Department of Energy Starts Energy Innovation Podcast

March 28, 2017

In a welcomed change in communication techniques employed by the United States government, the Department of Energy has officially released the first in a podcast series aimed at building rapport with consumers and educating them on energy initiatives. Interestingly, the topic chosen by the DoE for this podcast is “Tackling the hidden costs of rooftop solar”. So, it’s no surprise that the team at Urban Solar perked up and took notice. This is, after all, kind of our area of expertise. Equally interesting is the level of quality of this new podcast content; there are historical explanations, referenceable facts and statistics, and relevant citations to energy-related subjects that impact the average energy consumer in the United States.

The podcast discusses politics, too. More to the point, it describes what political decisions were required to get solar energy taken seriously by American industry in the 1950’s and 1960’s. As the subject narrows to solar power specifically, the podcasters begin to itemize what they call ‘hidden’ costs involved in implementing solar power. First among these hidden costs is related to the bureaucratic red tape that some customers can encounter when they start interacting with state and local governments to get permits for solar power system installations. These interactions can be time-consuming and costly, incurring unforeseen costs by consumers who just want to lessen their reliance on grid-sourced electricity.

The second cost that is mentioned is one that is considered a ‘soft’ cost, because an exact dollar figure cannot be assigned to it. This is the cost associated with having to educate customers on the nuances of solar. Because all consumers aren’t electrical engineers, it does take considerable resource allocation to make sure they understand how solar works, and what equipment is right for them. Because this effort requires expenditures on things like advertising, educational collateral and increased communication overall, the costs must be passed onto the consumer, resulting in a more expensive end product. Or, so say the hosts of the podcast.
One of the difficulties experienced by consumers and cited by those on the podcast is obtaining a general understanding of where to begin researching solar as an alternative for saving money on electricity bills every month. Thankfully for you, Urban Solar can be that resource, providing expert guidance so that you know your solar power system will be designed, commissioned and tested by professionals with a proven track record. Contact us today to obtain a free, customized energy assessment specific to your needs. Our team is standing by!