Posts tagged ‘RS Energy’

2011 July 22 10:28
by roma

What's New in Canvassing

I've been refining my pitch throughout the past couple of weeks and focusing on setting up appointments for people who may have not thought of solar before, but who are generally interested. The pitch I had used in the first couple of weeks of canvassing tended to overload homeowners with too much information. They then wanted to think about solar more on their own time and would not be inclined to set up an appointment.

I've also started a pretty lively discussion on LinkedIn's Solar Power Society with a post about canvassing-related blog posts. A woman who works with SolarCity in California has provided useful references for the positive effect of solar panels on house prices. I will read the articles and reports carefully and hope to use them to pitch solar to homeowners whose main concern is that they may move in the next couple of years.

2011 June 30 11:12
tags: ,
by roma

Asking Homeowners Questions

Michael, one of the other canvassers has had success with a shortened version of the spiel that gets homeowners to talk about themselves. The key is to present the crucial information only at first, and then turn the tables and start asking questions. This is one thing that I overlooked in my June 17 post.

I have been experimenting with Mike's spiel this week.

2011 June 21 10:23
tags: ,
by roma

Week 2 with RS Energy

On the morning of Monday, June 20, I went around houses to talk to homeowners in southeast Portland, around where I live. The overwhelming majority of the people were not home.

In the afternoon, I met up with Koa Hester, who does too many things to name back at the office (calling our leads, setting up areas for us to work in, briefing us before our shifts). We started out canvassing together. Koa listened to my spiel and gave me very valuable pointers. Like some of the other guys in RS, he has been on a Mormon mission, and so has loads of experience in knocking on doors.

It was mostly due to Koa's smarts that we made an appointment with one particular gentleman. I'm gradually understanding how to counter various objections homeowners throw out there and will continue to refine my approach.

2011 June 17 10:09
by roma

Week 1 of Beaverton Canvassing Roundup

Knocking on doors for the rest of the week definitely became a routine. I stumbled many times, talked to quite a few people and began to work on refining my spiel.

One thing I noticed is that the script SunRun is very well thought-out. Practically every phrase in there has a specific purpose. For example, given that the deal is almost too good to be true, we repeat this fact almost right after introducing it to get the prospect focusing on the right things.

I noticed that people would interrupt my spiel if I gave them a chance - if I left a pause for them to but in. Once this happened, the conversation was over. You must remember that I am knocking unexpectedly on someone's door without an invitation. Even if the prospect has good intentions, they have other things on their mind. The only way to counter this is to plow through giving them the little information that we give with our 1-minute spiel.

I decided to challenge myself by going through the spiel and not giving people a chance to interrupt me. I would see prospects' attempts to but in, but politeness is a powerful concept. Throughout the week, it would indeed be rare for anyone to interrupt me, unless they genuinely needed to. I could usually tell this myself by their body language. Then I would stop and ask them if it was an inconvenient time.

A person going from house to house knocking on peoples' doors quickly realizes the power of the human mind. Canvassing is a perpetual exercise in reframing. Got shooed away by some old lady who doesn't want to open up? Her loss. Homeowner told you that you are in fact soliciting, even though you're just talking to people? Look at the beautiful flowers and fresh air that I get to call my office.

This teaches you to persevere.

2011 June 13 21:35
by roma

RS/SunRun Program Real Cost

In order to justify possessing an economics degree, I want to analyze the real costs of the SunRun lease program. We must take the time value of money into account in order to do this.

After shelling out six grand for the system, the homeowner is eligible to receive a $1,500 tax credit from the state of Oregon for four years. First, it must be noted that the homeowner must have a tax liability higher than $1,500 in order to benefit. For someone who has $6000 in cash this is likely not a problem.

Let's say the homeowner shells out the $6000 for the system on April 16. One year later, they are able to pay $1,500 less on their state taxes due to the credit. It must be noted that $1,500 in a credit is not the same thing as cash in hand. But even if we discount this, $1500 today is not the same thing as $1500 a year from now. What is $1,500 a year from now worth today? It's worth the amount of money we'd have to put in a bank in order to get $1,500 at the end of the year.

According to, a 1-year CD from MetLife will get us a 1.29% rate. That $1,500 in one year is worth $1480 now. A 2-year CD will get us a rate of 1.54%. That $1500 two years from now is worth $1454 now. 1.79% for a 3-year CD. The $1,500 in three years will be $1422. Bankrate didn't have 4-year CD's, so I'll just use the 3 year rate ($1397 dollars for $1500 in four years).

-6000 + \frac{1500}{1.0129} + \frac{1500}{1.0154^2} + \frac{1500}{1.0179^3} + \frac{1500}{1.0179^4} = -244

If one were to get higher rates, the present value of the future payments would go down, and the system would be more expensive.

As it stands, $244 gets you 20-year use of a solar array that offsets around one quarter of the average electricity bill. Not bad at all!