Nationwide Home Solar Power Contractors and Information
Reeves Clippard, Founder of A & R Solar, did a lot of soul searching and research before leaving his career in software development to take the plunge into renewables. "I found an internship with Solar Energy International and left my home and career in North Carolina behind to follow a dream," Reeves says.
Through hard work and persistence, Reeves soon began work installing solar hot water and photovoltaics. "I wanted perspective on the whole industry from the bottom up. Getting that job was the perfect way to get my hands dirty, literally." After founding A & R Solar, pride of work became his priority. "We have an unofficial saying on the job site: 'perfection is adequate.'"
Seattle is known to host a green-minded community, and according to Reeves, Seattle is moving faster than many other places in the U.S. when it comes to making the solar transition. "Just the other day," he says, "I received a call from someone in Tuscan, AZ. They've got about half the competition that we do here. Our customers are well-educated, passionate about the environment, and forward thinking. Competition is friendly and fierce. All of these things have helped to create a thriving market here."
At the same time, Reeves says Washington State has a progressive production-based incentive: "I believe we will see a continuation and an improvement of this model as time goes on. It's very important that we reward for performance over time, not just handing out a one-time rebate for making a purchase." Reeves believes the most important innovations will come in financing solar systems. "Models such as Tax Increment Financing and others will make it extremely easy for people to invest in solar."
On the other hand, one drawback for Seattle is a long, relentless rainy season. Homeowners may wonder how the cloudy weather may affect a solar system's success. According to Reeves, the rainy season does present some interesting design considerations. Typically, A & R designs solar systems for maximum production during summer months, relying on net metering credit to get through the winter. "Germany gets 30% less sun we do," Reeves says. "Yet they're the world leader in installed solar. If they can do it, what's stopping us?"
Reeves primarily sees and works with conventional asphalt composition shingles. "There are some cedar shake roofs, metal, and some more exotic materials as well." No matter what the roofing type, A & R is diligent about keeping roof penetrations well-sealed and dry, if they make roof penetrations at all. "A lot of our methods of sealing and flashing may seem excessive to other countries and regions, but again, longevity is our goal."
While cost continues to be a sticky issue, A & R Solar believes the price of the solar panel will continue to drop. "At the same time," Reeves says, "the cost of transporting materials and driving to the work site are going up. For our thermal systems, I doubt that we will see a drop in the price of copper."
Reeves doesn't recommend watching and waiting for the next big technological breakthrough before committing to go solar. "To me, I don't see any good reason to wait. Every sunny day that goes by without solar is another day that could've been used to make a difference!"
Find out more about A & R Solar's product recommendations in CalFinder's Solar Blog.
Interested in Home Solar Energy?
Fill in your details below and certified solar contractors will give you FREE estimates.
Real honest, real straightforward. What he told us is what we got. I would highly recommend him.
They were always on time and the project was finished right when they promised. Very professional and easy to deal with. I am very satisfied. The work turned out great.