Reflections on the time of Coronavirus from Solaflect Energy
The coronavirus is fast emerging as the defining moment of our time. While we do not yet know how long this tragic event will last, or how many lives and income may be lost, it is sure to change how we think about security, investments and the fragility of life on earth. As we take this time to pause and reflect, there are positive lessons we can draw from our response to the coronavirus. Here, from a solar perspective, are three takeaway points to carry into an uncertain future:
Security starts at home
‘Social distancing’ has become the watchword of the coronavirus, reminding us that security starts at home. In our self-imposed quarantines, many of us are finding just how dependent we are on food, energy and product supply chains that extend well beyond our property lines. Solar power – especially when connected with battery storage, electric vehicles and domestic heat pumps – keeps our energy supply chain right at home and under our control. Whether it’s storm-related power outages, cyber attacks on the grid, or shelter-in-place emergencies, home-based solar power ensures that we will always have access to safe, affordable and reliable electricity.
Safe investments pay you back
Ripple effects of the coronavirus have rocked the stock market, painfully reminding us just how volatile and risky these investments can be. While we all hope for a speedy market recovery, it’s worth recalling that not all investments pose such serious downside risks. Solar power offers much more stable and predictable returns, based on how many kilowatt-hours of electricity (and gallons of gasoline if we get electric vehicles) we avoid purchasing over the 25-year lifespan of a typical solar array. Our Solar Trackers take roughly 10 years, depending on your utility and sun at home, to pay back at present, after factoring in the current 26% federal tax credit. The remaining decade and a half of their operating lives generate what some call “pure profit.” (Others just think it’s just the right thing to do, no matter how the numbers add up!)
The climate crisis still awaits us
If the coronavirus constitutes a ‘Black Swan’ event that the world did not see coming, the climate crisis poses an even greater existential threat that’s been hiding out in plain sight. While the coronavirus will pass eventually – and hopefully soon – the climate crisis is, unfortunately, here to stay. Perhaps the most important lesson we can draw from this ongoing saga is that early action heads off the worst possible outcomes. While we’re off to a slow start in combating climate change, it’s not too late to meaningfully bend the curve on projected global warming. Solar power, in effect, acts like a vaccine to help keep the earth’s temperature down. The more solar we inject into the global energy system now, the more we will be able to flatten the warming curve and make the world a better and safer place for ourselves and future generations.
As with the coronavirus, we’re all in this together. The power is in our hands to make a real difference!
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org, call us at (802) 649-3700, or text (802) 308-3018 if we can help you think about solar or home battery storage as a means of gaining better control of your energy needs in this uncertain time.
MANDATORY HEALTH & SAFETY REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL BUSINESS OPERATIONS
Phase 1: Effective April 20, 2020
1.1 Outdoor Businesses & Construction Operations
- Those who exclusively or largely work outdoors (such as civil engineering, site work, exterior construction, skilled trades, public works, energy and utility work, mining, forestry, environmental monitoring, landscaping, painting, tree work, parks maintenance, delivery work, etc.) may resume operations with a maximum of 2 total workers per location/job.
- Interior construction may occur in unoccupied structures, adhering to social distancing standards, with no more than 2 workers maintaining social distance between them whenever possible.
All businesses must follow Vermont Department of Health and CDC guidelines:
- Employees shall not report to, or be allowed to remain at, work or job site if sick or symptomatic (with fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath).
- All employees must observe strict social distancing of 6 feet while on the job.
- Employees must wear non-medical cloth face coverings (bandanna, scarf, or non-medical mask, etc.) over their nose and mouth when in the presence of others. In the case of retail cashiers, a translucent shield or “sneeze guard” is acceptable in lieu of a mask.
- Employees must have easy and frequent access to soap and water or hand sanitizer during duration of work, and handwashing or hand sanitization should be required before entering, and leaving, job sites. All common spaces and equipment, including bathrooms, frequently touched surfaces and doors, tools and equipment, and vehicles must be cleaned and disinfected at the beginning, middle and end of each shift and prior to transfer from one person to another.
- No more than 2 people shall occupy one vehicle when conducting work.
BUSINESS CUSTOMER & GENERAL PUBLIC MASK USE
Customers, and the public in general, is encouraged to wear cloth face coverings any time they are interacting with others from outside their household.