EARTHSHARE NJ AND GEOSCAPE SOLAR BEGIN PARTNERSHIP WITH EARTH DAY FILM FESTIVAL

Geoscape Solar’s Earth Day Film Festival Benefits Non-Profit Partner: EarthShare NJ

 

After years of looking for the “right” strategic partner, Geoscape Solar, a for-profit Solar Installation company and EarthShare NJ, a non-profit discovered that they held a shared organizational mission in creating a more sustainable future for New Jersey.

“There are select groups that advocate for solar, but our mission is to create a more sustainable future by reducing reliance on fossil fuels. ” said Michael Boches, CEO of Geoscape Solar. “The production of clean energy positively impacts our air, our water, and our wildlife. EarthShare NJ is a natural fit for Geoscape Solar because they are a central point of contact for a wide variety of environmental organizations that benefit from EarthShare NJ’s customized opportunities.”

Like EarthShare NJ, Geoscape Solar specializes in “customized opportunities” by providing tailored financing, design, and technology options for a wide commercial, non-profit, and residential property owners. They also share the structure of having a national footprint with local concentration in the New Jersey marketplace.

The search for an environmental non-profit partner escalated for Geoscape Solar when they decided to host a virtual film festival to celebrate Earth Day, 2021. As a member-owner of the national Amicus Solar Cooperative, Geoscape Solar was approached by partner-organization SunCommon with the opportunity to access climate action films for use in creating a customized event. SunCommon had hosted their own film festival in the upstate New York and lower Vermont area this past March. Geoscape Solar opted to move forward and turn it into a film festival to celebrate Earth Day.

“Our primary goal is to present something positive by addressing climate change and inspiring attendees to take action,” said Lee Watson, COO of Geoscape Solar. “Our secondary goal is to raise money through a $10 suggested donation to “attend” the event. Geoscape Solar’s efforts in funding and executing the film festival gives us the opportunity to direct the donation money to EarthShare NJ and their non-profit member-organizations.”

 

EARTHSHARE NJ LOGOEarthShare New Jersey is privileged to be working with Geoscape Solar and the Film Festival is a great way to launch our partnership,” said Paula Aldarelli, Executive Director of EarthShare, NJ.  “Our Responsible Tomorrows program focuses on sustainability by providing resources and information about what people can do to live more sustainably.  The importance of people learning more about what they can do to reverse the damage already done to our planet and change behaviors to stop future damage can’t be under emphasized.”

Geoscape Solar is equally pleased to be able to claim EarthShare NJ as a strategic partner. “We’re looking forward to cultivating future opportunities and events that will enable Geoscape Solar to work with and support EarthShare NJ.” said Irene Heifetz, Marketing Director at Geoscape Solar.

The Earth Day Film Festival will be live on Zoom on April 22 at 7:00PM EST.  It begins with :30 minute round-table discussion about Climate Change and the role that solar energy plays in both carbon reduction and economics. Questions can be submitted advance. This will be followed by :45 minutes of short films that focus on climate issues that face our planet today.  A recap discussion and raffle prize drawings will follow.

BREAKING NEWS: Christmas Is ON! Santa EXEMPT From COVID!

Santa Goes Solar NJ Solar Company Geoscape Solar

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leader is infectious disease, has confirmed that Santa Claus IS coming to town and he will not be bringing COVID-19!

Fauci explained this to USA TODAY by stating: “Santa is exempt from this because Santa, of all the good qualities, has a lot of good innate immunity.”

What does it mean to have innate immunity? Certain studies have shown that centuries of good deeds, spreading joy, and clean living builds up a natural immunity to most viruses and illnesses.

“In all my years making toys, checking in on good deeds, and delivering presents on Christmas, said Santa. “I’ve never taken a sick day and I’m not planning to take one in 2020!”

How does Santa manage this incredible feat? Let’s take an inside look at his practices:

SANTA IS POWERED BY CLEAN ENERGY

Santa's Carport Powered By Geoscape SolarSanta’s Non-Profit workshop is powered by Solar Energy which was installed by New Jersey Solar Provider: Geoscape Solar. He was able to finance the system through Geoscape Solar’s exclusive Power Purchase Agreement for Commercial and Non-Profit Properties.

“I researched all around the globe for top solar energy providers,” Santa reported. “Geoscape Solar was by far the most qualified and professional solar installer I met with.”

