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The Sunergy team will be celebrating our 10th year providing solar all over Washington State in July and we want to thank all of you for making us one of the State’s premier solar installation companies! Another big milestone is we’ll be the second Washington-based solar company to join the prestigious 1,000th solar installation club!
Sunergy Systems opened our doors back in 2005 and since then solar in Washington has grown from a sleepy industry of about 100 net-metered solar electric systems to the mainstream. In 2005, there were a dozen or so solar installation companies, employing a total of around 50 people. After a decade of growth and the inception of the WA solar incentive program, the State is now quickly approaching 8,000 systems!
According to The Solar Foundation's 2014 State Solar Jobs report, Washington has 128 solar related businesses, employing over 2,400 jobs, and ranking Washington at 17th nationwide. The solar industry is one of the State's fastest growing job creators representing 28th in the State's employment ranking.
Howard Lamb, Founder of Sunergy Systems says “We are honored to have been a key leader in the State's solar boom. During our first couple of years in business we'd celebrate at Hale's Brewery every time we had a customer go solar with us! Now here we are in 2015 with our 1,000th system being scheduled for installation in just a couple of weeks, which coincides very well with our 10-year anniversary! The solar industry is such a rewarding industry to have meaningful careers in, the relationship between excited customers and passionate solar professionals is truly amazing to witness, you don’t see this kind of synergy in too many other industries! This is one of the main reasons why Sunergy became an employee-owned corporation back in 2012, so each one of our employees truly feels like they are solar!”
Sunergy has also been an active supporter of the local Sustainable community and in April we hosted the 1st Annual Ballard Earth Day Street Party, a sustainably-themed street party to benefit long-time partner Sustainable Ballard. Sustainable Ballard President, Jennifer Heins “We're thrilled to be partnering with Sunergy Systems to celebrate sustainability in Ballard. Sunergy has been a long time supporter and organizing this party as a benefit for Sustainable Ballard just goes to show what great neighbors they are."
One of the primary key’s to our success is making customer satisfaction our #1 priority! During the last year 30% of our installations have been referrals from people like you. Many of you have benefited from our SolarPass referral program which rewards you with $350 for everyone you refer to us that goes solar (3rd referrals and afterwards at $500 each). Over the last year Sunergy rewarded our SolarPass referrers with $17,500! A big thanks to all of you for spreading the solar news, giving a solid plug for Sunergy, and for helping your friends reap the benefit of the State’s lucrative solar incentives. And a huge thanks to our top three referrers:
For every referee you send our way we’re sweetening the solar pot. If they schedule a site evaluation with us we’ll make an entry for each one of your referees into our SolarPass $500 drawing to be held on July 31st! If you win the $500 drawing and if one of your referees goes solar with us then another $350, this could be a total of $850. If you happen to be one of our top referrers like C. Yockey this would be $1,000. So spread the word and share this post on Facebook to reap your solar rewards!
An Excerpt from one of our most recent customer's :
"I HIGHLY recommend Sunergy Systems. They are honest, reputable, trustworthy, caring, fair people. They have passion for what they do. I can't thank Chris enough for his time and dedication to my project. I told my wife last night that this besides our children, is the best decision we have made for our future and our earth. Thank you Chris, Alan, Mike, Melissa, Eric, and the other installers I did not meet on Monday. I really do appreciate everything and am so thankful I chose Sunergy Systems"
Tyson C., Bothell, WA
Beware of recent anti-solar misinformation attack ads propagated by Solar City and their shell organization, The Alliance for Solar Choice. You might have seen these misinformation ads on Facebook and most recently played on the radio. They tell you that the current solar legislation is anti-solar when in all actuality it will be a Nation leading solar incentive program!
Why might they be doing this… because these big box out-of-state solar corporations rely solely on solar leasing. The new bill does provide provisions for leasing but also has consumer protection which discloses many critical leasing pitfalls. Solar City and The Alliance for Solar Choice do not want this disclosure since many educated people will opt to own their own systems and they fear this sets a precedence for the rest of the country. At the end of this article is a great rebuttal by Representative Cindy Ryu (D-32)!
