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Many local governments, real estate owners, and lease holders are currently looking to implement solar panels on new construction projects and remodels. In December 2018, California became the first state to require that all new homes are built with solar. Other states, including Massachusetts, are likely to do the same in upcoming years. Representatives Mike Connolly and Jack Lewis from Massachusetts proposed the Solar Neighborhoods Act in 2021, which would mandate rooftop solar panels be installed on all new residential and commercial buildings in the state. For General and Electrical Contractors, the demand to offer end-to-end solar projects will continue to rise. According to Investopedia, end-to-end projects describe a process by which a service is performed from beginning to end without obtaining anything from a third party.

General and Electrical Contractors do not typically offer end-to-end solar projects. Historically, contractors construct buildings to be “solar ready” and commercial real estate owners source their own solar contractors. Solar ready buildings have reserved space on the roof and walls for solar panels and the electrical panels. Contractors frequently do not offer solar due to the financial calculations and forecasting required. Future energy costs, solar incentive programs, energy production yields, and net metering program specifications are all included in the financial calculations and forecasting. Contractors may also lack access to the engineering, utility applications, and procurement of specialty equipment required to complete a solar project.

Contractors that lack the ability to offer end-to-end solar projects are missing out on the opportunity to gain valuable revenue and customers. The solar industry has been gaining momentum since 2010 due to an 85% decrease in solar electricity costs, but it is still an emerging market. Many solar specific contractors and EPC groups are new to the industry. Well established contractors who have the ability to offer solar themselves will have a competitive advantage due to their tenure and broad full service capabilities. Additionally, offering end-to-end solar projects would attract new customers looking to meet ESG and sustainability targets, increase existing customer retention, and increase revenue by making margin in both private and public sectors.

Construction Contractors are starting to add solar to their services by using tools like SolBid. Contractors can use tools like SolBid to help with solar design, financial calculations, engineering, and procurement. As the demand for solar energy rises, the ability to build solar projects will continue to be financially and environmentally advantageous.

 

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