By Tim Henderson
When you decide to transition to clean energy by installing a home solar system, you have more than just an opportunity to make an investment that typically outperforms stock market index funds. You also have a chance to make a lasting difference in your local community here in Santa Cruz, CA and on the Central Coast.
Are you thinking about installing solar panels? It’s up to you how you want to spend your money, but there are plenty of compelling arguments for keeping things close to home by choosing local solar energy companies.
If you’ve ever hired a contractor, you know that there’s no room for uncertainty when you’re working on your property. Local solar companies make your energy upgrades far less of a guessing game. Because they’re a highly visible part of the community, everything that they do reflects on them, so it’s in their best interest to go above and beyond the bare minimum.
Local solar companies are also highly accountable. Because they’re more accessible than many larger corporations, they provide better assistance as you care for your system over time. They’re also less likely to make decisions that benefit investors at the expense of your best interests.
Some districts take unique steps to promote the use of reputable local solar companies. For instance, the City of Santa Cruz actively works to pair new solar consumers with bonded, insured local contractors. These firms can recommend products that already pre-qualify for financing under programs like the California First Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, initiative. If you’re wondering how you’ll afford to kick a solar power project into high gear, seeking out providers in your community is a clever game plan.
Think local first. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Most traditional utility companies take money out of communities without necessarily reinvesting in them. Sustainable energy adherents have proposed many potential solutions to such problems. Short of inventing a new currency to incentivize regional solar investment, however, hiring a local solar company is probably the best way to ensure that your money goes towards supporting your neighbors, friends and wider community in Santa Cruz.
Various studies have shown that when consumers shop at locally owned businesses, more of the money that they spend goes towards other local businesses than it would if they bought from larger companies. With the majority of U.S. jobs provided by small businesses, buying solar locally is a smart way to support your area’s economy.
Small solar businesses can also reduce their environmental impact by relying on regional distribution and trade networks. This is definitely a plus for those who want to contribute to a greener planet.
Larger solar firms may expose consumers to heightened risk. In many cases, these companies garner significant capital investments to support their initial growth. In many cases, they lack the infrastructure and business experience to provide actual customers with the benefits.
Many national solar companies grow too top heavy and end up filing for bankruptcy. If you buy from one of these big firms, you could end up owning a system whose distributor won’t be around when you need help with future maintenance and repairs. It may also mean that you’re contributing to a market bubble that gives renewable energy a bad reputation.
What are your reasons for supporting local solar companies? Share this article with your friends to learn what they love most about supporting homegrown solar.
With more than 14 years of local ownership and home solar system expertise, Sandbar Solar is proud to be the Central Coast’s leading provider of solar panel design, installation and troubleshooting services. Discover how our attention to detail, dedication to community sponsorship and ceaseless environmental stewardship are changing your neighborhood by taking a look at our portfolio or contacting us today.
Tim has worked in the solar industry since 2008. He has a Master's Degree in Energy Resources Engineering from Stanford University. His years of experience include working on solar energy projects for both homes and commercial properties. Tim enjoys sharing his knowledge of this evolving industry and making a difference in his community.
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