We received some great coverage on our first Solar Scorecard. Several companies have contacted us to ask how they can be part of the next scorecard, many have already submitted a form so they can be included next year, and we know that customers are asking their installers if they use panels from those who scored high on SVTC’s scorecard.
Solar Industry Magazine’s article on the Scorecard also agreed that, “[r]educing the usage of toxins, implementing end-of-life module recycling programs and promoting environmentally sound manufacturing methods are increasingly critical steps for solar equipment manufacturers…”
While we have gotten praise from several organizations and industry members, some have some concerns regarding our scorecard. This is our first Scorecard and we hope to work out some of the problems in future years. We have listened to input and will keep it in mind when developing the next survey. Any company that truly has constructive criticism will certainly come to SVTC directly to have a true dialogue.
There are a few issues that we would like to address.
There’s been a complaint that we charge for printed copies of the scorecard, however, this is only for copies that people want mailed to them. The $3 we charge covers printing and shipping costs, and the PDF version of the printed scorecard is available on the site for free. We are a non-profit organization and we hope that people who believe in protecting the environment are willing to support our work. Some have said that we have too few respondents. While it is true that w
e had a low percentage of companies that returned the survey (although the major companies were called a few times to encourage their participation), the companies that did respond represented approximately a quarter of the market. Moreover, a company’s score does not change according to how many other companies responded. Since the survey is not grading the solar industry as a whole, we do not feel that the low response rate affected our results.
We hope that more companies will participate in the upcoming surveys.