Sunlight through autumn leaves

 

Consulting Services

We are happy to answer your questions and bring you results for your solar plans and dreams!

Whether your solar power project is for your house, your business, your city center, library, or church, we will navigate the difficult waters that lie between you and the finished product.  These are the types of issues we will resolve for you:

  • Is a solar project even viable for my location?
  • How much can we expect to save in energy costs each year?
  • What is the best way to structure this project so we get the most for our money?
  • How can we achieve affordable financing for this project?
  • Who in our area can we rely on to do reliable and cost-effective work?
  • What kind of equipment would be best for our site?
  • How can we put solar panels up on our church or library or school?
  • When can we get started?  *

*the answer to the last one is, of course, ‘now!

 

Preferred Pricing

Members of the Legacy Solar Co-op receive consulting services from the Co-op and member vendors at discounted pricing. These services include site evaluations to help explore the potential for saving energy in the home or in the business. It doesn’t matter if the customer owns or rents, is a public or private institution, or is a non-profit versus a for-profit organization. The Legacy Solar Co-op will help educate all stakeholders about the potential for saving energy, saving money, and saving on air, water, and soil pollution with respect to energy use. These consultation services come in many forms, but are billed on either a per project basis or on an hourly basis, according to the specific needs of the client.

Examples

Two examples below illustrate how the Co-op helps its members and uses consulting in our business model.

Example 1: A family who just purchased their first home calls on Legacy Solar Co-op for help.

They want to put solar on their home but don’t know where to start. The Co-op asks a few introductory questions to put their potential project into perspective. The family decides to buy an equity membership in the Co-op so that they can get a better price on Co-op products and services. The Co-op helps evaluate the past electric bills of the home they just purchased and together with a site evaluation recommends an upgrade of one or two appliances and the implementation of a 5 kilowatt solar array on their roof. The Co-op solicits 3 bids from area solar contractors and helps the family evaluate the cost-benefit analysis of the different bids. The family makes the final decision and uses their own finances to fund the project. They pay the Co-op $125.00 for the consulting services, and save over $1,000 in the first year in energy bill savings through the combination of energy efficiency and the solar project. Another happy customer and a cleaner planet!

Example 2: A member of a church congregation wants to help the church acquire solar power on the south-facing roof of the church sanctuary.

The Co-op offers a free consultation up-front to understand more about the church and the kind of project that is envisioned. The Co-op learns that the church also is interested in swapping out old light fixtures for LED equivalents. The Co-op submits a proposal to the church member who wants to sponsor this project. The client decides to buy an individual membership for himself and an institution membership for the church. The Co-op completes an energy audit that includes upgrading existing T8 fluorescent lighting with LED tubes, and determines that the sanctuary roof can handle a small 20 kilowatt solar array. The church wants to use a solar vendor that has an existing relationship with the church.

The Co-op helps provide technical assistance and financing for this project, which includes a public- private partnership, enabling the project to qualify for the federal tax credit. The result is a solar project that was funded in part by one individual sponsor and in part through the Legacy Solar Co-op selling bonds to members of the church and the community who wish to participate in this project. Local participants paid for approximately 25% of the project, with the Legacy Solar Co-op’s own membership helping to finance the rest of the project’s cost. The Co-op provides educational materials and gives a presentation to the congregation in the fellowship hall after one Sunday’s service. The project is completed through this collaborative process, and the church now enjoys energy savings from both the solar and the new lighting equipment. The Legacy Value of the project (40 years of energy savings) is estimated to be close to a quarter of a million dollars, which is 5 times the lifetime cost of the project. The Co-op charged the church $350.00 for the consulting and the tax-sponsor of the project $2,500.00, both of whom came out way ahead even in the first year!

Yogesh ChawlaLegacy Solar Cooperative helped me plan, finance and install solar panels on my home, and navigate federal tax credits.  Our solar installation provides most of our energy and costs less than a second used car.   If you have money sitting around in a saving accounts collecting no interest, you should invest in a solar installation that will ensure you a future of clean renewable energy.  Solar pricing has seen a precipitous price drop, so now is the time to plan your solar installation before the tax credits expire.

For more information about consulting services, contact Kurt Reinhold at kurt@legacysolarcoop.org.