Price Flexibility at the Gym and Your Next Solar Project

17 October 2019

What do going to the gym and purchasing solar radiation data have in common?

Price flexibility. As a consumer, this is very important to me. You see, I really love fitness. I have a firm dedication to my cardiovascular health and physical strength that gets me to the gym or out running on trails several times a week. When I visit the gym, I like to do deadlifts, squats and presses that require access to a cage, bench, olympic bar and high quality plates. It's a great environment, where I am joined by many other people who share the same values and dedication to staying strong and taking good care of their bodies, just like me.


Love the gym, Despise their revenue model

But there is one thing about gyms that drives me absolutely crazy - and that is their revenue model. Far too many of them want to force their customers into an expensive subscription that runs for many months, doesn't allow for cancellation and pays no attention to how often a given customer might need to visit the gym. My strong distaste for this revenue model sharply limits, and sometimes completely prevents me from accessing a gym facility nearby me when I travel with my family or spend a few weeks away on a business trip. Why is it too much to ask to pay as I go? Why are there so few options to buy an affordable multiple pass or just pay a reasonable price for a single visit? It's maddening!

The answer is that the owners and investors in these gyms prioritise one thing above all else - recurring revenue and growth in that revenue base, and the best sale they can make is an expensive subscription sold to someone who does not use the gym very often. And the statistics show - that's just what they get away with doing. Their values (make as much money as they can) don't align with mine (getting people to stay fit and care for their health). And as long as they and all of their fellow gym owners/businesses use the same approach, they control the market with a rigid subscription based pricing model.

OK Nick, how does this relate to solar irradiance data?

Alright, thanks for hearing me out, I'll get off my proverbial soapbox, and get onto my main point of the day.

Price flexibility. It is what I, as a customer, want. Give me what I need, and don't force me to buy any extras (12 month gym membership - ugh!!). Unfortunately, the solar data services industry has adopted a similar revenue model to that of those cursed gym barons I lamented above! Expensive subscriptions. Want your TMY data? You'll need to buy it along with that Time Series purchase. Or perhaps you'll need to 'subscribe' for many months of recurring fees.

Solcast historical Time Series and TMY data

As CTO of Solcast, it is my intention to run a business in a way directly aligned with my values. And that means having empathy and understanding for my customers. Just like my user journey looking for a gym to visit, you too, are on your own journey of exploring the many options that exist for purchasing the solar data your next project requires.

Well, thankfully, Solcast is breaking the oligopoly of solar data service providers and ensuring that our historical and TMY data offer price flexibility to our customers. No more forcing you into expensive subscriptions just to get the job done, instead, you get services that offer you what you want, when you need it, no forced extras.

Pay as you go pricing for solar irradiance data

We have all three of these high demand historical solar data products:

  • Time-series
  • Typical Meteorological Year (TMY)
  • Monthly Averages

Which we give you the freedom to purchase and download within minutes within a flexible 'pay as you go' pricing model. Solcast won't force you to buy more data than what you need for your current project(s), and it doesn't take a subscription to access any of our historical data services. With this new way of purchasing the data you require, there's no more forced purchasing of TMY data, when its Time Series data that you're really after, or vice versa!

Subscriptions to historical solar data for further savings

However, if you do need to buy several of these items together, we do offer bundling discounts that offer even further savings over the pay as you go model. Instead of the subscriptions being forced on you (like that dang overpriced gym membership), they are an added bonus full of additional savings (perhaps after you've paid for several single gym visits and decided you're sticking around for awhile). For those of you who might need to make a large one-off data purchase via the pay-as-you go model, we also offer bulk discounts.

Access price flexibility in the Solcast API Toolkit

You can register and access our world-class API Toolkit within minutes with a free sign-up (no credit card, no surprise extras!). In our API Toolkit, you'll have immediate access to our full offering of historical time-series, TMY and Monthly Averages data, which you can purchase and download within 5-10 minutes. We'll even provide you with free requests on sign-up for your own testing and validation purposes.

Now, who can tell me where to find the Solcast of the gym membership world?? Send me a tweet @nickengerer with any ideas!

Dr. Nick Engerer

Dr. Nick Engerer

Solcast Co-founder • Author

Nick is an expert in the field of solar radiation and distributed solar PV modelling, and has co-founded Solcast out of a sincere desire to enable others to build the solar-powered future.

Read more about Dr. Engerer's scientific papers

Solar Power Forecasting