Every month, BayWa r.e. Solar Systems brings U.S. solar contractors and industry leaders together to discuss challenges and opportunities in the business of solar installation and deployment.
Solar Town Hall — February 24: To Originate or Not? Working with Outside Sales Organizations (Episode 202)
As a solar contractor, when should you consider getting outside help for sales origination? Our expert roundtable weighs in on the pitfalls and positives on working with sales channel partners.
Topic: As a solar contractor, when should you consider getting outside help for sales origination? Our expert roundtable weighs in on the pitfalls and positives on working with sales channel partners.
- Valarie Serrato, Vice President of Residential Business at Sunworks, Inc.
- James Lee, Director of Enterprise Partnerships and Partner Development at Sunnova Energy Corp.
- Bryan White, Research Analyst at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables
- Rachel Schapira, Director of Residential Finance at BayWa r.e. Solar Systems (USA)
Solar Town Hall - January 27: Looking Ahead at 2021 (Episode 201)
We gathered industry leaders to discuss what to expect in 2021 for customer engagement, labor and supply chain, and the business climate for our solar installation industry.
Topic: We gathered industry leaders to discuss what to expect in 2021 for customer engagement, labor and supply chain, and the business climate for our solar installation industry.
- Ajulo Othow, Esq., Founder and CEO of EnerWealth Solutions, LLC and Committee Representative at BOSS (Black Owned Solar Services), and Board Member at North Carolina Clean Energy Fund
- Bryan White, Research Analyst at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables
- David Dunlap, Vice President of Operations at BayWa r.e. Solar Systems
- Vikram Aggarwal, Founder and CEO of EnergySage
Solar Town Hall - December 9: Working Together to Offer Solar in Every Community
In this #SolarTownHall, we talked with leaders from around our industry on growing equity and access to solar opportunities across the United States.
Topic: Our guests this week shared their experience and insights regarding actionable steps we all can take to bring residential and commercial solar to under-served communities and overlooked partnerships. What are solar professionals of color experiencing as they establish in our industry? How can be better understand the “financial geography” of individuals and communities we strive to serve, from rural to urban? What can we do to create welcoming spaces for collaboration and start new conversations as solar colleagues?
- Kenneth Wells, Founder of O&M Solar Services, LLC
- Jason Carney, President of Tennessee Solar Energy Association and CEO of Energy Electives, LLC.
- Dana Sleeper, Director of External Affairs at SEIA
- Ajulo Othow, Founder and CEO of EnerWealth Solutions, LLC and Committee Representative at BOSS (Black Owned Solar Services)
- Heather Houston, VP of People at Mosaic Solar and Steering Committee Representative at Renewables Forward
Solar Town Hall – October 21: Inside the Mind of the Solar Consumer
Do solar customers truly make rational decisions? Let’s explore the behaviors, emotions, and values that truly drive homeowners to commit to solar — and to their installer!
Topic: Our multidisciplinary lineup for this week’s #SolarTownHall tackled questions like: Can we quantify the factors that lead to solar adoption? What is the interplay between emotions and rationalization in consumer purchasing decisions? Why you might prioritize hiring “empathetic” sales staff. And, of course, what can behavioral science teach us about solar sales?
Solar Town Hall – September 23: Q4 and Beyond: A Look into the Future of Commercial PV & Storage
How can solar contractors specializing in C&I projects finish strong for 2020 and strategically prepare themselves for the new calendar year?
Topic: From market demand to supply chain changes to pandemic and wildfire impacts, 2020 has been a journey for contractors with commercial and industrial (C&I) projects. There’s quite a bit to stay apprised of, as everyone manages inventory for the year-end rush and start planning ahead for sales and opportunities in 2021. Fortunately, we covered some key takeaways in this week’s week’s #SolarTownHall — a special commercial solar edition!
- Michelle Davis, Senior Analyst, US Distributed Solar at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables
- Alan Russo, Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) at Stem, Inc.
- Aron Hauser, Director, Commercial Solar at Preman Roofing-Solar
- Cale Garamendi, Commercial Project Developer at Sandbar Solar & Electric
- Ben Frank, Director of National Sales – Commercial and Industrial, SolarEdge
Solar Town Hall - August 26: Codes, Compliance, and the Solar Contractor
National and local electrical codes may pose frustrations during design and inspection, but solar contractors can take leadership to ensure both innovation and safety stay apace in our rapidly evolving industry.
Topic: Exploring how contractors can take a proactive approach in understanding safety code — including working with code-setting committees and inspectors — was the theme of this week’s #SolarTownHall.
Solar Town Hall - July 15: The Software Stack of the Modern Solar Business
In adapting to digitization, solar contractors face a fractured offerings of generic software tools. But new efforts in solar-specific software are changing the playing field.
