Ready for Solar and Not Sure Where to Start? Here are the First Steps.

February 15, 2018

It looks like you are interested in how solar power can save you money on your energy bills and help you green your organization. Great! The first step is to engage in a free consultation with one of our solar energy experts so that our team can generate a proposal that includes a conceptual design of the solar project as well as an estimate of the energy savings that you can anticipate. To get that process started, we need some information from you. This information helps us to develop an accurate proposal.

Items We Need

1. The address and location of the system.

If you’re looking for an on-site solar system, we just need to know where you’d like to build it. Are you interested in a rooftop installation, or do you have available land for a ground-mount? If you aren’t sure, that’s okay, too. We can evaluate your facilities and identify areas where solar makes the most sense.

If you don’t have enough suitable space on site, we’d be happy to discuss off-site community solar options with you.

Solar energy laws, such as net metering, differ state-by-state, and will dictate what elements of your utility bill you’ll be offsetting and the type of solution will make the most sense for your organization. We will help you navigate these options.

2. Energy usage data and utility bills.

Interval Data

In order to assess how much money you will save with your new solar project, we will need to take a look at your energy consumption patterns and costs over the last year. Interval data will show us how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity you consume in hourly or sub-hourly (usually 15 or 30 minutes) intervals throughout each day over the course of a year. Sometimes, interval data will reflect monthly consumption, but data for short time intervals results in the most accurate savings analysis. Most business and public sector customers can get 15 – 30-minute interval data from their utility service provider. This data is particularly critical if you are looking into an energy storage option.

Utility Bills

Interval data will help us benchmark your usage while the utility bills will show us what you’re currently paying for the electricity you consume. You may notice that you get charged for several line items in a bill. The names and the assessment methodology for each of these charges will depend on your utility, but we will do the analysis to determine which of those charges you will be able to offset with solar energy and how those savings add up over time.

Green Button Data

In some states, you can easily transmit your utility information to us in a user-friendly and automated way using the Green Button Initiative or Utility API. We’ll let you know if this is possible for your location.

Optional Items:

3. The location and voltage of the electrical meters.

This is where the solar system will “interconnect” or “tie in” to your facility so it can directly offset the energy you would otherwise purchase from your electricity supplier. Knowing the location of these points may dictate the location of your system as well as influence the total cost.

4. Roof age and structural diagrams.

If you’re interested in a rooftop system, the roof age (or ages, if there are multiple roofs) structural diagrams, and loading information will also be important for siting and cost estimates.

5. Electrical schematics of your facility.

Any single line diagrams you have of the electrical infrastructure at your facility will help our engineering team understand how the solar project will interconnect.

6. Any other special considerations?

Do you have a bilateral arrangement with your local utility? Do you have cogeneration on-site? Are you interested in retaining REC ownership? This will help us further tailor the solar project and pricing to suit your needs.

With this information, we can complete a conceptual system design and conduct an analysis of how much money your system can save you over time. We’ll compile these together into a proposal and, once you’ve had a chance to look everything over, a member of our team will reach out to discuss the next steps.

Ready to move forward? Don’t hesitate to contact us to kick off this free consultation. We look forward to working with you!

Contact Us

Topics: policy, nationwide, solutions