Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Give Kids The World is a non-profit organization that exists only to fulfill the wishes of all children with life-threatening illnesses and their families from around the world. The centerpiece of their organization is Give Kids The World Village (GKTW) a 70-acre, non-profit resort in Central Florida that creates magical memories for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. GKTW provides accommodations at its whimsical resort, donated attractions tickets, meals and more for a week-long, cost-free fantasy vacation. With the help of many generous individuals, corporations and partnering wish-granting organizations, Give Kids The World has welcomed more than 97,000 families from all 50 states and over 65 countries.
In short, they’re an amazing charity.
Like all non-profit organizations, they are always concerned with two things: doing the most good possible, and making sure the funds they raise go directly to that goal. For more and more organizations, that means saving on needless utility costs, and going green!
Today, UMA Solar was happy to donate a new solar water heating system to Give Kids The World Viliage. Chuck Gabriel, and the rest of our friends at All Florida Solar are proudly performing the the installation onto “Katie’s Kitchen,” the Village’s newest restaurant which provides complimentary meals for the Village’s Wish families. Their system will feature two of Solene’s new state-of-the-art 4' X 8' Aurora panels , as well as a 120 gallon Rheem tank. This system will help reduce GKTW’s utility bill, thus reducing their operating costs, and make sure more funds go where it’s best used: creating magical memories for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.
This is only one of the many ways Give Kids The World is taking the taking environmentally responsible steps in improving their facility. Recently, GKTW earned the Florida Green Lodging Program One Palm Certification from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as a result of their internal recycling program, diligent use of energy and their commitment to conserving and protecting Florida’s natural resources.
To follow how the installation is going, follow us live today on Twitter by clicking here .
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Last week, the UMA Solar team met up in Anaheim, CA for Solar Power International 2009 . If you’re not familiar, Solar Power International 2009 is a business-to-business solar conference and expo provides a forum where the solar industry can come together with potential customers, policymakers, and investors, and learn from each other’s successes. The conference offered some of the industry’s best training, classes and workshops, equipping both new solar dealers and seasoned pros alike with the cutting edge in business skills, information and industry best practices.
At this year’s convention, we were proudly featuring our new Aurora Solar Collectors by Solene. Not only are Aurora Solar Collectors are the most technologically advanced collectors on the market today, but they’re also made right here in the USA.
Kevin Good, of Solar Heat Exchange Manufacturing, flew in from Kansas to show the Simple Drainback, of which we are the exclusive national distributor. These Simple Drainback system was designed to combine the simplicity of drainback systems with some of the better characteristics of pressurized systems, creating the easiest installation on the market. We also had the opportunity to talk to Stephen from Steca regarding some innovative solar controls that we will be able to offer soon.
In addition to Solene, we also exhibited our other brands including Heliocol, SunStar, and MyGen by Kyocera. In turn, Kyocera was exhibiting the new Toyota Prius, which features Kyocera solar panels on its roof . It’s a very exciting time to be working with such an bold, dynamic company like Kyocera.
As always, these conventions are a wonderful to chance to reconnect with old friends. We ran into friends from California, Texas, Florida, and even Central & South America; the solar industry is truly becoming a global industry! Many of our long time customers stopped by to say “hi” and tell us their success stories. Likewise, we got to talk to lots of new people just entering the business, either by starting their own company, or expanding what they already do to include solar. Either way, that’s what we specialize it, so it’s always wonderful to speak someone “just starting out”.
Once again, we would like to thank SEPA and SEIA for putting on another great convention!
Friday, October 23, 2009
Altamonte Springs, FL — UMA Solar is proud to announce their first solar flat plate collector for solar water heating made in the USA – the Aurora Solar Collector by Solene. The collector will be on display at the annual Solar Power International 2009 in Anaheim, CA on October 27 – 29.
"We asked our dealers, if you could have the perfect solar collector, what you would like to see," says Robert Zrallack, Vice President of Sales at UMA Solar. "They gave us a laundry list of items they deemed important. We listened and the Aurora collector was born. They wanted high efficiency and a high BTU output to satisfy performance based incentives."
