more energy-efficient. When cost is an adoption barrier, PosiGen offers affordable installation packages that combine energy efficiency upgrades with solar leasing to help reduce the upfront and monthly costs of solar deployment. Where education is an issue, PosiGen engineers walk customers through the audit, assessment, installation, and maintenance steps and the savings that the customer stands to gain to make sure everything is clear.
Furthermore, by investing in local talent, providing job advancement opportunities to employees from client families, and reaching out to traditionally underserved communities, Thomas Neyhart is making inroads into new customer demographics. Bringing these new customers into the solar fold can help them save every month, invest in local businesses, and make progress toward financial independence.
Finally, PosiGen is, on occasion, able to work with state and federal authorities to subsidize the adoption of renewable energy sources. Some states even offer solar rebate programs by refunding a percentage of the client's solar project costs. In some areas, local authorities offer incentives as well, such as Connecticut Green Bank which covers a fraction of the PosiGen Solar Program for homeowners.
Solar adoption is making slow and steady progress in different industries and verticals, and Thomas Neyhart and PosiGen are focused on bringing solar energy to homeowners all across America irrespective of location, financial standing, or energy consumption history. Only time will tell how successful the PosiGen experiment will be, but with over 18,000 installs since being founded in 2011 and with several thousand new installations every year, the PosiGen formula may have something to it.