DOE supports efforts to dramatically reduce the non-hardware, balance of systems costs associated with solar energy systems. Representing as much as 64% of the total installed system price, these "soft costs" include:
- Customer Acquisition
- Financing and Contracting
- Permitting, Interconnection, and Inspection
- Installation and Performance
- Operations and Maintenance.
To meet SunShot goals, the industry must innovate new ways to automate and speed processes that make it easier for consumers, businesses, utilities, solar companies, and others to install solar projects. For example, novel software solutions now allow solar companies to design systems and provide accurate quotes using satellite images rather than conducting full site visits.
Finding new paths to reduce balance of systems costs can make the solar business more profitable for companies and solar energy more accessible for Americans.