Solarbuddy Drives Down “Soft Costs” as Part of The US Dept. of Energy’s SunShot Initiative

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Solarbuddy announces its involvement in the US Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, designed to drive research, innovation and market solutions for America’s solar energy market.

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We recognized a significant opportunity to reduce administration costs by leveraging’s web based platform.

The SunShot Initiative's overall mission is to make the total cost of solar energy economically viable for everyday use, so that all Americans can benefit from this clean renewable energy resource. Solarbuddy’s involvement with the SunShot Initiative helps drive down the solar industry’s “soft costs” (permitting, marketing, administration).

A recent study conducted by the US DOE revealed that industry soft costs (any costs not directly related to hardware) account for more than 60 percent of the installation cost of residential solar systems. As panel and hardware costs have continued to fall, the administration costs of installing solar has remained relatively constant, thus accounting for a larger percentage of the total cost of solar installation.

“We recognized a significant opportunity to reduce administration costs by leveraging’s web based platform. We simply created a clearinghouse for both consumers and industry professionals to access information, products and distribution,” says Solarbuddy co-founder David Smith.

Under the SunShot Initiative, the DOE Solar Office issues competitive solicitations that fund selective research projects aimed at transforming the ways the United States generates, stores, and utilizes solar energy. The targeted strategies supported by the SunShot Initiative include activities that commercialize new solar technologies, increase solar efficiency, reduce production costs, and open new markets for solar energy.

Solarbuddy works to reduce operating costs and commercialize new technology by providing access to the solar marketplace. “There is a lot of incredible innovation in solar technology. The question is how to find an application and a market for that technology. That’s where we come in,” says Smith. provides third party information on solar products, trends and suppliers. The transparency afforded to them (as a 3rd party resource) allows Solarbuddy to support the SunShot Initiative of making solar more affordable and efficient for the entire industry. As new technology is introduced, Solarbuddy will help SunShot awardees realize rapid access to the marketplace.

About SolarBuddy

SolarBuddy is the collaborative effort of co-founders David Smith and Vik Mehta designed to educate consumers on the real value of clean renewable energy. SolarBuddy puts consumers in the driver’s seat when evaluating solar. By providing access to information, customers can take the time to evaluate their options before being contacted by solar reps. Solar reps also enjoy having progressive dialogue with educated consumers.

About the US Dept. of Energy SunShot Initiative

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office focuses on achieving the goals of the SunShot Initiative, which seeks to make solar energy cost-competitive with other forms of electricity by the end of the decade. The mission of the Energy Department is to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.

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Dave Smith
since: 12/2013
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