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Sunetric in the Press

Trick or Treat: Local Snack Company Goes Solar

Friday, October 29, 2010

Sunetric installs 113 kW System at Wholesale Unlimited, Inc.

<br/><br/> Waipahu, HI – – Wholesale Unlimited Inc., famous for its crack seed and Li Hing treats, has a new trick up its sleeve.  Just in time for Halloween, the local snack food company is switching to solar energy with the help of Sunetric, the state’s largest locally owned and operated solar company.  Sunetric recently completed the net-metered project, saving Wholesale Unlimited nearly $40,000 per year in energy costs.  <br/><br/> “Wholesale Unlimited is thrilled to be switching to clean energy,” said Marc Honma, Vice President of Wholesale Unlimited, Inc.  “As a member of Hawaii’s community since 1965, we’ve grown up with Hawaii’s families.  Making the investment in solar energy will help eliminate our electric bills and allow us to keep delivering the high-quality, reasonably priced snacks that people love,” he said.  “It is very important for us to do what’s best for Hawaii – to protect the environment and keep it beautiful.”<br/><br/> Wholesale Unlimited is investing over a half million dollars into the state-of-the-art system which features 495 Trina 230 W modules.  The panels will generate an average of 521 kWh of electricity per day – and when combined with tax incentives, Wholesale Unlimited will recoup its investment sometime during the fourth year of operation,” said Marc Unowitz, Sunetric energy consultant. <br/><br/> Sunetric’s CEO Alex Tiller adds, “Wholesale Unlimited is a longtime anchor of this community.  This important investment for Hawaii’s aina sends a strong message about their overall values and commitment to the environment.”  <br/><br/> Over the next 30 years, Wholesale Unlimited’s new solar array is estimated to prevent approximately 4,543 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from entering Hawaii’s air. The solar panels will offset 99.6% percent of their electrical usage, replacing 9,653 barrels of oil that would have otherwise been burned for energy.

Innovative Company of the Year Finalist – PBN

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sunetric no longer offers SunRun products.
We encourage you to check our wide array of solar financing options.

Sunetric uses technology to harness the sun

<br/> Premium content from Pacific Business News – by Sophie Cocke<br/><br/> Sunetric CEO Alex Tiller, second from right, watches as warehouse employees, from left, Ransen Kaanoi, Jason Crimmings and Kevin Sustello prepare a solar panel. The company does its own installations, financing and service. <br/><br/> More than 2,000 solar panels protrude from the ground in an unused parking lot at Wilcox Memorial Hospital in Lihue, Kauai, generating electricity savings of approximately $200,000 a year. <br/><br/> In Windward Oahu, solar panels are arranged at every angle imaginable to absorb ultimate sunlight from the roof of Honda Windward in cloudy Kaneohe, while a canopy of panels encases a portion of the auto dealer’s parking lot. <br/><br/> This is just a sampling of the more than eight megawatts of solar energy that Kailua-based Sunetric has installed as of 2009, saving customers $3 million in electricity costs a year. <br/><br/> As Sunetric helps Hawaii move toward a clean-energy future, it has employed a high level of ingenuity along the way in terms of engineering, technology, financing and its overall business model. <br/><br/> Rather than use subcontractors to manage different aspects of the business, Sunetric keeps every step of the process in-house — including consultation and design, installation, financing, warranties, repair and customer service.<br/><br/> “I want less finger-pointing in life,” said Sunetric CEO Alex Tiller. “When I have a problem, I want to be able to call someone and have them own the problem. We’re talking about putting a system on a home. I don’t want it to be sold by one person, installed by another and possibly maintained by yet a third because one of the other two went out of business or didn’t want to do business together anymore.” <br/><br/> Tiller says the fully integrated approach enhances customer service and ensures that county permits for the installations are processed and approved in a timely manner — for which they have hired a full-time employee to oversee. <br/><br/> The operation has come far since its 2004 launch from Sean Mullen’s Kailua home. From a staff of three, the company has grown to employ more than 100 workers, and operates warehouses on Maui and the Big Island. By the start of 2010, Sunetric had installed approximately 40 percent of the residential and commercial solar systems connected to Hawaiian Electric Co.’s electric grids on Oahu, the Big Island and Maui, according to a status report filed with the state Public Utilities Commission. <br/><br/> In a market that has seen the rise of dozens of solar startups during the past few years, Sunetric has been an industry leader and is projecting strong growth for many years to come. With the vision of solar panels atop every viable rooftop in the state, much work remains. <br/><br/> Sunetric’s strategic place in the market is due in part to its success in creating attractive financing options. Its Non-Profit Power Plan Agreement allows nonprofits to invest in a solar system with no upfront or maintenance costs when entering into a 15-20-year contract. It also has recently joined with SunRun, a national company that provides financing for residential solar at little to no upfront cost, while locking customers into low electricity rates. <br/><br/> While the economy has hurt companies throughout the state, Sunetric says it has weathered it rather <br/> well. <br/><br/> “When people are worried about a bad economy, they are concerned about their power consumption,” Tiller said. “It was a bit of a perfect storm between that and really high energy prices, where we saw oil approaching $150 a barrel. It definitely woke a few people up.”

