SolarTech Launches Solar Energy Estimate Report to Help Consumers Compare Residential Solar PV System Performance Through ‘MPG-Like’ Report

Date: 22 December 2011
National industry consortium launches Solar Energy Estimate report at with support from solar proposal tool providers.

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SolarTech, a non-profit industry consortium, announced today the launch of the Solar Energy Estimate (SEE) Report as an open web service at The goal is to reduce consumer confusion by offering a service similar to the Federal government’s new-car MPG rating system. “We are pleased to have our SEE report vision launched and ready to serve consumers and solar installers,” said Tim Keating, SolarTech Performance Committee Chair and VP of Marketing and Field Operations at Skyline Solar. “The SEE Report has the potential to reduce consumer confusion when purchasing a solar PV system. Our next challenge will be to educate consumers and drive industry adoption.”

The one page SEE report uses standardized calculations combined with the installer’s site-specific equipment design variables and local solar insolation data to provide the annual estimated energy production for the solar system. This standardized estimate allows consumers to compare multiple solar PV designs for a specific location. In addition to the underlying calculations (based on NREL’s PVWatts, v2 and California CSI EPBB derate factors), it offers a standardized report format, modeled on the MPG window sticker, enabling consumers to find the data of interest for comparing quotes and building consumer confidence. The SEE report includes estimates for the first year energy production; the total energy produced over 25 years and a graphic showing the variation in monthly energy production over a full year.

SolarNexus, an active participant in the Performance Committee and co-developer of SolarHub, developed the SEE Report software to satisfy the Performance Committee's documented requirements. SolarHub proved to be a natural home for the SEE Report. SolarHub is a free web-based source for product specifications on thousands of solar products providing a cost-reducing resource to solar contractors. “We are pleased to be supporting SolarTech’s mission to lower Balance of System soft costs,” said Eric Alderman, President and CEO of SolarNexus. “We look forward to working with SolarTech to drive adoption with consumers to make asking for their SEE Report as natural and expected as asking for a car’s MPG rating.”

Key to maximizing the SEE Report benefit is the broad adoption by commercial solar sales professionals and proposal tool providers such as OnGrid Solar. “OnGrid envisions the SEE Report as a natural complement to its quotation tool suite,” said Andy Black, CEO, OnGrid Solar. “We look forward to actively supporting SolarTech’s mission to drive down acquisition costs. This consumer confidence building tool is long overdue,” continued Andy. “We have taught thousands of new solar professionals through our Solar Sales and Marketing classes. The SEE Report is right tool at the right time to ensure ethical selling and satisfied consumers leading to long term industry growth.”

“SolarTech is privileged to be awarded DOE funding in September for our National Solar 3.0 platform. The launch of the SEE Report means that SolarTech is already off and running to lower solar project soft costs,” said Doug Payne, Executive Director and co-founder of SolarTech. “The SEE Report is another in a series of accomplishments to reduce Balance of System and soft costs by 20% annually through standardized templates, uniform financing contracts, checklists and other process streamlining best practices.”

SolarTech will host a webinar on Thursday Jan. 12th at 9:30am Pacific Time to introduce and explore the benefits of the SEE Report and answer questions from integrators and solar sales professionals. Visit to register. Be sure to test drive the SEE Report at


Operating at the intersection of industry, consumers, local governments, and utilities, SolarTech provides the path to make solar happen through better tools enabling the industry to execute faster at lowest possible cost, accelerating the growth of solar energy at the state and local level. On behalf of our 120 members, Board, and partners, our mission is to develop, deploy and disseminate best practices and standards that make mass adoption of solar a reality through our core initiatives: workforce development, financing, performance, installation, permitting, and interconnection. For information on SolarTech, visit


SolarNexus Inc. provides web-based solar business management software that makes it cheaper, faster and more profitable to sell, install and maintain solar systems. Designed specifically for the solar industry, the solution understands and automates the workflows and intricacies of solar projects, eliminating inefficiencies and facilitating collaboration among project team members and externally with the SolarNexus Supplier Network. SolarNexus is free to solar contractors for up to 10 users, and now offers a Professional edition for contractors who need more user licenses, more extensive automation, and greater customization. For more information visit,


The OnGrid Tool sales software assists dealers, installers, and salespeople in PV sizing, pricing and quoting. It calculates system performance, customer bill savings, and cost before and after incentives. It calculates Payback, APY, IRR, Cash Flow, and Increase in Property Resale Value. OnGrid puts these results and more into 60+ pages of fully customizable proposals and contracts to speed the close and make a professional presentation. OnGrid teaches several classes on solar economics, marketing and sales, and solar finance. OnGrid also publishes a variety of related articles, papers, and class presentations. For more information, please visit


Skyline Solar manufactures integrated concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) systems, incorporating industry-proven silicon cells, durable mirrors and single-axis tracking into easy-to-deploy energy solution. The Skyline Solar X14 System delivers a levelized cost of energy (LCOE) below ten cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), including incentives, in areas with high sun exposure. Built primarily out of commodity materials and assembled using globally available manufacturing processes, the Skyline X14 System offers customers excellent financial returns and outstanding scalability.

Skyline Solar was founded in 2007 and is led by veterans of the solar energy and high volume manufacturing industries. The company is funded by NEA and other investors, and has been awarded contracts by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Defense (DOD). Skyline Solar has seven patents to date on its CPV architecture. For more information, visit



Doug Payne, 408-768-0449

600450 SolarTech Launches Solar Energy Estimate Report to Help Consumers Compare Residential Solar PV System Performance Through ‘MPG-Like’ Report
Date: 22 December 2011

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