Here’s what Solar City and The Alliance for Solar Choice don’t want you to know and why owning your own system is better than leasing it:
To learn more about the benefits of owning your own system and how simple it is to go solar contact us now. Help put an end to this misinformation campaign by sharing this critical solar post on Facebook now.
The following is a letter published recently from Washington State Representative Cindy Ryu (D-32) addressing citizen concerns and questions in response to campaigns voicing opposition to this legislation. Reprinted with permission.
"Thank you for contacting me about HB 1912, an act relating to distributed generation. Many of you have voiced your concern and your opposition to this bill. For this reason, I am taking the opportunity to clarify any misinformation you may have received. This bill is about Washington State providing consumer protection to our citizens while increasing the uptake of solar energy in our state. There has been misinformation about the bills direction to end net metering. HB 1912 does not change the net metering law as it exists today. The bill does look at revising the existing solar program available to Washington state citizens in a manner that would result in increasing the clean energy options for our state. In addition, the bill allows options for individuals to find and secure financing for solar systems but does so without sacrificing consumer protection. Yes, solar is an important and growing renewable energy source for Washingtonians but achieving the individual goal of solar power should not be at the expense of consumer protection. SolarCity has contacted many of you and provided misinformation. This syndicate is a large California Corporation that is using its massive resources against the best interests of our State. SolarCity and its syndicate of companies have become so afraid of basic consumer protection they have chosen to run a campaign of disinformation about HB 1912. I urge you to do a news search yourself on SolarCity Business Practices. The green leaning podcast called the Energy Gang has had several sessions on solar. This one in particular shares some perspective on consumer issues around leasing. Also if you think solar installers based in Washington State are a credible source, please check out their thoughts on a previous version of HB 1912. Here’s an additional opinion. Thank you for contacting me on this important issue. I will always do my best to protect the interests and the values of our district’s citizens."
Help put an end to this misinformation campaign by sharing this critical solar post on Facebook now.
In a recent Gallup poll, 91% of respondents said that more emphasis should be put on solar! When asked, "Do you think that as a country, the US should put more emphasis, less emphasis, or about the same emphasis as it does now on producing domestic energy from each of the following sources?" Here's how folks answered in 2015 vs 2013.
This week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) released it's annual "State of American Energy Report" noting the incredible rise of solar energy in 2014! Solar is now the fastest-growing source of renewable energy, with a total of 20.2 gigawatts of solar power installed in the US! To give you a baseline, this quote from the President and CEO Rhone Resch of SEIA tells the story extremely well:
“Solar energy is one of America’s great success stories,” said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch. “Last year, solar installations were 70 times higher than they were in 2006 – and today there’s nearly 30 times more solar capacity online nationwide. We’ve gone from being an $800 million industry in 2006 to a $15 billion industry today. The price to install a solar rooftop system has been cut in half, while utility systems have dropped by 70 percent. It took the U.S. solar industry 40 years to install the first 20 GW of solar. Now, we’re going to install the next 20 GW in the next two years. In fact, during every single week of 2015, we’re going to install more capacity than what we did during the entire year in 2006. Any way you look at it, solar energy is paying huge dividends for the economy, our environment and America’s future.”
Solar Stats provided by the API Report:
Share in our happy dance for solar!
"Solar is the fastest-growing source of renewable energy in America" by Kathleen Zipp
By 2050, solar energy could throttle past fossil fuels, wind, hydro and nuclear as the world's largest energy source. In reports just released by the International Energy Agency, solar photovoltaic systems are poised to generate up to 16% of the world's electricity. the combined ability of solar thermal electricity and concentrating solar power plants could provide up to additional 11%.
“The rapid cost decrease of photovoltaic modules and systems in the last few years has opened new perspectives for using solar energy as a major source of electricity in the coming years and decades,” said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven. “However, both technologies are very capital intensive: almost all expenditures are made upfront. Lowering the cost of capital is thus of primary importance for achieving the vision in these roadmaps.”