Santa explained that having a solar energy company based in New Jersey did not hold up production because Geoscape Solar is a member-owner of the Amicus Solar Cooperative. Amicus Solar allows for member companies to compete with large companies in terms of best solar practices and pricing on high efficiency materials.

After Santa saw the solar savings from his non-profit workshop, Santa partnered with Geoscape Solar to install solar on his residence.

“Mrs. Claus was worried about what the solar array would look like on our roof,” Santa confided. “However, after Geoscape finished installing our solar array, she was thrilled with both the solar design and the overall aesthetics.”

Ever the solar advocate, this past year Santa invested in an Electric Sled and then had Geoscape Solar build him solar powered carport.

Santa went on to say that last year, while he was delivering toys on Christmas Eve, he saw the beautiful solar carports that Geoscape installed at The Wilshire Grand Hotel in West Orange, LifeTown in Livingston, and New Brunswick Theological Seminary and knew he had to have one.

The Wilshire Grand Solar Carport

The Wilshire Grand Hotel Has Multiple Roof Arrays and Two Charging Carports

“Geoscape Solar made the process of converting to solar energy during a pandemic safe, easy, and affordable.” Santa added.

Living in The North Pole is very favorable to residents who wish to go solar. The North Pole is has the same solar tax credits and incentives as the state of New Jersey.

It should also be mentioned that as of last year, Santa dropped his practice of delivering coal to naughty children. Instead, Santa delivers them solar powered calculators.

SANTA TAKES COVID-19 VERY SERIOUSLY

Santa Zooms with Geoscape FansAlthough Santa has innate immunity, Santa’s Elves and their children do not. Neither does Mrs. Claus. With this in mind, Santa upgraded his internet in order to work remotely whenever possible. He not only zooms with his elves, but with boys and girls as well.

“Malls can be very crowded and noisy. During this global pandemic, children should be wearing masks and social distance. It is very hard to hear them from six feet away.” Santa explained. “I’m making very few appearances at malls and zooming with boys and girls instead. My Elves and workers are also on the zoom calls. To ensure accuracy, and we record and re-watch all requests.”

When Santa comes down the chimney on Christmas, he will be wearing a mask, gloves, and a face shield. Santa believes that as a leader, it is important to set a good example.

SANTA EMBRACES A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

Santa Joy to Solar Powered WorldSanta trains for 3 hours every day with his eight reindeer in preparation for ‘the big night.’ The weight of all the toys he delivers is well over a ton.

Santa generally eats a low-carb diet, but he makes an exception on Christmas Eve when he eats every single cookie left out of for him by children across the globe.

Santa puts up with daily accusations about being “a hoax” and still manages to stay positive and jolly. How does he do this? Santa meditates every day to clear his mind.

“I’m in the same basket as Climate Change,” Santa laughs. “I know what is real. I focus on the joy of the holiday season and protecting our precious planet. That makes everything right with the world.”  HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

To Email Santa:

https://www.emailsanta.com/email_santa.asp

To Track Santa’s Sleigh on Christmas Eve:

https://www.noradsanta.org/

What was the Environmental Legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg?

 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg for SolarJustice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is best known for championing women’s rights and workplace equality. A lesser promoted fact is that RBG’s rulings led the way for The Environmental Protection Agency to expand and focus on climate change on the federal level.

The late Justice Ginsburg was a Law Professor at Rutgers University in 1970 when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was founded to oversee the landmark Clean Air Act (CAA). The CAA was passed to fight growing air pollution, protect the ozone layer, and safeguard public health.

Thirty seven years later, Ginsburg would be a part of a 5 justice majority ruling against the EPA in the High Court’s first ruling on a case that centered around Climate ChangeMassachusetts, et al vs. the EPA.

The 2007 case centered around states (including New Jersey) and cities calling out the EPA for not regulating CO2 emissions which was designated to be part of the EPA’s function under the Clean Air Act. The EPA argued that the definition of potential air pollutants was too “ambiguous” for them to regulate and contended that they were not required to mandate greenhouse gasses.

In their ruling, The Supreme Court stated: “Greenhouse gases fit well within the Clean Air Act’s capacious definition of ‘air pollutant.” as well as  reiterating that the Clean Air Act demanded that the EPA both regulate greenhouse gasses and enforce emission standards which protect the American public.

As a result of this important ruling, the  EPA was charged with coming up with standards and protocols to manage emissions of not only carbon dioxide,  but five other greenhouse gases.

In 2011, the EPA expanded their protections even further by placing restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, refineries, and other large air polluters.

