How cutting soft costs just might help solar companies build a renewable future (and boost ROI in the process)

By Mark Fisher, VP of Marketing, Paystand and Jan Rippingale, CEO, Blu Banyan

The effects of climate change are unignorable.

In 2012 alone, the US suffered a devastating loss of $20 billion, making it one of the most expensive droughts in history. But, instances like this are only the beginning: in 2020, the earth’s
surface temperature was calculated to be about 0.98 degrees Celsius warmer than the 20th-century average, and now, we find ourselves right in the middle of what some are calling the most historic drought in the west – meaning we need to gear up to face the inevitable devastation that will ensue.

But, there is hope: renewable energy sources are one major way we can combat the already harrowing effects brought on by climate change. If we ever hope to lower carbon emissions, we will have to rely on developments in this sector to promulgate the widespread use of alternative fuel. However, the fact is, while developments in solar energy, electric vehicle batteries, and even advances made in nuclear energy are essential to building a sustainable future, we can’t discount the developments in software that are helping these innovations gain ground.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the total cost of residential PV systems has plummeted by over 65% in the last 10 years; however, hard costs have fallen much more significantly than soft costs, meaning while it might be cheaper now than ever before to manufacture solar panels, solar companies must learn how to be more innovative when it comes to almost every other facet of their business. Today, solar companies must learn to navigate transaction fees, customer acquisition costs, permit installation costs, indirect corporate costs, supply chain costs, ERP system costs, and any other costs associated with running a business.

Today, Blu Banyan and Paystand are working together to radically reduce the price of soft costs by offering an integrated solution that allows solar installers to reduce transaction fees and scale more effectively. Blu Banyan is a cloud-based solution that helps companies eliminate operational inefficiencies by connecting various software tools into a single data source. Its SolarSuccess software is designed to help solar businesses manage workflows and projects more efficiently which leads to quicker and more effective deployment of solar installations. Paystand is a cloud and blockchain based payment network that makes B2B payments cashless, feeless, and intuitive. It also streamlines critical AR functions, saving finance teams an average of over 200 hours a year. When solar companies use Blu Banyan and Paystand together, they’re not only saving on soft costs – they’re also able to deliver a superior experience across the board: their customers are able to access a more seamless experience, installers get paid more quickly, and communities everywhere see faster installation of solar panels.

“Green energy and an open financial system are two of the most important advancements we can make in our lifetime,” says Jeremy Almond, CEO of Paystand. “By bringing both of these innovations together, we can create unprecedented change for our planet as a whole. Blockchain technology is the only technology today that has the potential to restructure our financial system as we know it – making it more fair, open, and equitable for the solar industry and every other industry.”

The current fee-based B2B payment model that relies on credit card networks siphons away critical revenue from solar companies in an industry where margins are already razor thin. Paystand is on a mission to reboot commercial finance by helping businesses move to a zero-fee payment infrastructure – one that will allow companies everywhere to reach profitability more quickly, improve access to cash flow, and grow without punitive fees. The company is also committed to helping finance teams move away from paper-heavy and labor-intensive processes. By offering tools that automate essential AR tasks, Paystand is making it possible for solar companies to not only cut transaction costs by 30%–75%, but to reduce their paper consumption significantly and save countless hours of manual labor.

The Paystand B2B payment platform eliminates transaction fees and automates manual processes

“To get out of financial debt, everyone knows you have to first stop digging and making it worse,” explains Jan Rippingale, CEO of Blu Banyan. “Taking small, consistent steps towards improvement compound over time until you are able to pay off one debt and apply that payment to the next debt. Eventually, inevitably, financial health is restored. Similarly, this is the approach we must use to restore climate health and stability. Biden’s goal of a carbon-neutral grid by 2035 is a significant step toward the first goal to ‘stop digging,’” Rippingale affirms. “As humble a goal as that may sound, it requires increasing the pace of solar and renewable installations by 500%.”

Reducing soft costs is critical to increasing the rate in which installations can be deployed while also solving one of the biggest threats to the solar industry: revenue drain. SolarSuccess is built on NetSuite and offers necessary tools for solar company operations including accounting, project management, customer acquisition, and more. It even optimizes accounting processes for ease of use, streamlines the ability to calculate commissions and month-end closes, and features accounting consolidation across projects, new project setup, and revenue recognition. The platform integrates with any API application, like Paystand, to centralize all data to a single location.

Clearly, Paystand and Blu Banyan’s partnership will help companies reach their carbon neutral goals more quickly and also help them save significantly on ROI in the process. Along with reducing overhead costs, speeding up payment processing, increasing project profitability, and gaining operational clarity, this integrated solution is designed to transform the way solar companies operate – so they can achieve their goals when it comes to profitability and mitigating the effects of climate change. Now is the best time to evaluate SolarSuccess and Paystand as an integrated solution for installers to position themselves for growth and to deploy more solar faster.

Learn More
 

Sponsored Content by Paystand