Aurora Solar Collectors are the most technologically advanced collectors on the market, with the industry’s best warranty. In the end, Aurora offers the highest quality materials & state-of-the-art engineering to provide maximum efficiency & durability homeowners can depend on for years to come. Like many UMA Solar products, Aurora by Solene uses state of the art mounting hardware that surpasses the quality and durability of its competitors.
"We gave them the highest BTU rating available today," says Zrallack. "They wanted a collector that could withstand high velocity winds or a couple feet of snow sitting on top of it. We built a battleship. Extruded aluminum box, reinforced corners, sidewalls braced together to eliminate bowing, easy removal of glass or absorber for servicing if needed, OG100 approval and private labeling for quantity buyers."
Doug Hagg, Regional Sales Manager agrees. "With top shelf BTU ratings and quality construction, the Aurora collector is sure to become a big player in the solar thermal industry," says Hagg.
With the Aurora collector in such high demand, UMA Solar is in the planning stages of building a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility to begin in late 2010. They anticipate creating 50 to 70 new jobs in the Central Florida area. Victor Eyal, CEO of UMA Solar says, "Building the absolute best solar collector on the market, while having such a positive impact on the environment, economy, and job growth, is an incredible win-win situation for everyone involved."
For more information about the Aurora collector please visit http://solene-usa.com/aurora.php, call 1-800-79-SOLAR, or visit booth 1110 at Solar Power International 2009 in Anaheim, California.
About UMA Solar:
UMA Solar distributes the industry’s highest-performing technology for residential and commercial solar applications nationwide. UMA Solar features industry leaders such as MyGen by Kyocera photovoltaic (PV) solar electric equipment packages designed specifically for residential grid tied application; Solene Solar Water Heaters which reduce utility bills by 25-30%; and Heliocol, the world’s largest solar pool heating manufacturer. UMA Solar offers its products through its network of over 700 dealers nationwide. In addition, five distribution locations are strategically placed throughout the U.S. for convenient and continuous availability. For more information, call UMA Solar at 1-800-79-SOLAR or visit http://www.umasolar.com
Friday, October 9, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
UMA Solar, distributor of the industry’s highest-performing solar technology nationwide, is partnering with Lyon Financial to offer a financing program that makes solar energy systems more accessible to consumers. With this new program, UMA Solar dealers nationwide will be able to offer a simple and effective way to be both environmentally responsible and economically affordable.
The program offers an unsecured, same-as-cash loan of up to $45,000 for solar systems installed by any of UMA Solar’s authorized dealers nationwide.
With no principal payments or interest for up to 18 months, this financing provides homeowners with sufficient time to realize the benefits of the existing 30 percent federal tax credit for the installation of residential solar energy systems, as well as the many state and local tax credits that may be available to certain homeowners.
"We are very happy to bring the program to our dealers nationwide," said Victor Eyal, Chief Executive Officer of UMA Solar. “Same-as-cash financing gives our dealers another tool to provide their customers with superior service. This program gives their customers up to 18 months without payments or interest to accrue their monthly utility savings from their solar systems and receive the benefit of the federal and/or state tax credits. This is another example of the advantage UMA Solar has over other solar companies. With this new financing for solar installations and rebates from government programs becoming widely available, we see this as a great opportunity for our dealers to grow their business and for their customers to get the financial assistance they need during these tough economic times.”
Customers of authorized UMA Solar dealers who qualify and participate in the same-as-cash solar financing program will have up to 18 months without payments or interest accruing. At the end of the period, the homeowner can either pay off the loan in full or convert it to a fixed interest installment loan. Individuals should consult with their own professional tax advisors concerning the available tax credits and their specific tax circumstances.
The financing program is administered by Lyon Financial Services, a leader in home improvement loans and funded by EnerBank USA. Electricians, plumbers, contractors and other dealers of solar products interested in learning about the new financing program should call (800) 262-1655, or visit http://www.sameascashloans.com.