2011 was also the year Justice Ginsburg  ruled in favor of the EPA in American Electric Power Co. Inc. vs. Connecticut. In this case, 8 states alleged that four utility companies were producing unreasonably high levels of carbon dioxide and contributing to climate change in their states. These states sought the right to set their own standards and consequences of CO2 output. The power companies contended the EPA should remain in charge of setting emissions standards via The Clean Air Act. However, Climate Change was held to be a federal issue.

Environmental Law and Ruth Bader GinsburgIn a unanimous opinion authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the high court stated: “The Clean Air Act and the EPA authorizes and displaces any federal common-law right to seek abatement of carbon-dioxide emissions from fossil-fuel fired power plants.”

Fred Krupp, the current president of the Environmental Defense Fund stated in response to the ruling: “The Supreme Court strongly underscored EPA’s responsibility under the law to address climate pollution that threatens the health and well-being of our nation.”

In 2014, in a 6-2 ruling, the high court revived the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, a 2011 EPA directive which requires 28 states to reduce emissions that hurt air quality in states located downwind.  Over the years, the EPA had been confronted with many court hurdles while trying to enforce this particular measure.

It was Justice Ginsburg who wrote the majority opinion in a case that gave the EPA authority to regulate pollution from coal-fired power plants that blew over state lines.

The decision, written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, stated: “EPA’s cost-effective allocation of emission reductions among upwind States, we hold, is a permissible, workable, and equitable interpretation of the Good Neighbor Provision” [of the Clean Air Act].  

This ruling provided President Obama  the opportunity to introduce The Clean Power Plan in 2015. In this act, each state had to submit an individual goal to reduce CO2 emissions from power plants and a roadmap detailing how they were going to do it. It could be done by any combination of renewable energy sources. This plan would have led to a reduction of the US’s Carbon emissions by 32% and put the country back to 2005 emission levels.

Less than ten days afterwards twenty-seven states petitioned the courts for an emergency stay, arguing that Obama’s plan had overstepped its legal authority. On February 9th, 2016, The US Supreme Court ordered a halt to enforce Obama’s signature climate change plan. The decision passed 5-4 with Ruth Bader Ginsburg opposing the halt of The Clean Power Plan.

In June of 2019, the EPA, in conjunction with The Department of Transportation unveiled the Affordable Clean Energy as a replacement plan. Among the other watered down standards are fuel economy and emission standards increasing by 1.5% annually versus the initially proposed increase of roughly 5%.

Affordable Clean Energy rule vs. Clean Power PlanThe starkest contrast between The Clean Power Plan and the Affordable Clean Energy Rule is that the CPP held our country as a whole to a national energy and emissions standard that is enforced by the EPA. The ACE puts it back on the states and ultimately will create widely diverse environmental regulations throughout our country. It would be impossible to enter back into The Paris Climate Agreement or any type of global collaboration to reduce carbon emissions if every state is not held to a national standard.

Lawsuits have already been filed against implementing ACE and these legal battles could potentially make it up to The Supreme Court. However, in addition to passing down formal rulings, The Supreme Court decides which cases it will take time to hear. Unfortunately, with Justice Ginsburg’s seat open, it is possible that the myriad of opponents to the Trump administration’s Affordable Clean Energy Rule will never be heard.

Justice Ginsburg left behind a strong legacy of empowering the federal government via the EPA to protect both our health and the quality of our oxygen. With her passing, our planet has lost a champion.

see also:  https://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2020/09/22/ruth-bader-ginsburg-climate-change-covering-climate-now-frederick-hewett

What is Behind the Dramatic Shift in NJ Solar Incentives?

UPDATED: ON MARCH 9,2020 THE NEW JERSEY BOARD OF UTILITIES OPTED TO GO WITH THE FIXED RATE TREC PRICE OF $152(OPTION 1)FOR THE TRANSITIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY CERTIFICATE PROGRAM.

By no means could the New Jersey Solar Energy Market ever be called predictable. From the time the solar renewable energy certificate (SREC)  was introduced back in 2004, through this past year, the New Jersey Solar Market jumped from having installed 4.34 MW annually to 2,908.2 MW in 2019.

Given the impressive 15 years of solar expansion, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) can’t keep up the current state incentives. Once New Jersey passed The Clean Energy Act in 2018, which mandates that the state run on 100% clean energy by 2050, the need to accelerate a revamp of the current incentives was a foregone conclusion.

