TIME TO GO SOLAR IS NOW, BEFORE THE THIRTY PERCENT
GOVERNMENT TAX CREDIT IS OVER
By Vic Gerami
What is your background in general, as well as professionally?
I have a B.A. in political science and a Masters in public institutions management. I completed my studies at the Tel Aviv University of Israel.
I managed a non-profit organization in Israel; this non-profit was for people who immigrated from Kavkaz as me (Russia). The youngsters from Kavkaz needed help in to acclimate and understand that finishing high school and going to university will help them in the future.
When I moved to the US, I managed a construction company for four years, and then I decided to go to the next level. I had my son and got a proposal to start working for a solar company.
Why and how did you get in the solar business?
I got into the solar business in 2011, I got a proposal from a company named A1 SOLAR POWER, INC. they were a pretty new company but definitely on a fast growing track. So, I decided to accept the offer and grow with the company. Little did I know that it would take me to be the biggest pro-solar advocate and to open my own company.
In the beginning, I was just managing the accounting department but within a couple of months, the owners made me the head of operations. The rest is history.
“All new houses beginning in 2020 must have solar”
What is your current title and position at Solar Earth Choice?
I am a President and Partner of fifty percent in Solar Earth Choice, Inc.
What are your qualifications pertaining to the solar energy industry?
Being a solar installer, my company has a C10 electrical license. In addition, I went ahead and trained myself in solar installation and participated in quite a few of them.
What are some current realities that readers should be aware of at this time?
The most important is that Solar is in a comeback, although we saw some decline in the past two years, solar is coming back and very quickly. with different legislation in place, like all new houses beginning in 2020 must have solar, or that California must become one-hundred percent energy efficient by the year 2045, or the most important electrical rates are raising and the utilities don’t hide it anymore, all this makes Californians understand that they must find an alternative to electrical bill, and they found one, they are going solar.
What are the long-term financial benefits of going solar?
The first financial benefit is to AVOID RISING ELECTRICAL RATES, and get ahead and prevent it. Second, a tax credit of thirty percent from the government will be phasing out in the next couple of years. Third, a very quick ROI with our pricing, and then you have FREE ELECTRICITY! Forth, the property value per Berkeley University research will go up to twenty percent because there is solar on the roof.
How does solar energy help the environment?
When we are using solar, thus clean renewable energy, we don’t need to rely on fossil fuels, such as coal, that their extraction not only very expensive but also polluting the environment. Renewable energy allows us to get electricity from the sun that was here for millions of years and will continue to be here for billions of years. Sun shines on us every day, allows us to use the sunshine and convert it to the electricity by installing solar panels on the roof.
The more we use renewable energy the fewer fossil fuels are burned, thus polluting the environment.
I have to mention there is a global warming situation, and we all know that we contributed a great deal to it. Polluting the environment, extracting the fuels from beneath the earth, is causing volcano eruptions, tsunamis, and deadly earthquakes. The Arctic has become too warm for its population and actually killing those poor animals as they cannot hunt or leave in this environment.
We have to remember that by going solar or going green, we are contributing little by little to the health of the earth and hopefully reverse the global warming situation. I hope I am not too naïve.
Definitely sense of urgency, as I mentioned before the increase in utility rates and the thirty percent tax credit is phased out, this year is the last year for thirty percent tax credit, next year it will go down to twenty-six percent and then to twenty-one percent. Homeowners and businesses should go solar today in order to take advantage of the tax credit this year and avoid high electric rates.
I have to mention that solar prices right now are pretty stable, but demand grows the price and a jump can happen like it did five years ago. Demand and Supply always go together.
“A lot of people think solar is for rich people, wrong, it is for everyone”
Are there any misconceptions about solar that you would like to clear?
A lot of people think solar is for rich people, wrong, it is for everyone, especially for people who are trying to save money. Prices are so good that anyone can have a solar system installed on their house.
Solar doesn’t work? False: Solar works, I see how solar produces energy every day when I am monitoring my customers’ solar system. Not only that, I get phone calls from my customers that have zero dollar bills.
Solar takes forever to install? False: Standard solar system installation timeline from A-Z is about three weeks (depends on the city of course and how fast they will release the permit).
Solar must be washed? Not necessarily, usually the rain will do it, however, if you would like to clean the panels there are a lot of solar panel cleaning companies that will do it at a very low price. However, as I mentioned it is not necessary
Solar is too much maintenance! False: No moving parts, meaning no maintenance, Solar is sitting on your roof cooling it down a bit, at the same spot of the roof where it was installed, and protects it from heat and rain
Solar will get cheaper in the future! False: It’s already reached the lowest price in the market; right now it will only go up. Demand and Supply!
“I often have customers ask me, “this is it? I thought it will be much more expensive”
What sets apart Solar Earth Choice from your competitors?
I usually don’t like to talk about competition, but I must say that we have a personal and the best customer service. We make sure to answer all the questions during our initial meeting with the customer and even after the solar panels are installed.
I monitor my customers’ production daily, twice a day and notify the customer if I don’t see communication which can occur because of the internet glitch.
In addition, I know that we review and design the best possible plans for our customers. Unfortunately not all the companies will go the extra mile and review to determine the best location for the panels. I don’t approve plans if I am not convinced of the location and work with our engineer in tandem to come up with the best option.
Our prices are the best in the market. As I mentioned, we want to show the best ROI to our customers and that is why we are keeping our prices in a reasonable range and not overcharge. I often have customers ask me, “this is it? I thought it will be much more expensive.”
We offer the best equipment! Why? we want to make sure the customer gets the best equipment, even though for us its more expensive, but I prefer to have a piece of mind and make sure my customer is happy.
Would you like to add anything?
I just want to say, going solar today is not like going solar five years ago, expensive, the ROI is too high, today is the time to go solar! Best pricing and best technology! Let us be the one to guide you to the first step of your energy independence! We do care about our customers and always there for them! On a personal note, I am a very detailed oriented person, and make sure to pay attention to every little detail during the project to assure that the project goes smoothly.
How can the public reach you?