2022 was a transition year for me. The financial services company I was partnered with for 11 years went through a major upheaval and it became evident that it was time to make a move elsewhere. As I began my search, I had no notion whatsoever that I would end up in the solar industry. But here I am. And quite possibly this is the best thing that ever happened to me professionally. So, perhaps you are in transition as well. Maybe you just need or desire something to supplement what you’re doing. And you need to be able to do it from a home office. If so, a solar side hustle could be the answer. We have several options for you that could generate some nice income without taking up a lot of your time Or if you’re looking for more, there’s a lucrative full-time career option. Stay with me.
Why Should You Take a Look at the Residential Solar Industry?
The biggest factors that are driving the rapid growth in the residential solar market are environmental and political. Our planet needs help, and our government has pivoted strongly toward reducing its dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels. This is evidenced by a 30% tax credit incentive being offered by the federal government. Up to 30% of the cost of a residential solar system can be recuperated from the money a homeowner owes or has paid in federal taxes. For example, if a solar system costs a homeowner $20,000, they can get up to $6,000 back from the government to pay for it. But it gets better!
In most states, a homeowner can realize a lower monthly payment for electricity with a solar system, than with their electric company. Of course, the homeowner will have a loan payment for the solar system. But that loan payment, even with a continued small payment to the utility company because they still need to be connected to the electric grid, will be lower than their current monthly payment for electricity. So, the homeowner says money from day one.
But Wait, There’s More!
There is a new generation of home buyers out there today. These people have been educated to understand that things need to change to give this planet a chance to survive, in the long term. They are actively seeking homes, or at least are attracted to homes, that have solar systems. Plus, they want to reduce their monthly electric payment too. Therefore, a home with solar sells for more money and sells faster than a home without solar. So, by going solar a homeowner increases the value of their most valuable asset. Their home.
To lower their monthly payment, increase the value of their home, and receive up to 30% of the cost of their solar system back from the government, they will have to pay out of pocket NOTHING! That’s right. Homeowners can have a solar system installed as an example in January. They pay nothing for the installation. And in February they pay less for their first solar system payment than they paid their utility company in January!
Are you getting this? Do you understand now that when I saw this in July of 2022 why I couldn’t sleep well for days? I have been in sales or sales management for most of my professional career. I have never seen a value proposition to a customer like this. And I have never worked in an industry that sells a product that is so meaningful to future generations as this.
How Can You Participate in a Solar Side Hustle?
I am a Certified Trainer with Apricot Solar. What that means to you is that I am invested in this project in a big way. I have a team of over 5,600 Solar Advisors and Affiliates across the country that I manage. Now that you understand the value proposition for homeowners to go solar, let me share what your solar side hustle options are. You can participate with us in one of several ways. The order in which I do this will list the options that require the least amount of time and effort first.
Refer Homeowners to Us
If you have very little time but are intrigued with solar and would like to make some income along the way, you can simply refer homeowners that you know to me. All that you need to do is establish that they have an interest in seeing how much money they will save by going solar. That’s it. I will need their contact information from you, of course.
With rare exceptions, I will always make the initial contact. If they want to move forward, they will provide us with a copy of their utility bill. We will then prepare an Energy Savings Analysis and present that to them via a Zoom conference. If they decide to move forward and install solar you will receive a referral fee of 20%of the overall commission. For example, if the commission is $5,000 you will receive a $1,000 referral fee. This is a pretty good solar side hustle, don’t you think?
If you are in real estate, are a contractor, or work in any industry in which you already work with homeowners this is a great way to increase your income and it requires about 30 minutes or less of your time.
Become a Solar Affiliate
A solar side hustle as an Affiliate requires a bit more of your time, but not much more at all. In addition to contacting homeowners that you know as described above, you are going to get their utility bill and forward it to me. You will be the liaison between me and the homeowner. You will call their utility company and ask them some questions regarding their solar policy. And you will participate in the Zoom conference with the homeowner. You will not be selling but simply observing. Your value is that you are a known and trusted contact of that homeowner.
This will require in total about an hour to 90 minutes of your time. If the homeowner decides to move forward, you will receive 50% of the commission on that sale. Yes, you read that correctly. On a sale with a $5,000 commission, you would receive $2,500. You would need to register with our company and fill out some paperwork as you will be paid directly by them.
Become a Solar Advisor
Once you have completed 3 sales as an Affiliate you can decide that you because you like getting 50% of the commission you would like to stay an Affiliate. Or you can become a Solar Advisor and get into part-time solar sales. You would get a few hours of additional training and take an online certification test. Now you would be doing your own sales. I would be there to coach you but for the most part, you are flying solo. For your efforts, you would be getting the full commission on the sale. Solar Pros with at least one year of solar sales experience, will not need to do the initial 3 sales to become a Solar Advisor.
As a Solar Advisor, the investment of time in each sale can vary. We have a project management staff that will prepare the Energy Savings Analysis for you to present to the homeowner. And this team will manage the project to installation. So, it can take anywhere from a few hours to 4 or 5 depending on the complexities of that project. If you did a sale or two per month this is still a solar side hustle.
Build a Team of Affiliates and Solar Advisors
If all of the above sounds good but you decide that you want to take full advantage of the explosion in residential solar that is starting to happen and will continue for the next decade at minimum, you can bring on people and earn overrides on every sale they make. This, of course, is in addition to earning 80% commission from sales to homeowners that are referred to you, 50% commission when working with your Affiliates, and full commission on your own sales.
As you are earning the commissions described above, once your team reaches 20 installed solar sales in 60 days, you will now earn a 17% override on every sale that your team closes. On a $5,000 commission that’s $850. Think about it. Your team is averaging 10 sales a month because that’s what got you the promotion, to begin with. That’s $8,500 a month on sales that you don’t touch. On top of what you’re doing with new Affiliates and on your sales.
Let’s say you earn $8,500 in overrides on average per month. You do one sale a month with an Affiliate and receive $2,500. And then one sale a month on your own at a commission of $5,000. That’s a total of $16,000 a month and it’s still a solar side hustle. On a full-time basis, the sky’s the limit.
I would be happy to talk with you about any or all of these options to see which one works best for you. Or, if what we’re doing sounds great but just doesn’t fit into your life right now, no problem. However, if you know someone that might be a good fit for what we’re doing, I’m sure we’d both be thankful if you connected us.
For more detailed information about our company and to watch a detailed business overview video, go to Solar Sales from Home. There you can schedule either a Zoom conference or phone appointment with me to discuss this further. And thanks for checking this out. I hope it was worth your time.
*There are no guarantees regarding earnings. The success or failure of each Solar Advisor, like any other sales company, depends upon that person's skills and work ethic. Each Advisor is paid commissions only on their sales.