The legislature also included the agreement to rework the current solar incentive program (SRECs) that would allow the BPU to financially implement given the current and mandated expansion of solar energy projects in the state.

The Clean Energy Act is being implemented in measurable steps.  21% of the energy sold in the state to must be sourced via clean Energy by the end of 2020; 35% by 2025; and 50% by 2030. This past January, NJ Governor Phil Murphy expanded on the act and signed an executive order for an Energy Master Plan which details how New Jersey will be 100% sourced by clean energy by 2050.

2018 New Jersey Clean Energy Act Image

As New Jersey’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) requires NJ electric utility companies to procure 50% of its electricity from renewable tech by 2030 with a solar carve-out of 5.1% by 2021. Therefore 5.1% of the already mandated 50% of renewable electricity must be derived from solar.

New Jersey participates in the SREC market to achieve both the renewable portfolio and solar carve-out targets. SRECs are market based incentives that are allotted to solar energy consumers based on the amount of energy that they generate. The utility companies then buy SRECs from solar panel system owners to meet their RPS requirements. Utility companies who fall short of meeting their RPS targets must then pay a fee which is higher than the cost of an SREC.

While SRECs worked for the past 15 years, The Garden State’s lucrative solar market grew much faster than the anticipated and the state is reaching the 5.1% solar carve out in the very near future. As the BPU wasn’t prepared to completely phase out  the SREC program until 2021, the need for a transitional incentive program quickly arose.

In December 2019, the BPU announced a transitional incentive program entitled Transitional Renewable Energy Certificates (TRECs). This program will go into effect immediately after the 5.1% solar threshold is met. It is important to note that property owners who have already converted to solar energy and hold SRECs will NOT lose their SRECs or be impacted in any way (other than remaining subject to market flux). Should current solar consumers opt to expand their current system or add a system to another property then they will receive TRECs or gain incentives from the yet-to-be-determined TREC successor program.

TRECs are much like SRECs in how they are awarded to solar energy system owners, but they have 2 big differences. The first difference is that they will have fixed versus variable pricing. The second is their value will be multiplied by a factor. This factor will be assigned to each solar project based on type of installation.

The BPU is considering two options in terms of fixed rate pricing for TRECs:

  1. 15 years at a fixed price of $152
  2. Years 1 – 3 at a fixed price of $65 and Years 4 – 15 at a fixed price of $189

A final decision on pricing is expected imminently. The advantage to fixed-rate pricing is that solar consumers will be able to accurately predict the value of the TREC incentives they receive instead of having to rely on market factors.

NJ SRAnother big difference between SRECs and TRECs is factorization. With SRECs, the value you receive for a single SREC is the same regardless of the type of solar panel system you install: an SREC generated by a residential rooftop system is worth the same as an SREC generated on a large carport installation, so long as they’re sold at the same time. However, with TRECs, the value of your incentive varies depending on the type of installation.

The NJ BPU has assigned varying factors for individual solar projects; solar projects located on landfills have a higher TREC factor than a residential solar installation.

These are the current factors assigned to various project types:

Explaining TEC MultiplierProjects with a “1” factor of receive the full TREC value, while those with less than 1 receive a lesser percent. The projects with a factor of less than 1 (>1) needs to generate more solar to earn the full value TREC.

For every 1,000 kWh that is generated by a residential rooftop solar panel system, only 60% of a TREC’s price value is realized. In other words, to earn the same amount as 1 full-value TREC, you need to generate 1,667 kWh worth of solar electricity.

THE NJ SREC Program isn’t the only the only incentive that is shifting this year. On the Federal level, the 26% solar tax credit is expiring at the end of 2020 and be set at 22% for projects that are installed in 2021.

While solar incentives for New Jersey Residents are about to become a bit more complex on the state and national level, they do have the advantage of predictability and, remain financially lucrative for property owners looking to get a maximum return on their solar investment.

Gen Z Influences The Next Decade of Business Practices

 

As we begin 2020,  Generation Z is poised to account for 40% of all consumers in the US. This cohort of over 65 million spenders are less about consumerism and more likely influenced to spend money to better their life experience. Their idols are Time’s Person of the Year,  Greta Thunburg.  Their movements include “There is no Planet B.”

Gen Z recently entered the workforce. As a result, their spending power, currently valued at $44 billion, is growing every day. This group was born between 1995 and 2015. They have proven to be brand loyal and overwhelmingly support companies that take a stand on issues such as the environment, economic disparity, and gun control.

