Behind the Scenes in Renewable Energy – Meet the People who Drive Solar

Dave GIn our continuing effort to highlight the people that make up the solar workforce, we had a chat with our very own Dave Gersz. Dave walks us through how he got involved in the renewable energy industry and offers us some insider tips on the key skills needed for his position.

How did you get involved with solar?
I was working in the mortgage industry and a friend started with another solar company.  He said that solar was going to be the next big thing.  I researched some of the best companies in San Diego using the SD Business Journal.  I called the top 25 companies one morning.  That same afternoon while stopped at a stoplight, I saw that the car next to me had a Stellar Solar sign on it.  I remembered the name Michael Powers from my calls that morning, so I asked him to roll down his window.  We exchanged information and met for coffee a few days later.  He said that they were not hiring sales people but I talked him into giving me a chance.  That was 5 years ago.

What does your role as a PV Specialist involve- can you walk us through the process?
Being a true sales professional involves listening to my clients’ needs.  I recommend the perfectly sized system for them based on their energy history and budget.  I present payment options and explain the benefits of going solar.  I think that my clients appreciate that I have their true concern at heart, instead of just trying to sell them something.

What are some of the key skills you need as a PV specialist?
You need to have a lot of energy and patience.  I end up giving the same presentation about 20 times per week and people ask mostly the same questions every time.  I think that I have gotten pretty good at conveying my message without rushing through the presentation.  Another key skill is respect.  I respect my clients’ time, so I try to be early to every meeting.

What’s your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of the job is getting emails from past customers who tell me about their $5/month electric bills with SDGE. They reaffirm that going solar was the best financial decision that they have made.

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Stellar Solar on KFMB AM San Diego this Saturday

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Stellar founding partner Michael Powers will be appearing on KFMB’s real estate show, Love Real Estate, for broadcast this Saturday afternoon at 2pm. Podcast available next week at the 760 KFMB website.

The Love Real Estate Show provides home buyers with up-date real estate information:  help for first time home buyers, loan modifications, short sales, traditional sales and more. Love Real Estate is made up of a diverse panel of experts to get the facts and help make informed decisions that make the most sense for your individual situation. Tune in and hear Michael Powers talk about the economic benefit of going solar and how it makes sense to employ clean, green, renewable solar energy in San Diego.

 

 

 

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Stellar Solar Wins Best Solar Company in 2013 UT San Diego Readers Poll

San Diego's Best Solar Company 2011 and 2013Thanks to everyone who voted Stellar Solar Best Solar Company in the 2013 U-T San Diego readers poll. This is the second time we’ve been recognized by readers of the U-T for our commitment to providing excellent service and affordable solar panels to San Diego home and business owners.

“There are solar providers that spend significantly more than we do on marketing, but then rely on high pressure tactics and sales gimmicks – and people get turned off by that,” said Michael Powers, Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “We prefer an educational, consultative approach and as a result, a high percentage of our sales come from customer referrals,” he added. “Going solar is an investment and people want to feel comfortable with their provider.  The way we do business is reflected in awards like this, and from the high number of customers that rave about us on forums like Yelp. Besides that, we have the reputation of providing timely follow-up to solar inquiries and quick preparation of solar estimates and people appreciate that, especially with the high number of homeowners looking into solar as a result of the SDG&E rate increase.”

Read the entire story here

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This Father’s Day, Give Dad the Sun!

Happy Father’s Day to all our customers… and future customers!

These days, lots of moms and dads are choosing to go solar for their home, mainly to get rid of those pesky (and expensive) power bills.

But there’s a surprise bonus. When your house is powered by the sun, everything that plugs into your house is now also solar powered.

What better gift for Dad this Father’s Day than a power boost from Stellar Solar?

His DVR and laptop? Solar-powered. All his emails to friends and family and that blog he writes about his wood-working hobby? Runs on the sun now!

And nothing tastes better first thing in the morning than coffee brewed with solar power.

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If you trade in that smoky old gas mower for a new, electric lawn mower… Dad can cut the grass using solar power, too. (Which is only fair, since it’s solar power that makes the grass grow in the first place.)

Not only are these electric power tools less polluting, they’re usually much quieter, too — which your neighbors might appreciate on early Sunday mornings!

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The ultimate, of course, is to get a Nissan Leaf or some other all-electric vehicle and plug that into your solar powered house.

Once you do that… “every move you make, every trip you take”… you’re running on clean, California sunshine and getting great mileage to boot! (Plus, with instant torque from the electric motor and front-wheel drive, they’re really fun to drive.)

Past experience suggests you can drive 5 miles for each single kilowatt-hour of electricity… which means you can drive 1,000 miles per month on 200 kWh of clean, solar powered electricity. At 5-6 cents per kWh, that’s just $10-$12 a month in fuel charges!

Happy Father’s Day from Stellar Solar and here’s hoping all the dads out there enjoy their day in the sun!

 

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Stellar Summer: Mobile Solar Station Booked for June

We’re kicking off our summer event season by powering three high profile events with our Mobile Solar Station (MSS) – San Diego’s only portable, 2kW solar generator used to power events, festivals, stages, and fundraisers.

First up is the Encinitas Environment Day on Sunday, June 9 from 10am – 4pm. The MSS will be powering a stage filled with bands and speakers. The day will feature the latest strategies for healthy lifestyles, conservation and sustainability. Participants will discover the financial benefits of going Green and connect with local educational, governmental and civic resources at this fun event.
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The spectacular KPRi Green Flash Concert series at Birch Aquarium is next on Wednesday, June 19 featuring ZZ Ward and Vicci Martinez from The Voice. The MSS will be powering juicers used to make fresh squeezed orange juice for solar powered mimosas or just a refreshing glass of OJ for concert attendee’s. Situated on the tide pool, high overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this is one of the most beautiful locations in the world to watch a concert.

