The industry has matured, and people are generally aware of the advantages of solar power. Since sunrays are free, solar power is one of the few choices in which doing something that contributes to the environment is also a great thing for the wallet. Ownership programs now make solar energy available for zero down with financing plans that often provide for savings from the first month of ownership. Generally, as long as a homeowner is paying more than $100 a month for electricity, the solar option is a no-brainer. In addition, Berkeley Research Labs conducted a study that demonstrated the positive influence of ownership on a home’s value.
West Coast Solar began in 2007 when we were sitting around a fire-pit one evening, and discovered that both of us had entertained the same vision for the business opportunities available in the solar power industry. We were heavily involved at the time with other businesses, but incorporated West Coast Solar and slowly began to build the business until we reached the point, in 2010, when the technology, the market, and our infrastructure were in place, allowing us to focus on the business in a major way. We rejected purchasing a franchise in order to stay as competitive as possible and to avoid geographical restrictions. Most of all, we didn’t need people to hold our hands and instruct us about matters having to do with construction and business that, after all, we had been familiar with for years.
Both of us have lived in Brentwood since childhood and our kids attend local schools, so we are advocates of a buy-local philosophy and will typically see if a product or service we are looking for ourselves can be purchased at a competitive price from a local company. We try to support local businesses such as restaurants, car dealerships, and local stores. However, many local residents tend to do business with companies format of the area or “Big Box Stores.” Those same dollars could be recycled into our community. We’ve seen local businesses close that could have remained open with a little more community support. We believe that local businesses deserve a shot. It simply feels right to deal with a table server, salesperson, or business owner who might be a neighbor or have children attending the same schools our kids attend.
We appreciate, of course, local residents approaching their solar power purchase with the same buy-local mentality that we have ourselves. Even though our projects spread throughout Northern California, our real interest lies in serving our East County neighbors. It simply makes sense for them to do business with us because our warehouse and office are in Brentwood. Nearly 40 employees are residents who pay local taxes for schools and municipal services. They reinvest back into the community through their purchase of local services and products.
Nevertheless, when we go to the local building departments to obtain project permits, we are sometimes dismayed to see how many permits are being obtained by out-of-community businesses for solar jobs that we never had a chance to bid on. Fortunately, that is beginning to change. Our reputation is growing; people are beginning to get the word that West Coast Solar is a good source for competitively priced energy systems. We’re doing an
increasing number of home projects as well as commercial installations in our home market. We’ve recently installed systems at a Summerset Clubhouse, Brentwood Family Pet Care, Ca’na Vineyards, and a project at Carson Swim School. Each of these businesses could have chosen an out-of-area company, but instead chose to buy local with West Coast Solar. The two of us enjoy a close friendship with many common interests and goals. In business, we’re both working towards the shared goal of providing our customersthe best possible service and products. An essential component of our success is the people we have working for us. We’ve brought some employees in from our previous companies. Some of our proven and committed people have been with us for 15 years. As a result, we have assembled a team of intelligent, experienced, and loyal employees.
We are proponents of The Golden Rule, so a primary part our business plan is maintaining customer service at levels that we would want as a customer. We have been known to provide services beyond those covered by a warranty simply because we are concerned about pleasing our customers.
It is no coincidence that West Coast Solar has been Best Of Brentwood for Solar every year that the category has existed. Whether they are buying from us or from another company, the solar decision is the right one for homeowners and small businesses. Whether they buy solar or purchase retail products or a meal with the family, the buy local decision is also the right choice.