According to the 2019 Retail and Sustainability Survey by CGS, more than two-thirds of respondents consider sustainability when making a purchase and are willing to pay more for sustainable products. Gen Z make up the most sustainably conscious buyers, with 68 percent having made an eco-friendly purchase in the past year.

Gen Z is also focused on authenticity. They want to see their brand take risks in order to fulfill their mission statements.  According to Gen Z Insights, this group wants to tackle climate change and the environment TODAY and are willing to use the power of their purse to support and promote organizations that aligns with their mission.

What Concerns Gen Z

Starbucks, Patagonia, Met Life, Tesla and IKEA are high profile brands that get large amounts of press coverage when they announce steps they are taking to be more sustainable. In an on-line search, IKEA’s switch to bio-degradable mushroom packaging will yield roughly 5 pages of articles. If your organization doesn’t have the advertising/PR budget equivalent to the these companies, there is an abundance of creative marketing opportunities to reach your Gen Z Consumers.

Listed below are 5 Ways to Practice and Promote Sustainability within your company and help combat Climate Change:

1.    GO SOLAR – Let your property work for you! Produce Green energy, reduce carbon emissions, lower your utility bills, increase your overhead and let Gen Z know that your business is serious about protecting the environment.

2.    Provide Clean Drinking Water – Save the gas your office manager uses to drive to Costco and pick up those 24 plastic bottles that will never disintegrate in Gen Z’s lifetime. Issue a company branded water bottle to each employee and provide filtered water.

3.    Switch to Sustainable Packaging – Then go one step further and reduce the amount of packaging that is used for each product. Not only does it create less waste on the planet, but your company will reduce the amount of energy required to produce and transport the packaging. The less packaging your company buys, the more your company’s overhead will increase.

4.    Allow Telecommuting –  By allowing your employees to work from home, you’ll reduce the energy that’s being used in your office as well as reducing the carbon footprint that comes with commuter traffic. You will create an enviable work environment for talented Gen Z job seekers and a company of loyal employees.

5.    Fill Your Office With Plants – This will improve both the air quality and décor of your offices. As soon as your team members and Gen Z clients walk into your office space, they will appreciate being able to breathe contaminate free air.

Make Your Business sustainable

Gen Z’s consumer will impact business owners and organizations well beyond 2080. Now is the time to become a brand that they will be loyal to for life.

Best Wishes to Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials and Gen Zers everywhere for a Happy, Peaceful, and Sustainable Decade!

 

Now that Santa has replaced lumps of COAL with SOLAR PANELS – Kids WANT to be Naughty!

Cover Story

 

Teachers at North Pole Elementary School North are facing a crisis. After Santa announced that in place of lumps of coal, he would be putting environmentally friendly Solar Panels in Naughty kid’s Stockings. Santa’s announcement has left teachers faced with unruly behavior and complete chaos in their classrooms.

“I’m at my wits end,” stated Mary Lou Who, a fourth grade teacher at North Pole North. “My students are starting snowball fights during recess, doing unassigned reading on Global Warming, and they even skipped a day of school to protest climate change.”

“It has been a bit of a challenge,” agreed Walter Who, Principal at North Pole North. “We’re an environmentally conscience school district and we support renewable energy . However, Santa’s announcement created a sudden about face in our students’ behavior. Previously delightful children now want to be naughty!”

Teachers expected Santa to reverse his decision after witnessing the global naughtiness it has caused, but Santa is not backing down.

Santa explained that he first began thinking about making the switch to solar right before Christmas of 2016 when The Paris Climate Agreement was signed. While The North Pole didn’t have a formal representative at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Santa considers himself the global representative in setting the bar on what is naughty and nice for the environment. He knew it was only a matter of time before it was not only morally wrong to have coal be a part of Christmas, but the shrinking coal industry would make it impossible to procure coal.

Santa is joyous to be able to break free from the Coal Industry

“Putting aside the environmental benefits of not relying on coal,” Santa explained. “I also had to consider the economics. Global Citizens are more educated about the damage fossil fuels does to our health and our environment  and demand to produce coal has shrunk significantly. There are just too many naughty kids (and adults) out there to cling to my outdated “coal in your stocking” business model.

Just last month Murray Energy Corp., the largest privately held coal company in the US, declared bankruptcy. It was the eighth coal company to go under in the past year.

