Brighton renewable energy agency opens retail storefront for solar panels, EV chargers – Daily Press & Argus

Brighton-based renewable energy agency The Green Panel is rising with new showrooms.

It’s a primary for the corporate to have brick-and-mortar shops, the place clients can view solar panel arrays, backup power storage batteries and electrical car charging stations earlier than inserting orders. 

Owner Adam Harris mentioned he is seen the trade develop since he based the solar and renewable energy set up agency in 2007 and speedy change continues.

“Our industry is still in its infancy stage, even though we’ve seen huge growth in 15 years,” Harris mentioned. “Now, it’s coming to realization.”

The agency operated for years as most solar panel set up firms usually have, by on-site consultations with industrial, industrial and public-sector shoppers, in addition to in-home consultations with residential clients.

Earlier this month, the agency opened a showroom at 8273 Grand River Ave.,

Suite #160 in Brighton. It is their second.

They opened their first showroom final 12 months at 325 84th St SW, Suite #204 in Byron Center close to Grand Rapids.

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Harris mentioned there are extra residential clients — householders seeking to make the swap of solar energy — then when he began and lots of wish to see the know-how earlier than buying it.

An image shows solar panels The Green Panel installed on a residence.

“People want to be able to touch, feel and see the products,” Harris mentioned. “When we go into homes, we can’t bring enough samples,” partially because of the dimension of the tools, he added. 

He mentioned residential gross sales have grown to about 60% of their enterprise, whereas the majority of their clients within the firm’s early years had been industrial shoppers, together with firms, colleges, and municipalities. 

He mentioned the agency has benefited from a increase within the demand for home enhancements throughout the pandemic. 

“COVID came along and our business grew more, because people were home more,” he mentioned. 

He mentioned utility fee will increase within the final couple years additionally drove extra clients towards renewable energy. 

“People starting getting higher utility bills, from running air, using the TV and computers.”

Making folks comfy with investing 1000’s in upfront prices — clients have spent wherever from $10,000 to $200,000 — takes numerous training, he mentioned.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, it prices about $20,000 to put in an average-sized residential system.

Harris mentioned another excuse they opened showrooms was some clients have grow to be extra hesitant to let salespeople into their houses throughout the pandemic. 

They plan to additionally use the Brighton showroom to host occasions, together with lunch-and-learn model occasions, on renewable energy.

In the start, Harris mentioned, “We started by going after Fortune 500 companies, Dow Corning. We did Michigan State University, Wayne State, K-12 schools, and then cities were getting cash to reduce carbon emissions.”

He mentioned they’re at present getting ready a bid for Brighton Area Schools to put in roof high solar arrays on 5 native colleges. 

Emerging applied sciences

The Green Panel employees, from left, Blake Alexander, Denise Bretsik and Eric Roberts stand near renewable energy products in their new Brighton showroom on Thursday, July 14, 2022.

In the start, the agency was solely within the enterprise of solar panels. 

The agency expanded to promote backup power storage batteries and electrical car charging stations, as these applied sciences emerged. 

They promote and set up backup batteries, made by firms resembling Tesla and Panasonic, which might retailer extra power generated by solar panels. 

“If the power goes out, with energy storage, your battery becomes active and provides power to the whole house,” mentioned Eric Roberts, the agency’s technical and gross sales supervisor, mentioned.

“Before, it would go back to the grid,” Roberts mentioned. 

They additionally promote car charging stations made by Tesla, Charge Point and Metra.

When Harris based the agency, there have been no tax incentives to put in renewable energy, and it was principally massive firms out there for solar. 

He mentioned a federal tax credit score for investments in solar energy set to run out in 2024 ought to be prolonged. 

In Michigan, the Solar Investment Tax Credit at present permits a credit score of 26% of the price of solar panels. The credit score might be diminished to 22% in 2023. 

Contact Livingston Daily reporter Jennifer Eberbach at 

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