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Middle-income consumers drive solar success

Monday, March 12th 2012 5:12 PM
By GetSolar Staff.
Middle-income consumers drive solar success A Torrance-area solar company recently became the leader in residential sales and job growth among California solar installers, adding 44 new jobs in January and 40 in February.

The California Solar Initiative revealed that the strong start to 2012 made Verengo Solar the state's leader in total sales for the two months. The company has also hired 400 workers since 2011 and is expecting to add 400 more by the end of 2012, Randy Bishop, CEO and co-founder of Verengo, told CBS Evening News reporter Bill Whittaker in a recent interview.

The solar industry is rapidly increasing with homeowners looking for any way possible to save money. Bishop credits middle-income homeowners with the sudden increase, saying that they once considered a solar installation a luxury that they wouldn't be able to afford.

"Because of the new financing options we offer our customers like zero down leasing, the public perception of home solar is catching up with the economic reality of the marketplace," said Bishop. "It's also helped that solar panel prices have fallen nearly 50 percent this year. That's a savings of $3,000-$5,000 for a medium-size home."

Verengo has reduced carbon emissions drastically since it was founded, achieving the equivalent of planting 192,000 acres of trees and taking more than 76,000 cars off the roads. The company has also consistently earned an  A-plus rating from the Better Business Bureau.

"With the drop in prices brought on by recent technological and permitting advances, lower panel costs and increased financing options, home solar is now affordable to most Californians," said Ken Button, president and co-founder of Verengo. "More and more middle-income homeowners are choosing Verengo because they understand with today's financing opportunities, such as zero down leasing, they no longer have to make a large upfront investment. They can start saving money on lower utility rates immediately and lock in those rates for 20 years to come."

Although fewer people are facing financial obstacles when it comes to undertaking a residential solar installation, not all properties are ideally suited for a rooftop solar project. A flat roof is ideal for panels, while chimneys, skylights and ducts can pose challenges. However, by contacting an experienced solar installer, many people can find work-arounds. Obtaining an online solar quote is a good way to begin the process of going greener, as many California residents already have. California leads the nation in solar projects completed and megawatts installed, at 1,138.

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