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!