About UMA Solar:
UMA Solar distributes the industry’s highest-performing technology for residential and commercial solar applications nationwide. UMA Solar features industry leaders such as MyGen by Kyocera photovoltaic (PV) solar electric equipment packages designed specifically for residential grid tied application; Solene Solar Water Heaters which reduce utility bills by 25-30%; and Heliocol, the world’s largest solar pool heating manufacturer. UMA Solar offers its products through its network of over 700 dealers nationwide. In addition, five distribution locations are strategically placed throughout the U.S. for convenient and continuous availability. For more information, call UMA Solar at 1-800-79-SOLAR or visit http://www.umasolar.com.
Director of Marketing, UMA Solar
T – (407) 831-1941, ext. 107
E – TEllington@umasolar.com
Friday, September 11, 2009
Dear SEIA Members:
Today, SEIA released Version 4.0 of our popular "Guide to Federal Tax Incentives for Solar Energy" to SEIA members only. The updated manual will help you navigate the new federal incentives for solar energy brought about by passage of the 8-year ITC extension in October and the solar provisions in the recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, including recently released agency guidance on the Treasury Grant Program, DOE Loan Guarantee, and Manufacturing Tax Credit. This will help you better advise your clients who want to install solar on their homes and businesses.
We are pleased to offer this guide as another great benefit available exclusively to SEIA members. Please do not redistribute this document in any form. SEIA members can download the full manual by logging into the Members-only section of SEIA’s web site. When you log in to SEIA’s site (in the upper right-hand corner) remember that your email address is your username. If you are logging in for the first time, follow the process to "Reset Your Password" to set your password up. The password to access the tax manual is right above the document link.
You may refer clients and colleagues to the Table of Contents who are interested in the manual but are not yet SEIA members. While this document will serve as an excellent resource, it is important to note that SEIA does not offer tax counsel. We strongly encourage you to consult a local tax attorney in addition to using this guide.
I am sure you will find the "Guide to Federal Tax Incentives for Solar Energy" a valuable resource for your company and your clients.
SEIA President and CEO
a great blog article about the changing face of many solar companies in the light of today’s economy. Right now, it seems many other companies are dealing with a combination of an excess of product, and not enought places demanding solar, and sundry financial problems. However, Kyocera is still standing strong, and proving themselves as an industry leader, with over 35 years of experience, weathering economic storms like this many times, and always coming out stronger than before.
Read the blog yourself, and see the difference.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
"Pictometry works great in regards to solar," says Ryan O’Leary, UMA Solar’s expert in Pictometry. "It allows you to get a very good quality picture of roof tops or any area you need to see from up above. This tool lets our dealers have prior knowledge of the work site before ever getting up on the roof. They can take pictures of the work site, highlight angles/surface area and write all the measurements or other annotations before taking the picture. One of the best features our dealers can use is after saving a screenshot; they can open the file in Powerpoint and add small images of solar panels on the picture. Having these pictures with all measurements, text, and solar panels included will be a great in helping our dealers show their customers their plans."
Before even visiting an installation site in person, Pictometry allows our dealers to:
- Measure the pitch, square footage, and bearing of roof, as well as the overall height of the structure.
- View of any obstructions on the roof that would be in their way for panel/collector installation.
- Accurately estimate how many panels an installation will need or allow for.
- Get views from every compass direction, as well as a direct overhead top view.
- Measure the distance of leeway in regards to objects (e.g. trees, sheds, etc.) in close proximity to the building.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
On August 4th–7th, we had our 2009 Solar Sales World Series in San Diego. Over 100 UMA Solar distributors and their sales staff attended the three-day seminar, and it was a huge success!
Day One – We all participated in a great workshop featuring group discussion and guidance from a legendary sales training organization, Sandler Sales Institute. Lead by the Sandler instructor, Greg Brewer, we went through a lively and intense discussion about "Why Sales People Fail and How to Fix It." Topics included "The Buyer/Seller Dance," "Neurolinguistic Programming," and "Up Front Contracts." Overall, it was incredibly informative and we have already had success stories of salespeople using the new lessons in the field with great success.
