Green Air Owner, Nick Donzelli, answers your Solar questions in detail
How does going solar protect you against the inflation rate of utility companies?
“One way or another you’re paying for solar. If you’re a renter or homeowner you’re paying for solar even if you don’t have it on your home. Think about it, you’re paying utility fees; let’s say you’re paying $100 in utility fees, next year you’re going to pay $107 for the same utilities. This is based on the historical average rate over 30 years which is 6.7%. Right now we’re seeing inflation rates at 10% or even higher from PG&E. With that in mind, the minute you go solar you start producing energy today so when you use energy next year you will have made 10% off your dollar. It’s already producing and next year it’s going to produce the same, but instead of paying the inflated rate of utilities, you’ve already paid for it once. So you’re done!
In the beginning, you can have a 5-year return on investment and after 5 years you will have a one-for-one hard cash dollar return. This means that for every dollar you spend, let’s say you spend $10,000 today, in 5 years you will have received your entire return-on-investment in tax credits and utility savings.
Now that system is going to last 25 years, if not longer. It’s warranted for 25 years; so imagine how much longer it’s going to last after that. That means you have 20 years (starting after year 5) of an INCOME PRODUCING ASSET; this means the system will always produce income.”
How is it producing income?
“You are no longer paying a utility bill. You have a 10% inflation rate or a 6.7% inflation rate by the utility company for the next 20 years. Compounded over 20 years, if the money that was going to the utility company was placed into an account, the average calculated savings (income) for our typical solar design has been well over $100,000″
What sets Green Air apart from the other solar installers?
“Everybody else is trying to make a buck; don’t get me wrong, we’re not a non-profit organization, we want to make money too, however, we lose money if we don’t do right by our clients. It may not be today or tomorrow, but eventually, it will come back and hurt us. So we always do what’s right for the client, even if they don’t realize we’re doing right by them. A client may think it’s not right because it’s more expensive, however, they typically are not factoring in price versus cost. Price is the here and now. Let’s say we give a client a quote for $15,000 to which they reply ‘why is this more than a quote I got from the other place?’ I say to that, are we too high OR are they too low?
The question isn’t how much overhead we have; the question is what are you not getting for that lesser price from that other company? Their price may be cheaper, but in 5 years you may have to spend $5,000 more just to remove and reinstall that system because your roof is bad. We make it a point to inform our clients’ of future expenses along with current expenses; how else are they able to make an informed decision if they are not provided all the variables to consider? We pride ourselves on being a referral based company, and ensuring that our clients are properly informed is one factor in how we make this happen.”
What is net metering on why is it so important?
“Right now the NET meter is available for PG&E and SMUD, the two biggest energy suppliers in Northern California. Our typical solar design produces more power during the day than what you are using, and so the NET meter offered by their utility provider credits the energy not consumed. This meter allows you to have a one-for-one exchange, and without the NET meter more costs would be required so as to store the excess power for later use. The NET meter is integral when it comes to your return on investment.
PG&E has been lobbying against the NET meter, however, a recent ruling stated that no changes can be made until 2019; this is the same year that the tax credit ends. And so it’s twofold; you receive a 30% uncapped tax credit and the NET meter. You can decide to invest in a minimal size solar system, and due to our system design, expand the system one module at a time. This approach allows you to keep your expense down, start receiving savings on your income producing asset (solar PV), take advantage of the 30% tax credit, and more importantly, receive the NET meter. If future expansion occurs prior to the end of 2019, then you would receive an additional tax credit.”
Why did Green Air also become a roofing contractor and how does it go hand-in-hand with solar?
“We found that although solar is a great income-producing asset, great for the environment, has a short return on investment, and is very lucrative with all the tax credits; people really get hurt when their contractor is not thinking about their best interest and they refuse to mention the fact that their roof is 15 or 20 years old. You would be surprised at how long a 10-year-old roof that was poorly installed is actually going to last; we’re talking only lasting 12 to 15 years. So when you go to replace that roof you now have to have the solar removed. So you’ve spent money to put solar up initially and now you have to pay even more to have it removed and reinstalled after redoing the roof. The nice thing about Green Air is that we ensure that whatever we put up on your roof (the roofing, the penetrations, the solar) is going to last 25 years. You are not going to have to remove our system in between that time and reroof. We’re going to make sure it’s done right the first time and that’s the benefit of having a roof integrated with our solar. It just better serves our clients.”