KHVH’s Rick Hamada interviews Sunetric’s Alex Tiller about SunRun

Sunetric no longer offers SunRun products.
We encourage you to check our wide array of solar financing options.
Here's the clip from the interview.  Enjoy!<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/_assets/images/blog/KHVH logo new.jpg" style="border: 0pt none;"/><br/><br/>

Listen to the interview here:

Please click here to listen to or download the interview.

SunRun Wins Department of Energy’s 2010 Green Power Leadership Award

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sunetric no longer offers SunRun products.
We encourage you to check our wide array of solar financing options.

SAN FRANCISCO – (Business Wire) SunRun, the nation’s leading home solar company, has received a 2010 Green Power Leadership Award from the Department of Energy (DOE) for its clean and affordable solar power service. A superior alternative to the utility, SunRun allows homeowners to go solar for as little as $0 down and accelerates job creation. The DOE selected SunRun as an award-winning green power supplier because its solar power service supports increased market deployment of renewable energy technologies on a national scale.

With solar power service, SunRun owns and maintains the solar system while the homeowner enjoys the benefits of the power the system produces: lower household energy bills, clean energy, and the peace of mind that comes from taking control of electricity prices. With more than 6,000 customers, SunRun is growing at nearly 300 percent year-over-year, building more than $1 million in systems every day, and fueling job growth for installation partners across seven states.

“SunRun is already spurring economic growth in Hawaii, and we just launched here in September,” said Alex Tiller, CEO of SunRun partner Sunetric. SunRun also partners with RevoluSun in Hawaii. “Last month alone, Sunetric hired 45 people,” continued Tiller. “Nearly half of those hires will focus on SunRun installations, and Sunetric doesn’t see this trend changing. In order to keep up with the demand for solar energy in our islands, we’ll continue to work with SunRun to offer Hawaii workers an abundance of new green job opportunities.”

“Programs like the Green Power Leadership Awards help inspire a commitment to constant innovation, and we’re honored to receive this award for the way our solar power service is transforming solar from niche to mainstream,” said Lynn Jurich, president of SunRun. “We want all homeowners to recognize SunRun as a clean, affordable, and reliable service, and our greatest competition right now is the homeowner who does nothing and stays with their utility.”

As SunRun scales, it continues to focus relentlessly on quality and service. The company owns, maintains, and guarantees the performance of its systems for 20 years and builds the highest-quality systems on the market. More information on the Green Power Leadership Awards can be found here:

About SunRun

SunRun, the nation’s leading home solar company, is the smart and affordable choice for homeowners who want a clean alternative to their utility. SunRun offers solar power service, similar to a lease, allowing homeowners to upgrade their home to solar for as little as $0 upfront and simply pay monthly for solar electricity. More than 6,000 homeowners have chosen SunRun across Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. SunRun partners with over 25 leading local solar installers, who together employ more than 2,500 green-collar workers. SunRun has raised financing for more than $300 million in solar systems from PG&E Corporation and U.S. Bancorp and $85 million in venture capital from Accel Partners, Foundation Capital and Sequoia Capital. For more information, please visit:


