I recently had the opportunity to drive Tesla’s new Model 3. Self-driving, lightning fast, and ninja quiet, it is truly a completely different driving experience. One of the most noticeable differences from the driver’s seat is the dashboard. When you peer through the steering wheel, there’s no speedometer, no fuel gauge; just a smooth, flat surface. All of the vehicle metrics come from a touch screen display in the center of the vehicle. It took a bit getting used to. But once I understood the difference, and where to find my speed and battery life, I was fine. In fact, I was more than fine. Once I understood the dashboard, I enjoyed myself more than in any other driving experience.
There’s an interesting parallel here with those organizations who have “gone solar”. The value proposition of behind-the-meter solar is built off a relatively simple concept. By producing your own electricity at a cheaper rate than your electric utility provider, you are able to drive down your electricity costs. However, due to the complexities of utility solar billing & energy analysis, it is challenging for organizations to accurately assess the financial benefit they are receiving from their solar energy systems, and to forecast what their energy spend will be in the future.
Behind-the-meter solar requires a completely different financial dashboard!
Before going solar, understanding energy use & costs is relatively simple. By summing up your previous twelve months of energy spend and looking at historical trends related to your energy use and utility rates, you could fairly simply & accurately assess your energy costs, and what your future energy costs will likely be.
However, after deploying behind-the-meter solar your solar energy systems’ performance, changes in energy usage patterns, and utility rate structures (with seasonal & time-of-use rate variations) all factor into your historical and future electricity costs.
For an energy program to be successful, it must be informed with accurate financial data.
Without the proper financial dashboard, questions like:
- Is our solar saving us money?
- When & how often should our solar panels be washed?
- When is the right time to re-condition or replace our solar inverters?
…remain a mystery.
To that end, our team has created a “Utility Billing Engine” that enables us to re-produce each line item of what our clients’ electric utility bills would have been for a given period, had their energy systems not been deployed. This enables us to answer with utility billing accuracy how much our clients are actuallysaving from their energy systems in avoided electric utility costs. By using this Utility Billing Engine, combined with our expertise in solar, energy storage and energy markets, our team empowers our clients with regular detailed financial reports, providing insights into real cost savings, along with visibility into the revenues (such as Renewable Energy Certificate sales) and expenses (maintenance, washing, etc.) that were generated from the systems,
…providing our clients with the new dashboard that they need.
Our solar financial dashboard provides visibility into actual vs. expected:
- Avoided Utility Costs: what your utility costs would have been without solar, minus your actual utility costs
- Revenues: Renewable Energy Certificate sales
- Expenses: washing, maintenance, etc.
- Net Savings: avoided utility costs, plus revenues, less expenses
- Solar Energy Production: portfolio wide & per system
- Energy Use: portfolio wide & per site
Interested in seeing your own solar dashboard? Curious about revenue opportunities from Renewable Energy Certificate sales? Contact our Asset Management Team today!
At TerraVerde Energy, our Asset Management Team manages a portfolio of hundreds of solar energy and energy storage systems, optimizing their environmental & financial benefits. Our group of experienced analysists & technicians monitor, maintain, analyze and report on these systems to optimize performance, drive down operating costs, and capitalize on revenue opportunities, yielding the maximum cost savings benefit of these systems for our clients. For a free copy of a sample performance report, and to learn more about our Asset Management Services, email us at email@example.com.
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