Making the case for residential solar

Homemade video explains ‘why now is the time for solar energy on your roof’

Before Sean Ong took his new job as a senior consultant at Navigant, he spent five years as an energy analysis engineer at the National Renewable Energy Labs, where he was involved in the “technical, policy, and economic analysis and modeling of renewable energy systems,” according to his LinkedIn profile. His knowledge of the solar industry and markets has been honed by taking deep dives into the subject matter for the reports he coauthored, such as the “Impacts of Regional Electricity Prices and Building Type on the Economics of Commercial Photovoltaics Systems” and “Breakeven Prices for Photovoltaics on Supermarkets in the United States.” Recently though, Sean posted a homespun video on YouTube titled “Why Now is the Time for Solar Energy on Your Roof” that is meant for the average Joe or Josephine thinking about going solar.

The only things on camera during the nine-minute-plus not-HD video (embedded below) are Sean’s gesticulating hand and his Surface RT device, on which he runs through a series of slides that he uses to make his case. His voiceover banter reminds me of a conversation that an enthusiastic buddy might have with you during a family barbecue or cocktail party, but his message must be music to the ears of any companies pushing residential solar leases. After explaining how solar prices have come waaaay down and the number of solar systems has skyrocketed, much of the video is taken up with an explanation of–and support for–those third-party financing plans, presenting the “zero money down” and “your utility bill will likely be less than it is now” arguments. Those that believe the system ownership model is preferable may quibble with Sean’s conclusions, but you can’t fault his zeal.

While it may not be the slickest video in support of the solar cause, Sean’s charming post is another example of the passionate proselytization practiced by many people involved in the renewables revolution.