Rooftop, Solar

Listen Up: Protecting Solar Consumers — Interview with Tom Kimbis from SEIA

The promise to homeowners is simple: install solar panels on your roof and save money on your electric bills. There are about 10,000 companies in the U.S that offer these solar installation services because they believe in both the economic and environmental benefits of rooftop solar.

While the vast majority of installers are ethical and dedicated to providing long-term benefits to their customers, like every other industry there are individuals looking to make a quick buck. Because the financing, energy savings and warranties for solar systems are complicated, homeowners can be misled. Hence the need for consumer protection measures.

The solar industry is doing a great job of self-regulating, and heading up these efforts is Tom Kimbis, the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Please Listen Up to this week’s Energy Show as Tom talks about SEIA’s Consumer Protection and Ethics Committees, as well as SEIA’s “Consumer Guide to Solar Power” and Residential Disclosure Forms.

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.

This podcast was originally produced by Cinnamon Solar and was presented here with permission.

Lead image credit: Patrick Breitenbach | Flickr