Day Two – This morning, there was a presentation by the Marketing Department of UMA Solar. Our Director of Marketing, Tod Ellington, spoke of the website and software initiatives we are undertaking to provide more tools for our distributors. Pictometry was introduced as a powerful tool our dealers can utilize. Utilizing a combination of web based software, high resolution cameras, and the best in diginat measurement and mapping tools, our dealers can now accurately measure slope, pitch, height, distance, and area of a roof for residential and commercial installations without actually going on the roof. Think about how easy it would be to walk into a home with a hi-res photo with all the dimensions of their roof, ready to make a recommendation without keeping the homeowner waiting.
Tod also rolled out our new literature and merchandise store, uSELF. It is located on the home page of http://umasolar.com. This state of the art shopping site features all of our literature and merchandise for our distributors, but also updated and improved products that can be customized with our dealers’ brand identity including logos, taglines, company stories, and more. It features all of the UMA Solar brand family, and is a very easy way for our dealers to consistently brand themselves and the products they sell. In addition, by utilizing the economies of scale of UMA Solar and as a national wholesaler and distributor, we pass these savings on to our Exclusive Distributors. Future updates to uSELF will include Customizable Online and Offline Marketing campaigns, unique to each distributor, and 100’s of products being added. This is a huge asset we are providing to our distributors, freeing them of the time and cost of creating these type of marketing tools.
The second half of day two was conducted by David Devir of SunCentric, a photovoltaic consulting company. Their presentation was focused on Selling Solar Electric, specifically MyGen by Kyocera. The training included step by step analysis of the sales process from pre-Sales qualifying to installation. David taught the group about tools one can use to qualifying the property, determine the sizing of the system, managing customer expectations, and creating a professional sales proposal. We also discussed the effectiveness of MyGen. This is an incredible solar electric solution because of its simplicity and adaptability. Kyocera is the industry leader in solar electric technology, and is one of the few manufacturers in existence that is older that the length of time of its warranty. Bottom line, they can offer great warranty terms, because they will be around long after the warranty expires, unlike most of our competitors.
Day Three – This was the icing on the cake! We took a tour of the Kyocera Solar manufacturing facility in Tijuana, Mexico. It was an amazing experience for our distributors and employees. Seeing the level of sophistication and technology involved in the creation of the solar modules, and intensive testing and testing and testing, and retesting and retesting and retesting, shows why Kyocera is the industry leader. The quality of their modules is second to none and I am sure that is the reason why Toyota chose Kyocera as the supplier of the new solar roof on the 3rd generation Prius. One industry leading quality company doing business with another.
Overall, this sales conference was a huge success. The distributors and sales staff left San Diego recharged and inspired, and as a result we have already seen an increase in sales. I continue to hear success stories from salespeople around the country implementing their newfound knowledge into their everyday sales process. When we created the sales conference, it was with the idea in mind if each attendee took with them a small nugget of information they could use to help increase their productivity, then it was a successful event.
We are already in the planning stages of more these events, with a target of having an East Coast meeting before the end of 2009.
Thank you again to all who participated. If you have any suggestions, please pass them along to our team at UMA Solar.
Friday, September 4, 2009
According to the Sun-Sentinel article by Julie Patel FPL wants to boost electric rates by at least $1 billion a year.
Under the FPL proposal, base rates for residential customers would increase about 30 percent the first year. The base rate for residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt hours would increase $12.40, from $39.31 now to $51.71 in January 2010 and by another $2.84 in 2011.
A great way to combat the inevitable rate increases is with a solar electric MyGen Kit.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
We have a great schedule of conferences coming up withing the next 6 months. If you happen to be at any of these, be sure to stop by and say "Hi!"
October 21 – 22, 2009
PHCC Connect 2009 — New Orleans, LA
Featured UMA Solar Staff: Bob Zrallack, Loren Zucconi
October 27 – 29, 2009
Solar Power 2009 — Anaheim, CA
Featured UMA Solar Staff: Bob Zrallack, Tod Ellington, Loren Zucconi, James Lupien, Greg Gahagan
November 16 – 18, 2009
2009 Int’l Pool | Spa | Patio Expo — Las Vegas, NV
Featured UMA Solar Staff: Victor Eyal, Tod Ellington, Loren Zucconi, Greg Gahagan
December 2 – 3, 2009
Heliocol Commercial Sales Seminar — Location TBD
(Tentative – More Info To Follow)
January 19 – 22, 2010
International Builders Show — Las Vegas, NV
May 17 – 27, 2010
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Local newspaper, The North Lake Outpost, recently featured a story about one of the first grid-tied solar electric systems in the county!
