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Solar Power: Your Ticket to Lower Utility Bills in Silicon Valley Video

In This Episode:

Silicon Valley, a tech epicenter, outpaces the global average in per capita energy usage by over 300%. Silicon Valley Power's commitment to 50% renewable by 2026 and 60% by 2030 is a stride toward offsetting this high consumption. Yet, the specter of energy poverty lingers, as 3-4% of Silicon Valley homes grapple with energy costs, despite interventions from local utilities.

Sustainable Energy Problems of Silicon Valley:

  • High Consumption: The United States, with Silicon Valley being one of the main contributors, ranks as one of the world's highest per capita energy consumers, exceeding the global average by over 300%.
  • Environmental Concerns: Silicon Valley Power is working towards 50% renewable energy by 2026 and 60% by 2030, with a long-term goal of a greenhouse gas-free energy supply by 2045.
  • Energy Poverty: About 1 million Silicon Valley households, particularly in inland counties, faced energy poverty, with Silicon Valley’s rate at 3-4%. 

"The biggest myth has always been that solar is expensive, but it's a no-brainer for homeowners with substantial electricity bills, paying off the system in 5 to 15 years and eventually having zero electricity bills."

About Randy Zechman:

Randy Zechman is the CEO of Clean Solar, a key player in the Bay Area's solar power industry. His leadership has earned the company a solid reputation, with a 5-star rating for its solar power services. Customers trust Clean Solar for its straightforward and dependable solar solutions. Leading Clean Solar, Randy has established the company as a top solar installer and a certified B Corporation. This reflects their commitment to high-quality solar panel technology and sustainable energy. Randy's focus is on providing clean, renewable energy through solar power solutions that benefit both people and the planet.

"Homeowners should choose Clean Solar because we aim to be the best, with a track record of listening to homeowners, doing the right thing, and consistently providing excellent service."

Show Notes:

  • What Clean Solar is and its extensive experience in the solar and battery installation industry.
  • How they address homeowners' challenges when considering solar installations, including electrical panel upgrades and roof issues.
  • Learn how Clean Solar tailors solar solutions to meet individual customer needs and maximize energy savings.
  • Understand the concept of Net Energy Metering (NEM) and its implications for solar energy consumers, including recent changes in tax credits.
  • Delve into the evolving landscape of solar technology and its role in shaping a more sustainable future.
  • Homeowners should choose Clean Solar for their solar and battery installation needs, backed by a strong track record of customer satisfaction.
  • How Clean Solar's battery solutions empower homeowners to achieve energy independence and resilience.
  • Learn about advancements in renewable energy and their impact on adopting clean energy solutions.
  • Understand the significance of clean energy in reducing environmental impact and creating a sustainable future.
  • Get insights into the step-by-step process of installing solar panels, ensuring a seamless customer experience.

"Clean energy is vital not just for combating global warming but also for Americans who value ownership and want to contribute to a greater good."

Episode Transcription

What is Clean Solar, and what do you do?

So, Clean Solar is a solar and battery installation company. We have been around for 16 years, operating in the Bay Area, one of the largest solar and battery manufacturers. So we're a rare entity that has made it 16 years in the solar space, providing lots of solar and batteries for residential and some commercial customers.

So typically, we'll have a homeowner call into our office as we take all the, we're kind of a soup to nuts installer. We take all the calls. They'll meet with an inside sales representative who will ask them many questions so we can better prepare a proposal that's accurate to what they need. Sales reps will typically meet with them. Give them all the pricing, talk about some of the challenges with their installation, and see what their real needs and wants are. And then, after signing a contract, we'll have our installer, so we don't subcontract any work. It's all of our employees. We'll do a planning visit to make sure whatever the salesperson thought we could build can be built, so essentially, an engineer verifying the salesperson's work. And then we'll go through the whole permitting process. with the local jurisdiction, the city, AHJ, however, you think about that. And then, we will have our installation crews eventually come out after the customer works with the project manager and determines a date and time and all that stuff. So installations typically take anywhere from one day to six or seven days, depending on how large and complex. When it's completed, we then have a permit technician come out and do an inspection with the county or the city. Once that passes, the salesperson gets reconnected through the project manager to the customer. They will go through all the final steps, ensure the system is commissioned, and answer all the customer's questions. After that, the systems just kind of work. The nice thing about solar is that there are not many moving parts when solar panels are on the roof. They just collect energy. There are no fans or anything, right? It just kind of works, so customers enjoy going from a $400 electric bill to a $10 electric bill every month.

So there can be a lot. One of the little-known facts in our industry is that 40% of contracts that get signed aren't built. I see. So it's crazy. I don't know of any other industry like that. At Clean Solar, we have a 3% fallout rate. But that's because we do a lot of effort on the front end, training salespeople and going through many extra hoops at the beginning to ensure no surprises on the back end. So, the challenge people could have is that their primary service panel isn't large enough. So they'll need to upgrade to a 200 or 400-amp service panel, depending on what's going on in their home and how large their system or battery system might be. They can also have roof issues. So, any roof that's older than 15 years old is Probably not putting a solar design on it unless you get either a new roof or new underlayment. Because you're going to go up on the roof, and that solar system will be there for a long time. So, you want to ensure that it will be weatherproof for 20 to 30 years or so. So those are the two main things I would say that can come up. Many little things with jurisdictions can happen as well, but those two are the significant hurdles. 


Yeah, we do all of that. It's widespread for us, so we try to handle it right out of the gate. So the weird thing that happens, I feel like, in the industry overall, is salespeople try to sell something and don't worry about what happens afterward, right? So we just take a different approach and say, hey, Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner, you're gonna have this issue, and it's gonna cost X amount of dollars. So if you wanna move forward, that's gonna be part of the deal, or. or you're probably not going to end up with solar, right? And so there's a little bit of a different methodology when you're preparing someone for what they're going to see what'll happen as opposed to just trying to get a say a lot of it.