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Provider Profile: S3C Energy

Your stand-up kind of back-up

The wildfire season and PG&E’s public safety power shut offs brings home the necessity of power back-ups for care homes. What can you do to make sure your care home is safe with enough power that your lights stay on and medicines and rooms stay cool when these shut offs are unexpected and can last for days.? There is a “stand-up kind of back up” source for power available to you when you partner with nature and go solar! Today, Solar+Battery Storage can provide backup power for your care home to provide you a peace of mind at NO UPFRONT COST, cutting your power bill in half, you home care will have power as long as the sun is there.

Are you surprised? This package is what solar power company S3C Energy can do for 6Beds members and other customers.
S3C co-founder Alex Alino says, “Our solar plus battery back-up system can be configured to back up your entire home or at minimum provide back up power for your most important appliances, equipments and rooms. Your choice will determine the number of batteries for your specific installation.”

He explained, “We have installed a lot of solar panels for 6Beds, so we understand the needs of a typical 6Beds care home. We can put together a solar package with financing that will not increase their ‘debt-to-income’ ratio and preserve their buying power in the future.”

“We found out that a typical care home can save anywhere from $90,000 to $180,000 on their electricity bills (depending on the system size) over 25 years. That’s a reduction in costs running between 50-60 percent and giving the care home a huge savings.”

“Just to give you an actual example: We were asked by an owner to put solar power systems on their nine care home facilities. The total estimated savings for electricity costs over 25 years for the nine homes is a little over $1,000,000. These savings were achieved with the S3C no-upfront cost program and without carrying a loan by simply paying for power produced by their solar system at a fixed low monthly payment for the next 25 years. The only requirement S3C has is that the care home owner must have a FICO score of at least 650 and be identified as owner on the care home title.”

Solar power systems and installations have changed a lot since the days of the failed solar company Solyndra. “Back then” homeowners are required to pay cash for acquisition and typically takes an average of 8-10 years to realize a Return-On-Investment (ROI).

Alino said, “All our 6Beds customers realize savings immediately – the moment we turn on their system. Since the care homes didn’t put money out, they didn’t have to worry about ‘rate of return’ or ‘payback in future months.’ Their solar bills are a lot less than their current monthly electricity bill and over the years they’ll see those savings as long as they qualify for our solar program.”

“S3C service is one-stop-shop. We handle your solar project from beginning to end. We can also include roofing work, upgrading your electrical main panel or any additional work to complete your solar project.”

In the early days there was no uniformity in approvals for solar installations. Both the ‘pro’ installers and the home owners faced regulatory hurdles with some local city departments declining to issue permits and/or did not know the required documents. It used to be if you found a city that would issue solar permits, each of those cities had its own timeline.

Alino: “Fortunately today it is not hard to get a solar permit from the city. Typical documents you’ll need include – architectural plan, load calculation, solar panel technical specification up to any materials we will use to install the solar panels (i.e. screws, conduit sizes, wires, etc.). Plus, the roof must be in good condition and the electrical panel must meet the load requirement for the size of the system. Some cities issue permits over the counter while others take two to three weeks or more depending on the city current workloads. With COVID-19, the reduced city workforce could prolong the timeline.”

Homeowners, solar companies, and industry advocates alike were given a big Christmas gift in 2015 when Congress approved the 2016 federal spending bill and extended the solar panel tax credit. The December 18 bill contained a 5-year solar tax credit extension, which makes solar energy more affordable for all Americans.

Fortunately, Alino said, “There is still a Federal tax credit which is 26 percent for 2020. This will go down to 22 percent in 2021, but the tax credit is expiring in 2022. This helps providing a low monthly payment for your solar panels whether you lease or purchase the system.”

Today’s solar panel is much improved in efficiency and size. Customers can now monitor their solar system production from their mobile phone by downloading the monitoring app. In addition, it is easier to acquire solar system nowadays due to NO UPFRONT COST as long as the homeowner has a decent FICO Score of 650.

Alino explains, “We install an optimizer on each solar panel so it minimizes the effects of shadows – so flights of birds, trees and chimneys don’t reduce our panel efficiency. Also, we consider shadows when we design your solar system and compensate by adding more panels. As far as cleaning panels, it is not required. Solar panels nowadays are built to resist dust. It wash out the dirt when it rains. We meet all challenges like installing on metal, clay or tile roofs, or mounting panels on the ground and patio which often times are turned-down by other solar companies due to being time consuming to complete.”

S3C Energy solar projects run typically two to three months from start to finish, unlike bigger solar companies that could take six to eight months for the same project because they sell more projects than us.

S3C Energy has been a member provider for 6Beds for two years now. They understand the needs of a home care owner from saving on their electricity cost to providing a backup power solution during power outages.

By Harvey Barkin