September 18, 2012 | News

Solar Energy – Easy and Affordable – Thanks to One Bright Idea

Sometimes a bright idea can come from a casual conversation. That’s what happened when, Larry Phillips, an employee at Cope Plastics told management about his church installing a solar energy system.

As people, business owners, organizations and corporations become more environmentally conscious, they are taking action in numerous ways. Solar energy has certainly been an attractive source for alternative, sustainable energy, but it has been cost prohibitive. When Larry told management about a small, not-for-profit entity like a church being able to afford a solar energy system, the organization had to find out how they did it.

Cope’s “bright idea” was to investigate using solar power to run Cope’s recycling side of the business. Since 1994 Cope Plastics has been involved with recycling efforts and was in the process of creating a recycling center. Solar could double their commitment to being good stewards of the environment by making the recycling center itself greener. Andy Ferguson, Cope’s Project Manager, was responsible for the recycling center. He contacted the company that helped Larry’s church, Day & Night Solar.

Making solar affordable involves securing all of the state and federal grants, financing and calculating the ROI. The process can be so overwhelming that companies interested in solar energy don’t always know where to start, so they do nothing. Day & Night Solar saw this challenge and came up with the solution. They take a project from start to finish, calculating the ROI, securing the grants, filling in the paperwork, arranging for the financing and managing the installation. In the case of Cope Plastics, Day & Night used JF Electric as one of their trusted and experienced electrical partners.

As to how easy the process was, Andy said, “There was absolutely no risk on our part. Day & Night handled all of the details and gave us the proposal. We crunched our own numbers and found that it worked. Day & Night helped us reduce the main obstacle to solar power, cost.” Now, Cope Plastics has a solar system powering their recycling center and front office. The electricity generated by the solar panels is offsetting the consumption of electricity for the recycling center. This “bright idea” became a reality.

In the past, solar energy was cost prohibitive and time consuming to implement. Thanks to Day & Night Solar, this process is now turn-key and cost effective.

How can your company benefit by adding solar energy and how do you go about the process? Bob Eaton, Managing Partner of Day & Night Solar answers these questions:

Long-term cost savings: Solar projects are as unique as the companies that have them installed. Solar is also a long-term investment and it’s important to find an experienced Solar Integrator to provide an ROI analysis. Day & Night Solar provides this service for free. For Cope Plastics, they didn’t need to “do their own home work”, all they needed to do was “check the homework” which we provided to them. It was easy for Cope to make a good business decision when all the incentives, i.e. rebates, tax credits, bonus depreciations and SREC’s (solar renewable energy credits) were presented to them.

Saving the environment: This is something everyone wants to do, and solar is a great resource. In the Midwest even a small 24kW system would produce enough electricity to run 6 to 8 homes for a year. That will help the environment by preventing approximately 4,080 lbs. of coal from being burned and 7,200 lbs of C02 from being released into the atmosphere each month.

Be a pioneer and leader: Perhaps one of the greatest benefits that a company can receive for choosing to go solar is the opportunity to be a pioneer in their industry and evoke a positive image. Until now, integrating solar was an expensive and tedious process. Solar Integrators have cleared those stumbling blocks. With the help of Day & Night Solar, Drury Hotels jumped into the green initiative including the use of solar and are now known as the top hotel chain to go green.

To start the process, my recommendation for all companies would be to reach out to a Solar Integrator in their area or contact Day & Night Solar for a referral to an experienced firm in their market.

In their environmental statement Cope Plastics says that they are committed to making the world a better place. This commitment involves partnering with suppliers, customers, and the community to minimize the negative environmental impact while increasing sustainability and green initiatives through innovation, education and social responsibility.

With their recycling initiatives and the addition of harnessing the power of solar energy to go even greener, Cope is fulfilling their commitment. Perhaps going solar is the next “bright idea” that can enhance your business and even help improve our world.

Contact Day & Night Solar at (618) 344-4001 or visit

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