The Covid-19 crisis will transform many of our traditional businesses processes. Although this podcast was recorded before Shelter In Place became a household phrase, Greenlancer‘s outsourcing business model is proof that there are better, faster and safer ways to handle many traditional business processes.

Solar hardware costs — such as solar panels, batteries and mounting equipment — continue to decline. However, non-hardware costs, referred to as “soft costs — such as permitting, labor and overhead — have continued to increase steadily. With equipment costs going down and soft costs going up, there has not been much change in the overall cost of a solar and battery backup system.

As a long time solar contractor, I’m always looking for ways to reduce our costs while still installing top quality systems. I’ve come to the conclusion that there are no magic bullets. Nevertheless, there are a a number of smaller actions that we can take that, in the aggregate, keep costs down for our customers.

Design and engineering costs used to be a huge expense. I once had a room full of 60 engineers and project managers working on projects across the U.S. It was challenging to manage, very expensive, and not particularly responsive to the ups and downs in the solar industry. Now, by outsourcing the electrical design and drafting, I’ve been able to reduce my design and engineering costs by more than half. Moreover, I can turn around engineering projects in a day or two — providing faster installation services for our customers.

I’ve been using Greenlancer’s outsourced solar design and engineering services for almost seven years. We send them the design, pictures, equipment and project details, and in a day or two they send back a comprehensive plan set which we then submit to the local permitting office.

Not only do they reduce our costs and improve our customer service, but Greenlancer’s outsourced business model is also a perfect example of a way to both reduce costs and respect the Shelter In Place requirements. Please listen to The Energy Show to learn more about Greenlancer, the services they provide and how they are reducing solar soft costs for solar installations across the US.