Friday, October 30, 2015

• Better Know a Wildomar Business: Sunpro Solar

Some businesses I profile are services, like Natalie's Rascal's, others are retail places like WaBa Grill or Ace Hardware. Today's blog is about a place that you'd most likely only purchase from one time, Sunpro Solar.

They recently celebrated their seventh year in Wildomar with a ribbon cutting, and I arranged to speak with their Community Relations Director Emily Padilla about the company.

 WR: Give me a brief overview of Sunpro Solar
 SpS:  Sunpro Solar started with Adam Evans and Jesse Green. they both have a background in construction, and Adam was an electrician, so they got together and wanted to start a company.

They've been in this location for seven years, we've grown to about 60 employees. We're a medium sized company. We do residential and commercial solar projects, but mostly residential.

 WR: How was Wildomar chosen for the location?
 SpS:  Jesse grew up in the Hemet area and now lives in Menifee and Adam grew up in La Cresta. They like the community, they like the area, they like the open space, they liked the opportunity to purchase [their building], and it was affordable where the could start and build their dream. 

 WR: What are the things that Sunpro Solar offers?
 SpS:  We offer leasing and we offer purchasing. We also have a PPA, we offer the whole spectrum which is those three. I think that's what makes us stand out from the other solar companies around here. When we go into a house, we don't go in with an agenda. Our concerns are "what are the needs of the people, what are their goals, what's their financial situation, can they benefit from the tax breaks."

 SpS:  (cont) We also do custom work. We can do things like patio coverings, we can do ground mounts... because we have that construction background.

Another thing about us is that we're the only elite dealer for Sun Power panels in all of Riverside County. A lot of companies sell Sun Power panels, but they're not an elite dealer. That is something that we're really proud of because we have to maintain our status with customer satisfaction, and other different qualifications. Sun Power is one of the biggest corporations in the world, out of all of North America we made the top five.

 WR: What kind of maintenance schedule needs to be followed once a person has solar?
 SpS:  It's being monitored and the customer has the ability to go online and [check the status]. We monitor the systems and it will flag if there's a problem. The customer can monitor [their system] on their smart phones. They can go online every single day and see how many kilowatts their system is producing.

If something changes, or goes wrong, they'll know... besides the fact that we'll know. 

As far as maintenance you don't need any special cleaners with Sun Power panels. Usually the rainwater will take care of it. With the drought, when there is less rain, we tell the customers if they'd like to put a nozzle on their hose and squirt them down, that will be sufficient. We also tell them to never get on the roof.

 WR: What about a guarantee?
 SpS:  That's the most popular question. With Sun Power panels you have a 25 year warranty. Now when you lease, you also have a warranty. The good thing about Sun Power panels is that the warranty is through the company. These panels are sturdy, I've seen videos where they drive cars over them, shoot golf balls at them and they don't break. They're super sturdy and Sun Power has been in business for over 30 years.

 WR: With your workers on the roof, how do you alleviate homeowner's concerns about damage to tiles or worker accidents?
 SpS:  We provide our own liability insurance, worker compensation and all that. As far as the roof, because that is a huge concern for people, most [other solar] companies only insure, give a warranty where they drill into your roof. We offer three feet around your whole system.

 WR: What type of customer is most likely to be helped by going solar and which is the least likely?
 SpS:  The one that is least likely is the one with lower bills. It depends on how much you're spending on electricity. If your bill averages out to $150 per month, you would save money going solar. If your bills are much lower than that, it might not be a necessity at this point.

Click this link and input your numbers to see where you fit into the solar scene.
When people call up that aren't sure [if solar is right for them] I'll tell them to send me their kilowatt usage and we'll take a look at it, and we'll let them know if we can save them money. If we don't think we can save them money we let them know that. Some people still want to get the information for future use.

 WR: Does "Going Solar" mean a customer will be off the grid?
 SpS:  Not unless you get a battery back up. Right now the cost of batteries is still high. You have to have storage space for it, you have to maintain the batteries. It's not cost effective to be off the grid right now, but we can do it. Absolutely, if someone says "I want to be off the grid and I want a battery" we will do that for them. We will make sure they know the differences in the costs, and that they know there is upkeep involved with the batteries.

 WR: If I get solar, will my electric bill go away?
 SpS:  Part of the answer is why the panel you use actually makes a difference. If you're using a cheaper Chinese made panel, they don't have a 25 year warranty (most will have 10), [upfront] they aren't as efficient as the panels we use. We try and get people to zero out there bills because the long term investment is really good.

 WR: How long does installation take?
 SpS:  Installation only takes about two to three days. From that point on it's about a six week wait to get it turned on. [The electric company has to sign off on it first.]

 WR: Tell me about the HERO program and Sunpro Solar?
 SpS:  We do offer the HERO program, it's a great program for those that could benefit from it, but it's not for everyone. When people ask us about the HERO program —we feel very strongly that our job is to make sure that they are very well educated on what it is, and how it will affect their property tax.

 WR: I've seen Sunpro Solar in many places. How involved are you in the community?
 SpS:  We're very involved. That's one of the things that I do. As far as Wildomar specifically, we're part of the chamber of commerce, we've done a lot of sponsorships, such as the astronomy night. Participated in Trunk or Treat, donated a 100 bags with 100 flashlights for the camp out at the park. We're in the Rotary Club, and through that we do a lot for the local schools.

Popular misconceptions about solar power.
    • Some people think they are going to make a lot of money selling power back to the electric company if they purchase extra panels.
    • Thinking that with solar power they will be off the grid.
    • Thinking that a home with solar power will not be affected by power outages.
    • Thinking that you can start setting your AC down to 68 and leave all the lights on. Solar power doesn't mean you get unlimited amounts of electricity to use. 

    Had to love Emily Padilla's singing at their ribbon cutting. Dinah Washington
    and Lady Day... watch out, there's a new blues woman on the scene. ☺
    Thanks to Emily for the conversation about Sunpro Solar. I learned a lot about the company and solar power in general. If you're considering solar power for your home or business be sure to check out their website and then give them a call. They're very helpful.

    Sunpro Solar contact info
    (951) 678-7733
    34859 Frederick Street, Suite 101 
    Wildomar, CA 92595

    •      •       

    I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one― Mark Twain

    Wildomar Rap is to grit, as chocolate is to ice cream.
    (don't ask, just go with it)

    1 comment:

    1. Sunpro Solar sponsored the telescope give-aways for the first two of our Wildomar star parties. Big thanks for that.


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