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ENERGY LEADERS TODAY T H E M A G A Z I N E F O R C A P TA I N S O F I N D U S T RY www.energyleaderstoday.com

Powering Buildings. Empowering People. Sunlight Solar Energy, Inc has been committed to providing the highest quality grid-tied solar electric and solar thermal installation for over 20 years throughout the northeast and beyond. by Joel Cornell

“Investing in solar energy is appealing to people for multiple reasons,” said Sunlight Solar Energy’s Outreach and Public Relations Director, Carolyn Humphreys. “Given the limitations of their current energy strategy, it’s no wonder Americans are choosing to go solar in record numbers. Our team is excited to do a job that saves our neighbors money over the years, reduces our CO2 levels and eliminates the need for fuel, and all of its associated costs. These benefits are what drive our national growth, projected to be 40 percent a year for the next decade.” Sunlight Solar Energy, founded in 1988 by the company’s president, Paul Israel, is committed to bringing about the solar revolution. This doesn’t simply mean bringing their products and services to the market. The company and its six branches across Oregon, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania are ultimately dedicated to delivering the awareness, knowledge and affordable services and products to all people, in all markets, in all regions. “The incentives and benefits range so widely from state to state and have a profound impact THIS PAGE: Joey Dorwart, Thermal Division director, is having a good time installing a dual-axis tracker. These trackers adjust to both the daily sun path, east to west, and the seasonal sun path, north to south, optimizing energy production year round.

Given the limitations of their current energy strategy, it’s no wonder Americans are choosing to go solar in record numbers. Carolyn Humphreys Sunlight Solar Energy’s Outreach and Public Relations Director


CORPORATE PROFILE | SOLAR

upon where and how we are able to bring solar energy to people,” said Systems Designer Ryan Fitzsimmons. “Here in Massachusetts, we have some great state incentives that help significantly reduce the costs of solar when combined with federal incentives. Currently, there’s a state rebate up to $8,500, along with a $1,000 tax credit for home and business owners who tie their solar system into the grid. Additionally, there is a system in place that allows solar energy system owners to earn carbon credits from their solar array. The current standard trading equivalency is one carbon credit for

2 Winter 2010

one megawatt. Those who earn enough carbon credits can then sell them to local manufacturers or production companies who need to offset their carbon footprint by purchasing carbon credits. In selling these carbon credits, solar array owners can generate anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 a year. That’s on top of what they’re already saving from being tied in to the grid and having virtually no electricity bill to worry about.” In providing solar electric, solar hot water and solar pool heating products and services, Sunlight Solar Energy is ideally poised to help

bring the U.S. into the solar age. Back when the company was founded in 1988, the main solar market consisted of off grid systems and smaller units ideal for sail boats or RVs. Sunlight Solar Energy was a part of the early movement in Oregon that started connecting solar energy systems into the local power grid. Since then, both Sunlight Solar Energy and the solar industry at large have exploded across the country. “I began with the company in 2006, when I purchased a solar system and made my passive solar home an active solar home as well,” said


SOLAR | CORPORATE PROFILE

People in Connecticut are truly tired of paying the second highest rates in the continental United States. They’ve experienced unacceptable rate increases over the last decade and they are generally thrilled to find out they have another choice. Carolyn Humphreys Sunlight Solar Energy’s Outreach and Public Relations Director

Energy Leaders Today 3


CORPORATE PROFILE | SOLAR

Although in the past the upfront investment posed some challenges for folks without enough liquidity or home equity, new financing options, including unsecured loans, have eliminated this impediment for the majority of investors. This is good news in states with high electricity rates because with low risk and a high rate of return, it’s a wise investment, and people know that. Carolyn Humphreys Sunlight Solar Energy’s Outreach and Public Relations Director

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SOLAR | CORPORATE PROFILE

PREVIOUS PAGE: Sunpower’s “Intelegant Award for Excellence” in design, aesthetics and customer satisfaction was given to Sunlight Solar Energy, Inc. for the Durno Residence in Westport, Conn. THIS PAGE: (LEFT) Paul Israel, president (BELOW) Carolyn Humphreys at the Live Green CT! event, sharing solar info. OPPOSITE PAGE: The Sunlight Solar Energy team knows that most people’s home is their single largest investment. Great design means making sure they offer systems that are built both for optimal performace and optimal aesthetics to increase the value of that investment as much as possible. SunPower’s truly all-black panels allowed the Yarmoff family to produce the clean renewable energy they wanted, beautifully.