On The Web<br/>Earth Times<br/>Benzinga<br/>Your Renewable News<br/>EON

Kona Brewing Blesses Solar Project, Taps Into Sun’s Energy

Monday, October 18, 2010

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii’s Big Island — Kona Brewing Company recently announced its 229 kW solar energy generating system at its Kailua-Kona brewery and pub on Hawaii’s Big Island is fully operational. The brewery held a private blessing of the system with partner solar energy contractor Sunetric on Monday, October 18. Kumu Keala Ching provided the blessing, and guests enjoyed tastes of one of Kona Brewing Company’s first batches of solar-energy-produced beer, Suncharged Pale Ale.<br/><br/> “It was an exciting day when we flipped the switch,” said Kona Brewing Company’s President and CEO Mattson Davis. “The install went smooth, thanks to the expert guidance provided by Sunetric. Now, we are the first brewery in Hawaii making sun-powered beer, and our system is among the largest in the craft beer industry nationwide. It’s a great feeling!”<br/><br/> The project, a roof-mounted grid-tied photovoltaic (PV) system made up of 880 260-watt solar modules, produces an average of 900 kWh of electricity each day, allowing Kona Brewing Company nearly 60 percent offset of its current electricity usage. At the entrance to the restaurant, Kona Brewing Company guests can check out a real-time monitor that shows how much energy the solar system is generating. At the current commercial retail electricity rate, the system will offset more than $100,000 in Kona Brewing Company’s electricity expenditures per year.<br/><br/> “Kona Brewing Company should be proud of the environmental impact it’s making in our islands,” said Sunetric CEO Alex Tiller.  “Thanks to forward-thinking organizations such as this, Hawaii reduce its dependence on imported fossil fuel.”<br/><br/> PV solar energy is a clean and renewable energy source. It does not pollute or consume natural resources. Sunetric estimates that over the next 30 years Kona Brewing Company’s PV system will prevent approximately 7,730 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from entering the atmosphere annually, or about 5 million car trips to a local grocery store. The solar array offsets 16,425 barrels of oil that would otherwise be burned to make electricity during the next 30 years.<br/><br/> Kona Brewing Company was started in the spring of 1994 by a father and son team that had a dream to create fresh, local island brews made with spirit, passion and quality. It is a Hawaii- born and Hawaii-based craft brewery that prides itself on brewing the freshest beer of exceptional quality, closest to market. This helps to minimize its carbon footprint by reducing shipping of raw materials, finished beer and wasteful packaging materials. The company is headquartered where it began, in Kailua-Kona on Hawaii’s Big Island. It has grown into Hawaii’s largest brewery, has three restaurant sites in Hawaii and beer distribution reaching 28 states and Japan. It is the 13th largest craft brewing company in the country, posting 19.8 percent year-over-year growth in 2009. For more information call 808-334-BREW or visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.<br/><br/> Founded in 2004 by Sean and Beth-Ann Mullen, Sunetric specializes in photovoltaic system design and installation, including the state’s largest photovoltaic systems at Kona Commons shopping center on the Big Island and Wilcox Memorial Hospital on Kauai. Hawaii’s solar authority, Sunetric leads the way in solar energy education, installation, and investment in our future.  For more information, visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.<br/><br/> On The Web:<br/><br/><a target="_blank" href="">StarAdvertiser</a><br/><a target="_blank" href="">Hawaii 24/7</a><br/><a href="" target="_blank">Shop Electricity Rates</a>

