By Michelle Talsma Everson
When you think of renewable energy, the first type that may come to mind is solar power. Solar energy works by capturing the sun’s energy and turning it into electricity through solar panels—and with an average of 300 days of sunshine a year—Peoria is the perfect place for those considering supplementing some of their energy uses with solar power.
In fact, according to recent statistics, solar panel installations are expected to grow 20% in 2020, consolidating the United States’ position as the world’s second-largest market for solar power usage. Better still, according to a recent Zillow.com study, homes with solar sold at an average 4% higher than non-solar homes.
Michael O’Donnell, vice president of sales and co-owner of Sunsolar Solutions, says that his company has helped over 6,000 Arizona families go solar—taking the power of the sun and turning it into usable electricity to power their homes.
“We started in 2015 and are based right here in Peoria. Since then, we have helped thousands to find custom solutions for their own needs to try to bring their power bill as close to zero as possible,” O’Donnell explains.
SunSolar Solutions recently moved into their new headquarters at 91st Avenue and Lake Pleasant Parkway due to rapid growth.
O’Donnell compares having solar panels to someone “having their own personal power plant.” He notes that solar panels are often more affordable than people realize, with $0 down and options to purchase or lease the panels.
“It’s a zero upfront cost, monthly payments are usually less than you’re paying for electricity, and, in time, the equipment pays for itself, and you make a monthly profit,” he says.
“Your solar system allows you to generate your own clean power and costs less than your current utility company,” according to SunSolar Solutions. “Flexible finance solutions allow you to simply pay by the month, like you do now, but at a lower rate and you start saving immediately.”
How O’Donnell and the team at Sunsolar Solutions accomplish this is by meeting with each customer personally to assess how many panels their home will need.
“We are upfront and transparent with customers; we don’t sell fake savings and our engineers will make sure that the solar panels work like we say they will,” O’Donnell says. “From the time we first meet with a potential customer, it takes about 60 days until the panels are on the roof and their system is ready.”
Some benefits of going solar with Sunsolar Solutions include:
• Flexible financial solutions – locals can lease, finance or purchase solar panels
• No upfront costs
• Customers can save up to 95% off of their electric bill
• Protection against inflation and energy cost increases from the electric company
• Increasing the property value
• Earning a great return on your investment
• Going green
• Providing clean, reliable energy
There are also several tax perks that come with going solar.
“By increasing the number of panels, you increase the amount of money that the U.S. government will be investing in the system and into your home,” O’Donnell explains. “If the 100-percent design created a $10,000 subsidy, then the 150-percent design will produce a $15,000 subsidy. There is no limit to the size of the system and, therefore, the size of the tax credit. By the way, the tax credit is dropping significantly at the end of this year from its current rate, which is 26 percent of the system price. Truth be told (which is something we insist on in our proposals), the result of a properly designed system is a lower monthly and annual cost for the household’s electricity.”
O’Donnell shares the story of one of his recent local customers: “Janet from Peoria will pay $33,000 less to pay off the equipment than she would have paid APS. And the money she did spend didn’t turn into utility receipts; it turned into a paid-off $40,000 power plant that at the end of the term will be generating $7,500 worth of electricity per year. She has no doubt whatsoever that her home will be worth substantially more with a paid-off solar system, producing enough power to incur zero billing from APS, than it would have if she had spent much more buying that power from APS over the years.”
In addition, for those with APS service, O’Donnell says that there may soon be a limit of 15 percent of their customers per neighborhood who are even allowed to have solar panels.
Val Berechet, president of SunSolar Solutions, is urging his sales force to emphasize the urgency of switching because of this limit. He has set up a geographic database that will track what areas are approaching capacity or have already exceeded their maximum, according to SunSolar Solutions.
Out of 17 applications submitted to TEP (a Tucson-based power company, similar to APS, used as an example), after the utility started implementing the maximum on May 12, four have already been denied, signaling possibly maxed-out service areas, Berechet explains. He expects other areas in Arizona to hit their maximum quickly, though it is too early to know where and when with any specificity, he adds.
“The essential environmental and economic factors still favor solar power in Arizona,” according to Sunsolar Solutions. The state has the third lowest cost per watt for solar panels, and it has the second-highest potential solar resources, just after Nevada, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, cites the company.
O’Donnell shares that the cut off to go solar when you have APS could be as soon as the end of this month.
For those who choose to go solar with Sunsolar Solutions, O’Donnell explains that customers can see how much power the panels are generating every day through an easy-to-use app. “On days where there is a lot of sunshine, the panels perform even better,” he says.
Added to their knowledge and expertise, O’Donnell notes that SunSolar Solutions is A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau and has several high reviews on social media.
“Val, Michael, Jack and the whole team were extremely easy to work with,” shares one customer. “No pressure sales, answers to all my questions… and worked with me to develop a system that I wanted installed. My first complete month’s APS bill just came in and I am proud to say it was just 20.66.”
O’Donnell says that, for budget conscious consumers, going solar helps keep their same monthly payments years into the future—something that can’t be promised with traditional electric companies.
To learn more and inquire about a free consultation, visit sunsolarsolutions.com or call 602.773.6675.