Santa further explained that his elves no longer want to handle coal due to the multiple health hazards of breathing coal dust.  He noted that his Workers Compensation policy costs were cut in half after he switched to putting Solar Panels in the Naughty stockings.

Grinch’s deplorable naughtiness is helping our planet

Most North Pole Independent School District parents agree with the assertion that Santa’s new policy is creating a disruption in their children’s education, but Agnes Grinch feels differently:

“My son is Green and I couldn’t be more pleased,”  Mrs. Grinch stated proudly. “His deplorable naughtiness is creating the production of more solar energy, more clean energy, and creating a sustainable planet for the next generation.”

“Mrs. Grinch is spot-on,” agreed Santa. “Believe me, my reindeer and I have travelled to every single galaxy and there is No Planet B.”

5 Ways Geoscape Solar Can Help Market Your Company

Congratulations! Your business has gone solar! You’re saving money on your utilities and enjoying the tax benefits that a solar energy system provides. Now, how do you let both your community and your customers know that your business is now sustainable?

According to multiple Neilson reports, 81% of respondents strongly believe that businesses should be improving our environment. 66% of consumers reported that they would be more loyal to a brand that marketed themselves as sustainable.

In January, a CGS 2019 U.S. Consumer Sustainability Survey reported that 28% of the consumers they surveyed are loyal to brands and entities that have ethical and sustainable business practices.

Being modest about the investment you’ve made in solar energy means that your company is missing out on an opportunity to promote sustainability as part of its brand’s mission. In this arena, Geoscape Solar is not only your Solar Energy Partner but your Marketing Partner as well. Geoscape Solar will help you identify the best ways and practices to help let your customers, clients, congregants, community members and employees know that your company is committed to sustainability.

Here are 5 added-value services that Geoscape Solar can provide to market your business:

1.  Don’t be afraid to say those 3 little words:  “WE’VE GONE SOLAR!”

Make the announcement. Geoscape Solar can help you tell your story to use as a Press Release or an e-mail to your database or employees. Let your community know that your brand is synonymous with reducing Carbon Dioxide in the air they breathe. Let loyal employees know that you’re taking cars off their roads. Let consumers know you’re planting trees in their environment.

2. If it isn’t posted on Facebook, did it really happen?

Success on Social Media requires the right visual content in order to properly engage your audience. Geoscape Solar can help by supplying photographs of your property with the finished solar array. Do you want to post a video that tells the your Solar Story? A slideshow of how your company is impacting the planet? Geoscape Solar’s team of graphic designers and photo editors can help make that happen. Geoscape Solar will also work with your Marketing Department to make sure your posts are cross promoted on all of our social media channels.

Drone Photography of The Wilshire Grand Hotel in West Orange, NJ used for Lobby Display, System Information Cards for each guest room, and Social Media Marketing. All materials designed and executed by Geoscape Solar.

3. Extreme Makeover: Lobby Edition

Your lobby décor is both the first and last impression you give to a customer.  Geoscape Solar can help you use your property to make everyone who walks through your doors is aware that your company is powered by solar energy. This can include a flat-screen that displays your green energy production in real time. Or a mounted poster that highlights how your Geoscape Solar system is making a difference. We can create table brochures and displays that promote your decision to go solar, or a personalized canvass photo of your system to proudly hang on your walls. Depending on the available space in your business or non-profit, the possibilities to enhance brand reputation in your lobby are endless.

4.  Made You Look!

According to recent studies, Print Ads still provide marketing opportunities that digital media will never be able to offer. Print ads offer a level of trust that search engines have not been able to compete with. 65% of the world’s population are visual learners ad that gives print has the advantage of a medium that isn’t static. Geoscape Solar’s marketing team can help you design and provide copy for multitudes of print outlets. This includes billboards, banners, flyers, direct mail pieces and advertorials that tell your solar story.  Billboards can be a great visual to engage potential customers if your solar array isn’t visible from a main road.

5. Did Someone Say Party?

Community Events are a great way to stand out from the competition and let your community know that you’re a forward thinking entity that cares about the future. Sponsor an event in your community and Geoscape Solar can provide you with staff to knowledgeably discuss how your production of green energy positively impacts their environment. Host a party when you get Permission To Operate and “flip the switch” to solar energy in public. Geoscape Solar can help you with invitations, attendance promotion, and provide you with promotional collateral to distribute.

