Residential Solar Subscription Example Case Study

Swarnav S Pujari

Founder at TouchLight Innovations

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Let’s take a look at a residential single-family home in California. This site pays an average of $0.18 /kWh for electricity and consumes an average of 8,300 /kWh per year. This home primarily operates during the morning and evening and has an HVAC unit and one LVL 2 EV charger located at the site.

Here is the projected energy usage model for this site.

System Sizing

For this location there is enough roof space and minimal shading which enabled us to design in an ideal 6.6 kW solar system for this location.

Equipment Overview:

    • 21 Panels Rated at 315 W
    • Solar Edge Grid Tied Inverter with paired DC Optimizers
    • Virya OS Base Main Panel Monitoring Sensor
    • Racking & Miscellaneous Equipment

After running the site layout through design software, we were able to come up with the following annual estimated performance of 8,610 kWh /Year. Which should offset 104% of this property’s energy needs annually.

Industry Standard Purchase Offer

Quotes received from other providers for the same system size came in as low as $20,450 [$14,315 with 30% ITC] to have this site permitted, installed and activated. Which yields an estimated 9-year payback period for this system

Ongoing annual monitoring and O&M comes to $200 /Year to keep site maintained.

Industry Standard PPA Offer

Of the providers asked to quote the site the best terms received are listed below

To run an example PPA offering:

    • Priced at $0.16 /kWh
    • Term length 20 years
    • No breaking contract, liable for full contract value
    • No upfront cost

This brings your total out of pocket expense on a PPA to $27,552 over the 20-year period. Your monthly expense for this solar system would be $114.8.  

What is holding homeowners back?

Purchase Option Negatives:

    • Choosing the right technology from the right manufacturer
    • Unable to modify or change system overtime as energy needs change
    • Required to have new roof before install, requires high level of thought and potential heavy expense

PPA Option Negatives:

    • Guaranteed Long Term Agreement
    • Typically results in a Lien taken out on the property
    • Puts personal credit on the line
    • No way to break contract easily, especially if selling the property
    • Purchasing provides far more economic incentive and flexibility

Overall between a PPA and purchasing – purchasing the hardware is the better option for residential property owners as financing terms currently are structured like a mortgage which is limiting and not the ideal way for owners to adopt renewables. Nonetheless, making a heavy upfront purchase puts property owner in a position requiring a heavy amount of research and due diligence which can take a lot of time away from other critical renovations and property upgrades that may have better opportunity costs.

The TouchLight Subscription Solves All

As a homeowner you want the following resolved:

    • I want my power coming from a renewable source
    • I want to always pay as low of an electricity bill as possible
    • I want to have flexibility when it comes to the purchase I make
    • I want to protect my time and not have to spend countless weeks evaluating proposals to see how to make an investment into a project which may distract me from other critical tasks

We resolve all the above concerns with the way we at TouchLight have structured our offering

On every TouchLight Subscription:

    • Flexible Cancellation Terms
    • Lowest cost as we extend wholesale level rates
    • Provide Property Energy Automation Software which takes all the guesswork out of what you need to meet your energy goals with every purchase
    • Provide the ability to upgrade or modify your system over time
    • Cover the full process end to end
    • Offer a full financing and purchase option which comes with all the above features

TouchLight Purchase Subscription

    • $16,476.00 [$11,533.20 after 30% ITC] Purchase covers equipment, design, permitting, install and activation. This results in a 7-year payback
    • $5.00 /Month base subscription covers the following
      • Upgrades of hardware via our equipment trade in program
      • Virya OS Energy Automation software plus the base sensors
      • Basic O&M
      • Monthly and Annual Contracts Available

TouchLight Full Financing Subscription

    • $108.00 /Month on 10 Year Term
    • Option to freeze subscription and move to month to month at $0.16 /kWh
    • Option to cancel and have all equipment removed
    • Comes packaged with base sensor and software for Virya OS Energy Automation to begin taking all the work out of getting your energy consumption as low as possible
    • Basic O&M covered
    • Design, permitting, installation, activation all covered
    • Upgrades available

To summarize how this helps you:

    • You spend less purchasing or taking a financing package from TouchLight
    • You get highly favorable cancellation terms through TouchLight that don’t put you at risk of locking into a contract you can’t break which saves you time
    • You get software that does all the heavy lifting in creating a solution that gets your electricity bill as low as possible by optimizing your energy consumption through TouchLight
    • You get access to upgrades or switching your equipment at any time through TouchLight even if you purchased the equipment.

Conclusion & Summary

In conclusion if you are looking into renewables or have been deterred by an industry that has designed its offering to maximize tax incentives or building utility scale power plants only then you can see that a subscription from TouchLight can be a viable alternative to help maximize the benefit of implementing an energy generation technology like solar.

This is primarily because you spend less money with TouchLight as you are extended wholesale level rates, given access to full building energy automation software free with your subscription, access to upgrades and modifying your system overtime and highly flexible contracts.

Think of our solution like hiring a Chief Sustainability Officer for your home – someone who is always evaluating and looking for ways to save money and be environmentally conscious, so you don’t have to.

Overall, if you are evaluating options – purchasing will always provide the greatest economic return as it gives you the opportunity to tap into various tax incentives that are available in this industry. California happens to be one of the leaders in providing state level renewable energy incentives and is a prime location to begin your journey toward getting your energy consumption as low as possible while also working toward increasing your home’s energy resilience.

If you are a homeowner and curious how TouchLight can help you, feel free to contact our technical sales team so we can get you a quote and site evaluation done. This way you can see what your home should be getting in terms of a solar or solar + storage system to meet your specific energy goals. It will also allow you to set a benchmark for what to expect.

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