Click here to read the whole article.
Congratulations to Jack’s Solar for a great installation!
Monday, August 24, 2009
Victor was interviewed in a Today’s Orlando Sentinel by Etan Horowitz:
Solar tech could be key
One key area ripe for partnership is in solar technologies. In Israel, 90 percent of the homes have solar panels, and some of the most innovative solar products in the world are produced there, Echeverri said. More Florida businesses are offering solar products as more people to look to install solar panels to harness energy or heat pools and water for their homes.
Much of that growth has been spurred by rebates the state started offering in 2006 for companies and residences that install solar systems. “You almost pay nothing for the systems,” said Victor Eyal, the chief operating officer and president of UMA Solar, an Altamonte Springs company that sells solar pool heating systems, water heaters and electricity producing solar panels.
Eyal, who grew up in Israel, is one of the local business leaders leading the push to link Central Florida with Israel. He moved to Central Florida in 1981 and began importing water collectors from Israel to use in the solar pool heating systems he sells. The collectors Eyal imports are produced on a kibbutz, and he estimates he brings in about $15 million worth of product from Israel a year.
"It’s my lifeline," Eyal said. "Without importing product from Israel I would be out of business."
You can read the whole article at Heliocol in the News.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — May 11, 2009 – Copper futures fell more than 3% Monday, pacing losses in crude oil and stocks, as worries returned that demand from China, the world’s biggest copper consumer, may slow. Gold moved slightly lower.
Copper for July delivery lost 8.15 cents, or 3.8%, to $2.064 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Copper had gained more than 2% last week.
The decline in copper came after a sharp drop in futures trading in Shanghai. Weighing on sentiment was a 45% jump in Shanghai copper stocks last week to their highest level since the end of March, said analysts led by Alex Heath at RBC Capital Markets.
China’s State Reserves Bureau is believed to have bought more than 300,000 tons of copper since March. But some analysts expected the country’s imports will slow down in the next few months.
"Physical copper premiums were steady across much of Asia last week as supplies in the region eroded, but easing tightness in China hinted that the dragon’s appetite for the metal may be waning," said analysts at RBC Capital.
The State Council also plans to examine the case for further tax changes and more state stockpiling of base metals.
Monday, June 8, 2009
My visits to you, colleagues and clients, are always a source for new knowledge and inspiration. While preparing for my recent visits, I was concerned about the feedback that I would get, considering the lingering economic situation.
True, many of you acknowledged that one of our main business partners, pool builders, are suffering from the slowdown in new construction, and some went out of business by now. Obviously this has been a hindrance to all of us starting in late 2007, and more so since the beginning of last year.
It could be easy to demonstrate self pity or express lost motivation, but examples of this were few and far between. What pleasantly surprised me, and gave me reason for excitement and enthusiasm, was the way many of you recognized the new situation and grabbed the bull by the horns, by strategizing in an assortment of ways.
One specific approach drew my attention in a special way: A particular Heliocol dealer realized, early on into the real estate crunch that many of his swimming pool builder allies were working hard to weather the storm, just trying to survive. The dealer relayed having lost new pool construction business and his colleagues were being forced to shrink their expenses by cutting overhead and laying-off employees.
Some were struggling to keep their doors open, operating from job to job, day to day, or check to check. The Heliocol dealer was proactive in his response to the economic conditions and acted early. He decided to increase his business in a decisive way and at the same time demonstrate to his pool builders that he cares about them, through thick and thin. He initiated visits with his pool builders, taking them out to lunch, attending their sales meetings as a guest or a guest speaker, and developing programs to directly enhance their business, thereby enhancing his business. One such program was to initiate and pay for a Heliocol, MyGen, and Solene mailer to all past customers of the pool builders, and offering the Pool Builders an elevated fee for these sales. This type of program and initiative can only increase the business of our Heliocol dealers, increase the income of the pool builders, and demonstrate, most importantly, that we care about them in bad times too, not only when all is hunky dory.
