Many solar companies use an Excel-based quoting and proposal generation tool. But are Excel Solar Proposals really good enough? How much is wasted due to Excel’s shortfalls where it comes to running a solar business effectively?

1.      Training sales staff

Takes a long time to train sales staff because not everyone knows how to use Excel and it is a difficult tool to master. If you spend 6 hours training 6 staff members, consider that the cost of that time alone is likely to be over $1,000!

With PVsell… Training sales staff is easy because PVsell is intuitively designed with the feedback of many active solar industry businesses.

Read more: 5 Things That Go Wrong With Excel Solar Proposals

How do you calculate Solar PV payback?

Are you still using Excel to calculate your solar payback for customers? Excel is a fantastically awesome tool for doing quick calculations, but when it comes to solar calculations there are heaps of reasons NOT to use Excel.

People don’t understand my spreadsheet!

solar PV payback comic dilbert

Excel can do all the wrong things for some people – including making them want to fall asleep. If you’ve come up with a brilliant spreadsheet which perfectly expresses the temperature co-efficient of solar cells as a function of internal rate of return then the chances are, you’ll baffle and confuse most of your customers. What makes it even worse? The only customers who do understand your spreadsheet probably aren’t going to trust your calculations.

How PVsell solves this:

PVsell produces simple, easy-to-understand results. Your customer doesn’t need a masters engineering degree to understand the output. They will get an accurate, simple report of solar PV payback every time.

Show me something that looks nice

solar pv payback spreadsheet

Spreadsheets were never designed to give you a graphically pleasing output. As a result, most spreadsheets are, let’s face it, ugly. Customers who see your spreadsheet-driven proposal might get past the complexity and trust issues above, but if it doesn’t look like a professional proposal, you’re in a whole new world of trouble trying to convert the sale!

How PVsell solves this:

PVsell output is designed to look good. Your sale is on the line after all!

Solar PV Payback - Accuracy issues

An Excel spreadsheet can be fraught with issues in accuracy. This is particularly important when calculating solar power export. Even masterful Excel users will agree that getting the program to account for orientation and tilt when assessing export volumes and time-of-generation value is not an easy task.

How PVsell solves this:

The PVsell engine has been refined and perfected over the years. It is extremely robust and the most accurate calculation for solar PV available anywhere.

Find out how PVsell can transform each and every solar PV payback proposal you pass to your customers today - click here

 

As if it weren’t hard enough to make a buck out of solar already, the news that solar businesses won’t be able to get help from Nigel Morris anymore just made life even tougher. The solar industry has already had to cope with the Abbott government’s recent announcement about its expanded cessation of CEFC project funding, and Mr. Morris’ departure will mean yet another hit. To make matters worse, not only is Nigel exiting consulting, he’s doing so to head up one of Australia’s leading solar retailers. So you’re going to be facing some intense competition from a well-respected company headed up by a dynamic genius and master strategist who knows exactly what makes solar businesses successful.

Read more: Nigel Morris takes the helm of leading solar retailer… what this means for the solar industry

When PV retailers start tackling commercial PV, they soon realise that commercial bills are more complex than residential bills…. a LOT more complex. One of the key differences is that there is a separate demand charge.

Rather than paying residential rates of 20-35c/kWh, commercial customers often pay 10-16c/kWh when all of the energy charges are tallied up, plus a separate demand charge. Solar payback is much worse because of this lower electricity price makes solar payback… commonly about 9 year payback.

Solar power can certainly reduce peak demand, and the value of this peak demand reduction can be significant, when it’s incorporated it can even bring a 9 year payback down below 7 years. The challenge is how to calculate the likely peak demand reduction.

Read more: Solar Demand Reductions

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