Going Solar with Geoscape Solar is a long-term partnership. We want to listen, to brainstorm, and assist you in promoting your brand as one that prioritizes and practices sustainability.  Reach out to your Solar Advisor or our Marketing Department at 1.877.GEO.SUN.1  ext. 117 to enhance your ROI with a personalized solar marketing campaign.

See Also:https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/01/10/1686144/0/en/CGS-Survey-Reveals-Sustainability-Is-Driving-Demand-and-Customer-Loyalty.html

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/28/10-massive-corporations-going-big-on-solar-power.html

 

How Much Does a Solar Energy System Cost?

This is the #1 Question that Geoscape Solar gets asked in an initial phone call, web-chat, or e-mail. The simple answer might be: “Currently, the cost to convert to solar energy in New Jersey runs about $3.46 per kilowatt.” But what does that tell the property owner? Even if you know your annual electrical usage, this answer doesn’t factor in your roof/land space available to place the solar panels on. Some properties have enough space and the right orientation to cover 100% of their electrical usage. Others will only have enough to cover 80%. Either way, it still probably makes financial sense to go solar, but you still don’t have the actual “cost.”

This number also fails to factor in the credits and rebates that you might qualify for. The current Federal Solar Tax Credit is currently the largest financial incentive available to property owners. This tax credit allows for 30% of the total cost of your solar energy system to be deducted from your 2019 taxes. It is a one-time deduction and will drop to 26% in 2020. If you factor in the 30% deduction, the cost of your solar energy system decreases significantly:

The graphic above depicts examples of smaller Residential kW systems. Larger, commercial properties will enjoy greater tax credits as the credit amount proportionately increases based on the size of the solar energy system.

The Federal Solar Tax credit can be applied to labor, parts, and material for your system. This includes sales and usage taxes. It is important to understand that the 30% tax credit is a non-refundable credit to your 2019 taxes. If you owe $20,000 in taxes and your tax credit is $10,000, you will owe $10,000 in taxes after the credit is applied. Conversely, if you owe $9,000 in taxes and your tax credit is $10,000, the IRS will not refund you the $1,000.  It is also important to note that the Solar Tax Credit goes to the owner of the solar energy system. If you lease the system, you are not able to claim the 30% Tax Credit. A Geoscape Solar Advisor will be able to advise you if it makes more financial sense to buy or lease your system once the tax credit is factored into your overall expenditure.

See Also: https://businessfeed.sunpower.com/home/claim-solar-investment-tax-credit-asap

In addition to your property’s available space to house solar panels, the design of your system is going to be factored around measuring kilowatts and kilowatt hours. It is important to understand the difference.

A watt of electricity is a measure of power.  A kilowatt (kW) is a measure of 1,000 watts of electricity. Solar Panels are rated in units of kilowatts in order to measure the peak amount of power they can produce to offset your electric bill. The more efficient the panel, the more energy it can draw in to offset your usage.  Geoscape Solar installs quality, high efficiency, solar panels. The quality of your solar panels play a large role in the Return on Investment (ROI) that you receive by going solar and how quickly your system pays for itself.

A kilowatt hour (kWh) is the equivalence of 1 watt of energy is being accumulated over a 1 hour time frame. It is the standard unit that Utility Companies use to buy and sell power usage. It is an exact measurement of each hour of electrical usage. There is no correlation between a kilowatt (kW) and a kilowatt hour (kWh) other than you can calculate kilowatt hours by multiplying the kilowatts used by the number of hours it is used for.

In order to calculate the size (kW) and design the most efficient solar energy system for your property, Geoscape Solar takes your daily kilowatt hour (kWh) usage and divides it by the peak sunlight hours of the space you have available (rooftop , ground-mount or carport).  Geoscape Solar’s system design factors in the most efficient solar panels available.

The final factor in determining how much your solar energy system will cost is which solar company you chose to go solar with.  Make sure you choose wisely because a poor installation done by a disreputable installer will cost you fortune. Ask how long have they been in business for. Do they focus exclusively on solar installation or are they roofers that can add on solar panels? What types of solar warranties does the company offer? Do they offer high-efficiency solar panels?  What professional accreditations do they have? Do your research because your relationship with your solar provider is meant to last for decades.