This is a strategy that has short and long term benefits to all. It creates an immediate source of new revenue, but more so, it sends a resonating message to the pool builders that we are always on their side, and we are one unified team. Now, when times get better, hopefully soon, they will remember who was there for them when they needed it most.
In every bad, there is good. Know how to extract the good, focus on what you are good at, and you will benefit. The pool season is upon us in most of the country, and it shows. I wish you continued success and a great solar season.
President & CEO
Friday, May 29, 2009
You can hear the entire Podcast MP3 of the show at: http://www.umasolar.com/Doug-on-RadioActivity.MP3
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
1. Solar Water Heating – $50/1,000 BTU – $15,000 cap
2. Solar Pool Heating – $2,500 Fixed – $2,500/installation
3. Photovoltaics – $60/1,000 Watt – $1,500 cap
The total available grant budget is $584,000 and is only available until the end of May 2010. Their goal is to encourage the installation of these technologies, particularly solar water heating, by reducing the cost of the system to Florida businesses. Their intent was to structure the grants in such a way that would effectively equalize the per kW buy-down between PV and solar water heating. Since the program is structured as a grant, the business will not be required to reduce the system cost when calculating the amount of the federal investment tax credit. For more information and program rules, please visit www.suncatcher-info.org or call 800-59-SOLAR.
Monday, May 11, 2009
UMA has now expanded its online presence to Facebook and Twitter!
Founded in February 2004, Facebook is a social utility that helps people communicate more efficiently with their friends, family and co-workers. Anyone can sign up for Facebook and interact with the people they know in a trusted environment. Facebook is a part of millions of people’s lives all around the world.
Similarly, Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: “What are you doing?” Twitter is the opposite of information overload, restricting all posts to a maximum 140 characters.
Our Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/UMAonFacebook
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/UMAsolar
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Heliocol Green Energy just finished a great job at one of Las Vegas’ premiere luxury hotels: The Venetian!
The system is a closed loop install with 364 HC-50 panels running a 5% glycol solution through them. They are tied into three heat exchangers to supply heat alternately to the pools, the spas and the domestic hot water. A computerized system determines where the greatest demand is, and regulates it accordingly.
Congratulations to the entire team at Heliocol Green Energy on another fantastic job!
Know of an installation that deserves to be featured? E-mail TEllington@umasolar.com with info!
Friday, April 24, 2009
UMA Solar is pleased to announce its collaboration with Clipper Magazine and its subsidiaries.
We’ve managed to negotiate deeply discounted rates for you, our dealers, so you can begin local advertising campaigns in their publications. You can save 30% to 40% off the local rates by taking advantage of this program.
Working through our dedicated National Account Manager, Barabar Mill, we have provided Clipper Magazine with our authorized artwork and logos to create compelling advertising campaigns to help drive qualified leads to your business. Their staff of graphic artists will be able to create lead generating, results oriented, visually appealing ads customized to the individual dealer’s likeness and message.
Here is just a sample of the regular regional rates vs. our UMA Solar regional rate structure:
If you are interested in creating a campaign that is specific to your market and generates a great return on investment, please contact Barbara Mill at 888-569-5100 ext 3975 or email her at email@example.com.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Director of Marketing
Tod leads the UMA Solar marketing efforts by focusing on dealer correspondence and communicating our products’ benefits to their end users. His responsibilities include managing online and offline media, advertising, training programs, dealer support services, and the IT department.
Tod has successfully created and managed internet marketing departments and sales teams in the automotive and advertising industries. Utilizing his experience, Tod brings a fresh and forward-thinking vision to promote our company’s aggressive growth strategy.
We welcome Tod to our team, and look forward to seeing his ideas come to fruition. Please feel free to call or email Tod, as he is always eager to hear new ideas.
Contact Tod Ellington at:
407.831.1941 ext. 107