Topic: Until recently, solar installers suffered from a fractured set of generic software tools with legacy dysfunction and siloed incompatibilities — some for sales, some for design, some for tracking workflow, et cetera. On July 15 we talked with visionaries in the field of solar software for our expert roundtable and explored this exciting future of efficiency and integration, with a focus on new efforts in solar-specific software that are changing the playing field.
Solar Town Hall - July 1: Creating a Diverse, Equitable, and Resilient Solar Industry
How can we truly live up to our promises to bring diversity to our industry — and make solar energy and jobs accessible for all?
Topic: Great companies know that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are principles that genuinely benefit the communities we cultivate and the markets we serve. But how can solar professionals truly walk the talk and hold ourselves accountable to our teammates, our trade, and our society?
- Anna Bautista — Vice President, Construction, GRID Alternatives
- Bart Croes — Chief of Research Division (ret.), California Air Resources Board
- Jason Carney — President, Tennessee Solar Energy Association; CEO, Energy Electives LLC
- Melanie Santiago-Mosier — Managing Director, Access & Equity Program, Vote Solar
Topic: As we enter a new phase of the pandemic, what lessons have we learned? And is there an opportunity to shift how we think about the business of solar?
Solar Town Hall: Closing Sales In a "Low Touch" World
Get expert tips and advice from solar sales and marketing experts, as well as from fellow solar contractors, on what's moving the sales needle in the these strange times.
Topic: The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for solar to adapt to a “low-touch” sales environment. What best practices can contractors adopt for refining messaging and pitches, building customer rapport, and simplifying digital storefronts? What marketing tools, search trends, and calendar deadlines matter for closing solar sales as we head into summer months? We’ll talk with fellow contractors and other expert panelists on our next Solar Town Hall live event on June 3rd.
Following up from our April 29 town hall on the PPP, Tom sat down with Gina Romdoss to answer 20 more of your PPP questions.
NOTE: The federal guidance on what you need to do to achieve forgiveness is a moving target. Please keep in mind that the advice Gina provides may be out of date in the coming week. Gina and I will circle back soon for an update, but please keep in mind the temporal nature of this conversation as you work on your PPP applications.
The question this week: I’m applying for, or received, my PPP funds. What do I do now?
FYI – The town hall will be on hiatus for the next week or two while we plan our next round of guests and topics. See you soon!
Gina Ramdoss www.mysbaloanforgiveness.com
Topic: The question this week: I’m applying for, or received, my PPP funds. What do I do now?
Connect with Gina Ramdoss – https://www.mysbaloanforgiveness.com/
Martha Amram and GLYNT.ai: https://glynt.ai/
Rosa Cucicea – River City Bank – https://rivercitybank.com/
Grant Farrell – Enable Energy – https://enable-energy.com/
Barry Cinnamon – Cinnamon Energy Systems – https://cinnamon.energy/
Topic: This week, we discuss how to thrive in tough times, an audacious goal to train millions of solar workers, and a look at future opportunities.
This week we have Dr. Charlie Gay – External Advisory Board at Sandia National Laboratories; Former director of the U.S. Department of Energy – Solar Energy Technologies Office; Former director of NREL; SOLPAD.
Marla Korpar – Development Director at Solar Energy International.
Hersch Wilson – writer, consultant, and author of Firefighter Zen: A Field Guide to Thriving in Tough Times
Topic: This week, we discuss solar financing, jobs, the US economy, and the future of renewables.
Robyn Kenkel, Risk & Business Development, Mosaic;
Gregg Fisher, Sr. Manager, Business Development – Sunlight Financial LLC; Martha Schary Amram, CEO, GLYNT;
Vikram Aggarwal, CEO, EnergySage;
Jeremy White, Solar Division Leader, Robco Electric;
Rachel Schapira, Director, Residential Finance – BayWa r.e. Solar Systems
Topic: How to sell and conduct site assessments, virtually.
Michelle Spina – Instructional Designer/Trainer, SolarEdge;
Joseph Marhamati – Co-Founder, Ipsun Solar;
Vaughan Woodruff – Founder/CEO, Insource Renewables;
Benjamin Davis – Policy Associate, CALSSA;
Shane Helle – Project Manager, Porter Electric LLC
Frank Jessel, the head of global distribution for BayWa r.e.
David Chang, Sr. Director, Head of Sales, Solar & Energy Storage for LG Electronics
Evelyn Butler, Sr. Director of Codes and Standards, SEIA
Vikram Aggarwal, CEO & Founder, EnergySage
Corey Garrison, CEO of SouthFace Solar
Stephen Trimble, Founder & CEO of Arctic Solar Venture
Karen Paramanandam, Sales & Marketing Program Manager at Unirac.
Barry Cinnamon from Cinnamon energy systems.
Louis Woofenden from Net Zero Solar in Tucson, AZ.
Joe Marhamati from Ipsun Solar in the mid-Atlantic.
Sara Birmingham, Senior Director, State Affairs – SEIA.
Kathy Swartz, Executive Director of Solar Energy International