Even in the field of renewable energy, in which companies and consumers value doing the right thing, not every provider adheres to the same ethical standards. As with any industry, some folks are all about maximizing profits, while others work out of a genuine concern for their clients’ happiness and the impact of their solar investment. There are real benefits to working with solar companies that adhere to ethical standards - how can you spot the solar providers who work in their clients’ best interest?
Solar Ethical Standards
Almost every industry has a governing body or membership association that sets ethical standards for those who wish to participate at its highest levels. In the solar field, members of the Solar Energy Industries Association (founded in 1974) pledge to adhere to the SEIA Code of Ethics. Among other tenets, SEIA members pledge to:
“Accurately and honestly represent the cost, capabilities, reliability, performance and other characteristics of solar products and services.”
For consumers who choose to buy from SEIA members, this means avoiding over-inflated costs for goods and services involved in designing, building, and maintaining their solar installations. These consumers benefit from plain-dealing, honest assessments of their solar needs, and a commitment to right-sizing the installation and the products that it is composed of. While unscrupulous solar salespeople may try to sell a client more panels than they need or add unreasonable profit margins on top of solar costs, SEIA members pledge accuracy and honesty.
“Design, build, install, operate and/or maintain products in a manner compatible with public health, safety, and environmental values.”
This provision ensures that consumers’ solar installations are designed and built to last. Not only is the lifetime and productivity of a solar array tied to proper design and installation, but its safety and environmental impact is, too. There’s nothing that makes an ethical solar provider cringe more than improperly installed solar products that do more harm than good.
“Employ or engage well‐trained personnel to provide current, correct, and understandable product information.”
Consumers who work with SEIA members benefit from certified, well-trained employees. When everyone involved in a solar project, from salespeople and designers to site managers and installers, is working at the highest level of their craft, the resulting project benefits immensely from their experience and expertise.
“Conform to the law and intent of federal, state, utility, and local incentives and fairly represent the impact of such incentives in all transactions.”
This means that consumers can expect honesty in their financial dealings with SEIA members. When incentives are available, ethical companies ensure that their clients benefit as much as possible through clarity, honesty, and rigorous documentation of the project so that incentives are easy to claim.
Ethics of Solar Power & Global Warming
While not every solar company has committed to the same ethical standards, the solar energy industry as a whole provides a more ethical option to consumers who want to mitigate their environmental impact, improve their energy security, and ultimately save money on utility bills.
As SolarPowerNerd explores, renewable energy is the most ethical option available to consumers today. Solar power in particular excels in sustainability, reducing environmental impact, reducing dependence on fossil fuels, creating jobs, and more. The industry as a whole is working towards making solar energy more accessible to the general public so that more people can benefit from access to renewable energy sources in the near future.
Our Commitment to Solar Ethics
At Solar Design Studio, we’re not just salespeople trying to turn the biggest profit - we’re consultants with a commitment to designing the right solar package to fit each client’s unique needs. That means maximizing the impact of your investment to ensure that you make your money back through savings on your utility bills, net metering profits, and access to the best incentives and deals available to you.
Since we are members of the Solar Energy Industry Association and Missouri Solar Energy Industry Association, we have signed onto the code of ethics and promised to adhere to the best practices of our industry for the benefit of our clients.
If you’re searching for an ethical solar company with a full range of services from consulting to planning, design, and installation, we’re here for you. Contact us today to learn more!