Listen Up: Running a Successful Local Solar Business

Listen Up: Running a Successful Local Solar Business

solar

Large companies are predominant in most industries. But when it comes to rooftop solar installations, small is beautiful. Although there have been several large national-scale solar installers, in the aggregate the smaller, local companies dominate. As with most other construction businesses, local companies generally understand their local markets better and have lower overhead — enabling them to provide better customer service at lower prices.

On this week’s Energy Show we have the pleasure of speaking with Vince Battaglia, the CEO of Renova Solar. Renova started as Vince’s MBA thesis; eleven years later Renova is now the leading solar installation company in the Coachella Valley. Like many other local solar installation companies, Renova has expanded its residential solar installation business to include commercial installations, system maintenance and battery storage.

Granted, the Palm Desert area is blessed by an abundance of sunlight and high electric rates — a combination that is perfect for a thriving solar business. But dealing with the ups and downs of the Solar Coaster is challenging. For more about the challenges inherent in building and running a successful local solar business, Listen Up to this week’s Energy Show on Renewable Energy World.

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About the Energy Show

As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don’t have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs — very affordably.

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20-minute podcast that provides tips and advice to reduce your home and business energy consumption. Every week we’ll cover topics that will help cut your energy bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut through the hype so that you can make smart and cost-effective energy choices.

About Your Host

Barry Cinnamon is a long-time advocate of renewable energy and is a widely recognized solar power expert. In 2001 he founded Akeena Solar — which grew to become the largest national residential solar installer by the middle of the last decade with over 10,000 rooftop customers coast to coast. He partnered with Westinghouse to create Westinghouse Solar in 2010, and sold the company in 2012.

His pioneering work on reducing costs of rooftop solar power systems include Andalay, the first solar panel with integrated racking, grounding and wiring; the first UL listed AC solar panel; and the first fully “plug and play” AC solar panel. His current efforts are focused on reducing the soft costs for solar power systems, which cause system prices in the U.S. to be double those of Germany.

Although Barry may be known for his outspoken work in the solar industry, he has hands-on experience with a wide range of energy saving technologies.  He’s been doing residential energy audits since the punch card days, developed one of the first ground-source heat pumps in the early ‘80s, and always abides by the Laws of Thermodynamics.

This podcast was originally produced by Spice Solar and was presented here with permission.

Lead image credit: Patrick Breitenbach | Flickr

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