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We’ll round out the month by powering the stage at Summer Fun on the 101 June 28 and 29 in the heart of Leucadia. This music-focused weekend captures the essence of Leucadia with art, music, food and a beer garden.

The Stellar Solar Mobile Solar Station is available free of charge to power events throughout San Diego County. Call 858.395.6905 to learn more.

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Oracle of Omaha: The Solid Solar Investment

solarWarren Buffett, the world’s most respected investor and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, has made recently made headlines regarding his foray into renewable energy holdings with MidAmerican Renewables, a subset of the Berkshire Hathaway owned MidAmerican Energy.

It’s not hard to see why. Within the company’s first 12 months of business the company acquired several of the largest solar projects in the world. Three of these are large scale solar photovoltaic developments including the 550 MW Topaz Solar Farms in San Luis Obispo County, a 290 MW project in Arizona, and a 579 MW project divided between Kern and Los Angeles counties.

Certain commentators denounced these investments as merely having positive political implications; while others such as Dan Bedell, executive vice president of Principal Solar, see this as a typically savvy investment from Berkshire Hathaway: ‘Buffett doesn’t mix politics and investment. There very may well be beneficial political overtones, but without the financial analytics behind this move, it’s a non-starter.’

Indeed, Buffett’s most widely quoted investment doctrine is ‘Rule No. 1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget rule No. 1.’ MidAmerican’s solar division president Paul Caudill added that while environmental respect was a core principle of their business ethos, they see solar and wind assets as ‘very, very solid long-term investments’. “Solar prices have dropped to the point where they are attractive just on their own merit” he added.

Needless to say, this has already created a ‘follower effect’ as investors worldwide have taken note of these aggressive industry acquisitions. It’s getting easier than ever to see that going solar is primarily an economic investment- not to mention an environmental one. Take a look around the Stellar Solar website to find out how you can go solar for no money down with our San Diego solar lease.

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Breaking: SDG&E Rates Going Up Over 13%

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Utility bills are set to rise for San Diego residents this September with a four-year rate increase totaling more than $500 million for customers of San Diego Gas & Electric Co. Due to this, the typical household will see monthly gas and electric bills rise over 11%.

Getting tired of giving away your money SDG&E? Solar power costs less than utility power! Take advantage of a plethora of financing options that are now available, including:

  • The new Stellar Solar Loan program
  • Re-financing your home
  • Home equity loans
  • San Diego Metropolitan Credit Union…Stellar is part of their solar loan program
    with great rates
  • Navy Federal Credit Union’s Shares Secured Loan offers rates under 3%.
  • SunPower Solar Lease…go solar with no money out of pocket
  • Cash purchase…solar has never been more affordable
  • The Stellar Energy Consultants can work with you to come up with a residential solar power solution that meets your needs.
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Highlighted: Our 285 kW Installation on ‘Hollywood’s Hospital’

 

sinai 3sinai 2sinai 1Our 285 kW photovoltaic solar system on Cedars-Sinai Hospital, aka ‘Hollywood’s Hospital’, has received a large amount of attention from industry news sources.

Cedars-Sinai, located in Los Angeles, one of the world’s most highly regarded hospitals and research institutes, chose Stellar to design and install their 285 kW system which features 1,190 solar panels and a custom racking system to mount 30 Sunny Boy inverters on the rooftops.

Cedars-Sinai will soon be known as one of the world’s first ‘green hospitals’. Additional features include  doubled glass walls for energy savings and a building control system designed to regulate the building’s ongoing energy use.

For further details on our San Diego solar alliance and commercial solar installations be sure to check out the links provided.

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PACE Gains Momentum: Two San Diego Cities Sign Up

Another two cities are joining the San Diego Solar Alliance. San Marcos and Vista’s City Councils have approved a resolution to adopt the property-assessed clean energy (PACE) financing. The program aims to assist residential home owners and commercial businesses pay for renewable energy projects, including photovoltaic solar systems.

The PACE program has been developed by the HERO Financing Program, aimed at helping property owners pay for home-improvement projects via their property taxes, which means that property owners can pay for renewable energy and efficient systems over time. The residential HERO PACE program has gained over 8,000 applications and $150 million in apprioved projects so far.

Due to the success of similar projects such as the Encinitas permit-fee waiving program for energy efficient projects, this is a step in the right direction. With so many solar financing options becoming available, we’re eager that this incentive provides a chance to show residents of Vista and San Marcos the economic sense of producing power from solar panels compared to buying it from the utility company.

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Activated: 285kW Cedars-Sinai Solar Installation

A portion of the 285kW Stellar Solar system at Cedars-Sinai Advanced Health Sciences Pavillion

We’ve recently activated a brand new solar carport system that is a part of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Advanced Health Sciences Pavilion.

Our installation utilizes 1,190 240 – watt panels in numerous locations atop the parking structure adjoining the pavilion. Working closely with Graycor Construction Company, a general contractor on the project, we designed and installed the system which will assist the Advanced Health Sciences Pavilion’s target of becoming a Gold Certified Structure under the US Green Building Council LEED Program.

It’s an excellent addition to our growing portfolio of high-profile commercial solar projects.

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