Coming Up: A Perennial Independence Day Series Celebrating American Innovators Driving Energy Independence

Building a better mousetrap isn’t easy. Nor is qualifying for a new category for solar water heating.  In truth, ICC-SRCC testing for a solar PV water heating system did not exist prior to the introduction of Sun Bandit.

On July 4, 2013, Sun Bandit parent Next Generation Energy launched an all hands on deck effort to identify and clear the many hurdles inhibiting widespread solar water heating adoption – and to achieve the certification and street cred to bring their PV-powered innovation Sun Bandit to market.  

The initiative has not only driven ICC-SRCC OG-100 certification, but OG-300 certification, UL ratings in both the US and Canada, Energy Star status and credentials warranting an entirely new category of solar hybrid water heating and energy storage.

This PV-powered phenom provides a new, utility-independent revenue opportunity for solar, electrical and plumbing contractors regardless of the incentive landscape.  Sun Bandit systems work independent of any grid-tied system.  At a time when the future of net metering is far from certain — and far too reliant on which way the political winds are bloviating — it’s surely worth a look.

Read more about Next Generation Energy’s utility-independent water heating solution and three additional all-American energy trailblazers beginning – when else? – Independence Day.

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Terri Steele is a principal at SolarSavvy Communications, a sole proprietorship. She is a San Diego-based writer, marketer and clean energy evangelist who’s written for National Geographic-affiliated Water for Tomorrow, Clean Technica, The Eco Report, Hearst’s The Daily Green, Solar Today, InterPV Magazine and elected officials and executives within the clean tech, telecom and IT space. Follow her @SolarSavvy; find her at

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