In 2010, then Governor Chris Gregoire announced the development of "that nation's first true electrified highway". This technological advance in highway travel connects Oregon to Canada along the I-5 corridor. However in 2013, things began to stall despite the fact that more Teslas were sold in our state than any other.
Here are a few things that might help turn that around:
Plug-in America Director Chad Schwitters had this to say,"Washington has very near the highest per-capita EV adoption rate.” Schwitters explained. “I think it’s partly due to the fact that we have a lot of software people up here. Engineers are likely to have both the money and temperament to be early adopters. We also have a sales tax exemption, which is significant because the tax rate is almost 10%. It applies to Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV), not Plugin Hybrid Electric vehicles, which may be why BEVs sell much better here.”
From a recent Seattle Times article.
A typical single American family accrues an average annual energy bill of $2,200.
Here are some ways to reduce that:
Starting in late December and continuing through Q1 2014, top ten lists will begin popping up — top ten manufacturers, top ten markets, top ten this, top ten that, top ten mistakes not to make ever again, top ten success stories to be emulated until we all want to scream, top ten losers, top ten winners, top ten conferences. In sum, there is a top ten list for pretty much everything that happened in 2013 as well as a few for the top ten things to expect in 2014. Thusly, here is the first (or just one of many) top ten list of things to remember in solar as we begin to exit 2013:
The feed in tariff incentive model drove photovoltaic industry deployment to multi-gigawatt levels and encouraged the entrance of new players. Many of these new players believed — as did most of the industry — that the FiT model was the future of solar. The early profitability of this model drove the multi-megawatt (utility scale) installation sector. Many of those who entered during these times left stunned when retroactive changes and underbidding (as well as underpricing) erased profits almost overnight. So, for an official number eleven: incentives and subsidies for solar always change over time.
Also, and this applies to everything including the lease model, today’s darling will almost always disappoint eventually. Solar is progress and is crucial in the battle against climate change; remember, enthusiasm is great but perseverance, hard work and steady progress will keep an industry going when enthusiasm wanes. Just as incentives come and go, enthusiasm waxes and wanes.
And Now a Word about Climate Change
Climate change, with a lot of help from humankind, is altering the ecosystem that we are all a part of — sometimes accidentally, sometimes blindly and sometimes by excusing polluting behaviors as necessary. Bluntly, if you are not a part of the climate change solution, you are the problem – solar is a key part of the solution. The fight to deploy solar requires old fashioned guts and is often gut wrenching. Nonetheless, there is no better fight to engage in than the one against those who argue that we have time to make an impact.
And this calls for 12. Remember that the real goals are energy independence (from polluting sources), energy security (against escalating prices), and ameliorating climate change.
Approximately 40 companies install solar energy systems in the state of Washington and many have been active in the policy arena for a number of years, but too often as separate entities.
With the formation of Solar Installers of Washington (SIW), possibly the first trade association of its kind in the United States, the coalition is setting aside their competitive impulses and working together to help shape the future of solar energy in this state. Their aim is to do so by representing their customers, teaming up with local manufacturers and suppliers. It is also their goal to work closely with elected officials, and build strong relationships with utilities and environmental stakeholders in order to increase awareness and create better policies for wider adoption of solar energy.
In addition to delivering clean, renewable energy to Washington, they will support the creation of hundreds of local jobs and prosperous local economies across the state. Climate change, ocean acidification, air and water pollution, and resource depletion are all daunting problems that require a team effort to solve. It is with this in mind that the SIW is making its expertise and resources available to elected officials and related stakeholders so that Washingtonians are better able to use our most abundant energy resource - the sun.
Sunergy Systems is proud to be a Founding Member and also have our company founder, Howard Lamb, serving as a Board Member!
Robert Redford has a Call to Action for you! As a trustee on the Natural Resources Defense Council for almost 40 years, Robert dilligently continues the fight against drilling on public lands for some of the dirtiest fossil fuels on the planet. Please take a moment and watch his PSA, and sign the petition to ask President Obama to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and move us further into a clean energy future!