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Energy Currents, 2020-1

By Mark Becker
| May 11, 2017

Energy Currents:  A million plus and Counting

The upcoming Memorial Day Holiday is a special day for our nation. It is an especially meaningful day for veterans and families who have personally experienced the loss of comrades or kin during combat or non-combat related missions. In the East Bay we pay tribute to our veterans who have given the ultimate sacrifice in many different ways. Memorial Squadron USA is a 501(c)3 that does just; flyovers in support of veteran’s funerals and charity events that support veterans.

Well over 1,000,000 solar projects are operating in California. The fact that P&E has more solar customers than any other utility in the United States is a testament of the financial rate of return that solar PV systems in Northern California provide. Solar is an investment, which needs to be structured (designed and installed) with caution by investing in the right equipment and the right installation team. Investing in any other way simply adds risk to otherwise virtually guaranteed returns.

A SALUTE! This Memorial Day will be especially important to me; a very close family member who served, was wounded twice, yet survived some of the most historical Marine Corps battles of WW II passed away recently. Our grateful nation will honor and bury him in a cemetery dedicated to veterans and their spouses.
Be an “energy hawk.” An “energy hawk” is someone who combines strong opinion and action regarding domestic energy sourcing to foster American self-reliance, with the ultimate goal of American energy independence. Sourcing of energy from all types of American sources, in my opinion, is a virtuous pursuit (assuming it’s done with environmental considerations in mind). The reasons to be an energy hawk are many-fold: Job creation and resource utilization are the most inherently obvious. Perhaps a less obvious but a more important benefit can be gleaned from the definition of “independence” itself: Independence means  “Freedom from control: freedom from dependence on or control by another person, organization, or state.” As a nation we can wrest ourselves from the manipulation of oil exporting nations, and OPEC. As a homeowner or business owner you can achieve energy independence (freedom from PGE electricity) by generating your own energy via the most abundant resource available, the sun.  “Improved domestic security” may be difficult to measure, but calculating the savings a solar PV system provides is easily quantifiable.
A great many of GoSimpleSolar’s customers are finance professionals who clearly understand the how “arbitrage” plays a key role in maximizing solar PV investment returns. The definition of Arbitrage: “The simultaneous purchase and sale of an asset in order to profit from a difference in the price. It is a trade that profits by exploiting price differences of identical or similar financial instruments, on different markets or in different forms”. The “asset” in the case of a solar PV investment is the cost and credit of the PGE kWh which can be imported and exported from a home or business at different times of the day and season, at different costs and credits.  This allows a solar PV investment to provide greater financial return (typically 10%+) than most “bull years” in the stock market, and at much lesser risk. Almost all risk can be mitigated from a solar PV project if “done right” by the properly licensed installation professionals utilizing high quality non-proprietary (read: compatible) products. Keeping your solar PV system properly serviced and monitored is as important as ensuring a proper installation is performed. Selection of non-compatible products increases risk by limiting future replacement options. The highest quality installation will naturally result in lesser long term servicing costs and hence better long-term financial returns and savings.

Mark Becker is the President and business owner of GoSimpleSolar, by Semper Fidelis Construction Inc, CSLB 948715. GoSimpleSolar is one of the very few solar PV installers utilizing both licensed roofers and licensed electricians for installation work.