The California Solar and Storage Association is holding elections to its Board, and I have decided to run for one of the three seats allocated to solar contractors. Here's why...
Readers of this newsletter are familiar with my background: I was a Member of Technical Staff at Bell Labs, I taught High School, and I was a Big Law Firm lawyer - all before founding Run on Sun in 2006. That background gives me a worldview that is not always found on a roof - or as an inspector once said (I think in jest), "A lawyer with a code book, I'll bet you could get away with anything!"
Along the way I earned (and maintain) a NABCEP PV Installation Professional Certification, and also wrote the book, Commercial Solar: Step-by-Step.
So why run for the Board?
I think my experiences uniquely qualify me to speak on behalf of long-tail installers - the little guys who work so hard, and so honestly every day because they believe so passionately in what they are doing.
I understand that our resources are always stretched too thin, and that challenge is compounded by the difficulties of dealing with disparate demands from local AHJs (to say nothing of individual inspectors), overly bureaucratic rebate programs that were designed for large companies that can allocate an army of lawyers to navigate their arbitrary requirements, a workers compensation system that is baffling at best and punitive at worst -- the list goes on.
Yet we are out there, every day, trying to make the world a better place, one roof at a time.
But sadly, there aren't enough small installers in CALSSA. I would like to increase their numbers with a “First Year Free” membership program so that smaller companies can see the value provided by the great work of the dedicated CALSSA staff.
I would advocate for stronger consumer protections, but in a manner that does not portray solar installers as predators, as the CPUC’s current program does. The small installers I know are hard-working folks who truly believe in the value of this wonderful industry. They deserve to be acknowledged as such.
Finally, I would like to work to reform the SGIP program, so that installing a 10 kWh storage system takes more time than filling out the required rebate paperwork.
I hope you will support me with your vote. (Voting began yesterday, October 30th, and continues through November 6th, with winners to be announced on November 8th. Only member companies in good standing are eligible to vote.)
Endorsements (partial list, organizations for identification purposes only)
JD Dillon, Vice President of Marketing and Pricing, Enphase Energy
Ross Gerard, Director of Sales, North America, Everest Solar Systems LLC
Kendra Hubbard, Strategic Account Manager, UNIRAC Inc.
Adam Gerza, COO, Energy Toolbase
Yann Brandt, Quickmount PV
Tor "Solar Fred" Valenza, Founder of UnThink Solar Marketing and Communications
Tom Cheyney, Content and Market Intel Lead, Renewables Practice, Kiterocket