Geoscape Solar is coming up on our 12th year in the solar industry. We only do solar and we do solar right. If you are not completely satisfied with our work, we guarantee that we will make it right. Geoscape Solar has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, we are NABCEP certified, and accredited by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

 

 

5 Key Questions Every Solar Proposal Should Answer

Purchasing a solar energy system is a major investment which requires a great deal of research and due diligence to make the best choices in system design, system components, maximize solar energy needs and most important: a solar installer that you can trust as a partner for the lifetime of your system.  Geoscape Solar believes that our best customer is an educated consumer. We expect that our future customers will get multiple bids before deciding who to partner with for their solar journey. With that in mind, here are 5 key questions that every thorough solar energy proposal should answer:

1) Does the system design meet the maximum amount of your energy needs?

The design should be based on the space you have available to install solar panels, your historical kW energy usage, and the quality of panels that are installed. It is not always possible to cover 100% of your usage. Be wary of the solar installer that over-promises what your system will generate.

2) Has a solar advisor come to property to do a comprehensive solar analysis prior to submitting a proposal?

Most credible solar companies will offer a complimentary consultation and solar analysis of your property. Without an on-site visit, it is difficult to determine how a solar energy system can perform to maximum efficiency.

An initial view of your property via satellite can rule a property as viable or not viable for solar energy, it doesn’t take the place of an on-site visit prior to submitting a solar system design.

 3) Are your solar production estimates guaranteed by the solar installer?

This is a pertinent question to pose to every solar energy installer who presents you with a proposal. The biggest exposure a property owner faces is your system not performing as well as the design was proposed to do. Geoscape Solar ensures Solar Sone Right which promises that we will stand behind our performance guarantees.

4) Are both the products and their standard warranties being used in your solar energy system a part of the proposal?

The specifics and efficiency of the equipment your installer will be using should be clearly defined to you. You should receive spec sheets, rating reports, and manufacturer warranties for each major aspect of your solar energy system. Where are these parts manufactured? The solar industry standard for a quality solar panel warranty is 25 years. Make sure that you trust that the solar installer you chose is likely to be around in 25 years and will advocate for you should you need to enforce the manufacturer warranties.

5) Are both the pricing and the terms clearly defined?

Going back to our original statement, converting to solar energy is a major investment in your property.  Make sure that all items on the proposal are clearly defined. If you choose to finance your system, once your financing is secure, your solar advisor should walk you through the financed price and your monthly payments.

GEOSCAPE SOLAR’S BOTTOM LINE SUGGESTIONS:

Make sure the product specifications, services, warranties, and prices are transparent and clearly defined.

Make sure your solar advisor visits your home to do a solar assessment before selling you a system.

Evaluate your current and future energy needs, talk with your solar advisor to make sure the system is not over or under sized.

Make sure your solar installer is established in the NJ area solar industry and understands local policies and procedures.

Evaluate: How long has your solar partner been in business? Will the company be around for the lifetime of your solar energy system?

 

 

Demand for Sustainable Features Shown to Increase Property Values

Recently, the National Association of Realtors , America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries, released the Realtors and Sustainability 2019 Report which found that consumers continue to look for eco-friendly features in a property and are willing to pay a premium to get them.

Other findings showed that in terms of demand, Solar Energy leads this trend. 83% of markets have properties available with a solar energy system. Combined with a perceived increase in the property value, these properties are moving quicker and selling for a higher price.

The study further showed that from March 1, 2018 – February 28, 2019, the median-valued residential property sold for 4.1% more than one without solar. With solar available in 94% of the real-estate markets in the Northeast, the New Jersey area real-estate market saw more gains than the national average with properties with solar systems installed selling for an average of 5.4%.  59% of property buyer factors some level of sustainability into their purchasing choice.

The Realtors and Sustainability 2019 Report was based on a sample of 112,305 practicing real estate agents completing online surveys. However, the National Association of Realtors recognizes that solar power is boosting property values and responding by creating more accurate methods to fine tune how to determine the market value of solar of properties equipped with solar power systems.

Zillow, an online real-estate data company, cites that the reason that properties with solar energy systems sell for a premium is because of the future energy savings they provide. While buyers pay more money upfront, the math calculations generally lead to the conclusion that they will save more money in the long term.

This is especially prevalent with businesses that have a large utility overhead and luxury homes with amenities such as heated floors, wine cellars, or electrically powered work-out equipment.

Zillow also reports that the median home prices in New Jersey have gone up 3.5% over the past year and will continue to rise. Looking at the 5.4% premium that solar brings to a New Jersey property, going solar makes sense to both save money on utilities and reap the benefits of current tax incentives. And should you decide to sell…you can be confident that you have added long term value to your property – this is the type of investment in your property where you don’t have to worry that your choices will go out of style.