Humphreys. “The more I learned about solar energy, the more I fell in love with the technology and the financial and environmental opportunities it makes available. Like so many others over these past few years, I see solar energy as a way out of a lot of our national, and even individual, quandaries. People in Connecticut are truly tired of paying the second highest rates in the continental United States. They’ve experienced unacceptable rate increases over the last decade and they are generally thrilled to find out they have another choice. It requires being proactive. Yet, once your solar equipment is paid off, the energy it produces is free. People like free and they like clean and renewable too.” For Sunlight Solar Energy, a main mission is the education of energy consumers. As a

SunPower Premier dealer, their employees, installers and designers have had some of the best training on solar energy available. And though they were very honored to receive the Sunpower “Intelegant Award for Excellence” in design, aesthetics and customer satisfaction, they don’t exclusively install SunPower or any other single line of products. They realize that every state, home, site and owner is unique, and thus requires a system specifically customized to fit those needs. “We appreciate that solar energy is often a new topic. We also know some folks have been interested in solar energy for years and have thoroughly researched the subject, coming to us with considerable knowledge,” said Humphreys. “With this in mind, we try to be appropriate with the amount of technical lan-

guage we use. If someone is just starting out, we might talk more about what portion of their utility bill a system might replace rather than its size, using terms like kilowatts. Of course we give a greater amount of technical detail to engineers, builders, architects and anyone who wishes it.” The scope of Sunlight Solar Energy’s services extend past installing, designing and servicing solar thermal and solar hot water systems for both the residential and commercial sectors. Besides their additional solar pool heating and solar space heating services, Sunlight Solar Energy is very active in promoting sustainability in general throughout the communities in their states. Employee involvement is widespread. All of their Systems Designers, like Fitzsimmons, go to local libraries to talk Energy Leaders Today 5


CORPORATE PROFILE | SOLAR

6 Winter 2010


SOLAR | CORPORATE PROFILE

TOP: (LEFT TO RIGHT) Ray and Patricia Robinson stand in front of their 3.68kW system in Wareham, Mass. that Sunlight Solar installed in 2009; Rick Dryer of Waterton expresses his joy at owning a solar PV array; Dan Albert Project of Marblehead, Mass. Dan Albert’s 6.3 kW PV system is estimated to cover approximately 120 percent of his annual electric usage and will provide his home with free, renewable energy for decades to come; Neil Rasmussen’s 5.4 kW ground mount system in Concord, Mass. MAIN IMAGE: Homschied Residence. This 5.74 kw photovoltaic array, made up of 28 Sunpower 205 watt panels, won Sunlight Solar’s Apex Award.

and answer questions on the finer points of solar energy systems. Humphreys was also a member of the Energy Working Group for the governor-elect’s Transition Team Policy Committee, a group formed to advise the new Connecticut governor on strategies to bring energy costs down and to increase the deployment of renewable energy. The staff ’s commitment to operating sustainably and promoting energy efficiency in addition to renewable energy is well known. Coworkers encourage one another and their communities to reduce, reuse and recycle. Paper products made with 100 percent postconsumer waste, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified and elemental chlorine free use 100 percent fewer trees, 42 percent less energy, 46 percent less water and produce 37 percent fewer green house gas emissions. Uniforms and logoed garments are made from organic and/or environmentally sensitive materials. Gifts and giveaways are preferable if they have fewer travel miles, are organic, fair-trade, and/ or shade grown. They drive a fleet of hybrid Toyota Prius and fuel efficient Sprinter vans because hybrids typically reduce gasoline consumption by roughly 30 percent. Much of the staff walks, rides bikes, takes public transit or carpools whenever possible. The company’s efforts were most recently recognized by the New Haven Land Trust and the Milford Environmental Hall of Fame. So far, Sunlight Solar’s greatest hurdles have been policy and program based, often having more to do with previously inconsistent incentives and limited financing options. “This recent economic downturn has made people far more interested in solar energy,” Humphreys said. “Most current energy strategies don’t have any kind of payback. As money gets tighter, people are looking at their electricity bills in a more critical way. They want protection from rising utility rates, and they’d also like to be less dependent on foreign oil. It doesn’t hurt that we mitigate air, water and land pollution and provide new jobs either. Although in the past the upfront investment posed some challenges for folks without enough Energy Leaders Today 7


liquidity or home equity, new financing options, including unsecured loans, have eliminated this impediment for the majority of investors. This is good news in states with high electricity rates because with low risk and a high rate of return, it’s a wise investment, and people know that. It’s only a matter of making sure predictable and consistent state and federal incentives last just long enough until we don’t need them. In the past, we saw ample lip service but perhaps not enough adoption of the solar policies that have been working in other states and countries. But with the swearing in of our new governor, Dan Malloy, we are optimistic this will change. He is very knowledgeable about, and committed to, clean energy. And as the technology becomes increasingly cost effective, with material costs continuing to go down, we, too, are looking forward to the end of subsidies.” Across the country, Sunlight Solar Energy is working hard and working smart to bring solar opportunities to every home or business owner interested. In working closely with the client to establish exactly what they need and how they can help, the company’s scope and detail oriented service has been an important contributor to changing some Americans from passive energy consumers to active producers of clean renewable energy. ELT

THIS PAGE: (TOP) Ryan Fitzsimmons, PV system designer, Sunlight Solar Energy, Mass. (BELOW) Jerome Prince, installer, and Kevin Reis, YouthBuild student, review the basics of solar installation on a newly finished solar roof model. Students of YouthBuild, a program that provides job skill training for young adults who dropped out of school, built the roof model with the help of Sunlight Solar installers during an educational partnership that prepares students for careers in green energy.

ENERGY LEADERS TODAY T H E M A G A Z I N E F O R C A P TA I N S O F I N D U S T RY www.energyleaderstoday.com

Sunlight Solar Corporation  

Sunlight Solar Energy, Inc has been committed to providing the highest quality grid-tied solar electric and solar thermal installation for o...

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