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Listen Up: What Legal Issues Do Solar Contractors Face?

As in most industries, attorneys are an indispensable part of doing business. We have the usual host of "ordinary course of business" legal issues such as contracts, employment law, financing and M&A. But we also must comply with a blizzard of regulatory and incentives requirements — as well as more specialized transaction issues related to solar leases and PPAs, warranties, insurance, licensing and manufacturing.

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General practice attorneys are certainly qualified for most standard business issues. But when it comes to some of the arcane issues such as solar financing, global purchasing and performance guarantees, it's much better to work with an attorney who has already done similar transactions. Otherwise you'll pay to bring someone new up to speed.

My guest on this week's Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is Angela Lipanovich with Estriatus Law. Since 2006 she has been focused exclusively on the solar industry. Please join me as we discuss a range of issues specific to the solar industry, including EPC contracts, subcontractor agreements, TPO agreements and new virtual net metering provisions.

Find more episodes of The Energy Show here.

About The Energy Show

As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don't have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs — very affordably.

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20-minute podcast that provides tips and advice to reduce your home and business energy consumption. Every week we'll cover topics that will help cut your energy bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut through the hype so that you can make smart and cost-effective energy choices. 

About Your Host

Barry Cinnamon is a long-time advocate of renewable energy and is a widely recognized solar power expert. In 2001 he founded Akeena Solar — which grew to become the largest national residential solar installer by the middle of the last decade with over 10,000 rooftop customers coast to coast. He partnered with Westinghouse to create Westinghouse Solar in 2010, and sold the company in 2012.

His pioneering work on reducing costs of rooftop solar power systems include Andalay, the first solar panel with integrated racking, grounding and wiring; the first UL listed AC solar panel; and the first fully “plug and play” AC solar panel. His current efforts are focused on reducing the soft costs for solar power systems, which cause system prices in the U.S. to be double those of Germany.

Although Barry may be known for his outspoken work in the solar industry, he has hands-on experience with a wide range of energy saving technologies.  He's been doing residential energy audits since the punch card days, developed one of the first ground-source heat pumps in the early ‘80s, and always abides by the Laws of Thermodynamics.

Lead image: Green microphone via Shutterstock

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