First, tell us about your company and what you do.
I work for the oldest residential solar company in the nation, which started in 1978, called RGS Energy. Our headquarters is right here in Boulder County, specifically in Louisville. I’ve worked here for nearly three years, and I really enjoy doing something that aligns with my environmental beliefs by helping others go solar and shrink their carbon footprint. Helping people lower their electric bills is a wonderful added benefit as well.
Is RGS Energy active only in Colorado?
RGS Energy works in eleven different states including Colorado. We are currently working on several town-wide Solarize projects in the state of Rhode Island and plan on doing more in New England in the future. Making solar work for people requires the experience and knowledge of all of the incentive programs in each state and how each utility in that states operates.
What are your successes? And challenges?
RGS Energy has been successful at offering turnkey solar systems and navigating the permitting, paperwork, and other milestones for customers to make it an easier process.
Here in Colorado, the electricity rates are relatively low compared to other states in the nation. That can be a challenge, since lower rates aren’t as much of an incentive for people to make changes. I see Colorado’s growth as more dependent on state, local, and utility incentives than other states in order to shorten the return on investment.
How is the industry expected to grow in 2016?
Since the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) of 30% was extended by the federal government, solar installations are expected to grow nationwide in 2016. Regardless, solar power gives people stability and control of their electric bills versus the staggered and unpredictable rate increases from the utilities.