Sunetric and Blue Planet Foundation Call for Global Change

Monday, October 11, 2010

Community Work Day 10/10/10 Sends Environmental Message in Sweat

Honolulu, HI – and – Sunetric, Hawaii’s largest locally owned and operated solar company, has been selected as one of the Blue Planet Foundation’s 10 organizations to (T)each (E)nergy (N)ow. On the auspicious date of 10/10/10, the Blue Planet Foundation and ten partners from across the islands will engage in projects to help build Hawai‘i’s clean energy future. By doing so, Hawai‘i will join an international effort involving citizens from 180 countries to send a loud and clear message to world leaders: If we can get to work, you can get to work, too.<br/><br/><br/><br/> The 10/10/10 Global Work Party, organized by the international climate change watchdog organization, is an opportunity to raise the collective voices of clean energy advocates worldwide to urge lawmakers to address the climate crisis. Among the local groups partnering with Blue Planet Foundation to organize Hawai‘i Community Work Day T.E.N. (Teach Energy Now) projects are Sunetric, the law firm Schlack Ito Lockwood Piper & Elkind, the O‘ahu chapter of Surfrider Foundation, Apollo Kaua‘i, Malama Kaua‘i, Kalama‘ula Mauka Homestead<br/><br/> Association, Laulima Kuha‘o, Kanu O Ka A‘ina, Maui’s Community Work Day Program, UH Maui College’s Go Green Club, and Sustainable UH.<br/><br/> “Whether it is through helping in the installation of solar panels, planting gardens, holding a light bulb exchange, conducting energy audits, or organizing bicycle repairs, these groups will take action to encourage energy efficiency and promote Hawai‘i’s pursuit of a clean, renewable energy future,” said Francois Rogers, Blue Planet’s Special Projects Director. “These projects will also involve an essential education component, giving participants a foundation on which they can help build the movement toward energy independence.”<br/><br/> Sunetric’s events will occur on 10/10/10 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Hongwanji Mission School on the Pali. Sunetric chose this location because it is about to install a 160 kW solar power system at Hongwanji at no charge to the school.<br/><br/> “Sunetric is investing over $900,000 to build their solar array through our non-profit PPA program,” Sean Mullen, Sunetric’s Founder, President and Commercial GM. When completed, the solar array will save the school over $200,000 during the 20-year contract, equivalent to an estimated 441 barrels of oil or 21,327 gallons of gas per year. “At Sunetric, we protect the earth one solar panel at a time,” Mullen said.<br/><br/> “In conjunction with the Blue Planet Foundation’s T.E.N. Project, Sunetric’s advancement of photovoltaics for Hongwanji Mission School are great examples of how we can push forward together towards the State’s goal of 70% clean energy by 2030,” said Theodore Peck, Hawaii<br/> State Energy Administrator. “We set these goals through the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative because we simply can’t continue to rely so heavily on imported oil. I’m very hopeful that partnerships and actions such as these will inspire many more to make clean energy a priority for themselves and their communities,” he said. “With the ramping-up of photovoltaic installations on public and private facilities, Hawaii now ranks third in the nation in per-capital photovoltaic generation.”<br/><br/> Sunetric has coordinated the following community groups to have a booth at the Green Fair and Expo:<br/>

  • Blue Planet Foundation
  • Dolphin Institute
  • Hawaii Conservation Alliance
  • Hawaii State Energy Office, Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative
  • Hongwanji Mission School
  • Nature Center
  • Nature Conservancy
  • Olamana Gardens
  • NOAA Marine Debris Program
  • OCR’s “Story of Stuff”
  • Pacific Bio Diesel
  • Sustainability Association
  • Sustainable UH
  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Scion’s Toyota Prius plug- in                                                                                                             
  • Styrophobia

Activities at the Green Fair and Expo include the following:<br/>

  • Aquaponics and worm garden displays
  • Planting of indigenous foliage
  • FREE CFL light bulb exchange – Blue Planet Foundation will give you a new CFL light bulb for every old light bulb you give them
  • FREE bicycle tune-ups
  • FREE LED flashlight and tire pressure gauge giveaways
  • PV installation and renewable energy information
  • Groundbreaking ceremony for the new PV system
  • Sign a Blue Planet “Declaration of Energy Independence” form
  • FREE toys (Solar Grasshoppers) for kids
  • Fun, hands-on activities for children such as recycled container relay races
  • Throughout the day, Sunetric’s own Watt Wheels will provide solar power for the live band led by Sunetric’s energy consultant Shree Sadagopan.

The event is free and open to the public.<br/><br/> “As a non-profit organization, the Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin and Mission School is very grateful to have been afforded the opportunity by Sunetric to take advantage of a photovoltaic electric system,” said Ron Suzuki, Executive Director of Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin. “We are very excited to partner with Sunetric to reduce our energy costs while doing our part to keep Hawaii green.”<br/><br/> Some of the beneficiaries of the 10/10/10 Global Work Party include Honolulu’s Hongwanji Mission School, Unity Church of Hawai‘i, Kalaheo Elementary School on Kaua‘i, and Kanu O Ka<br/><br/> A‘ina School on the Big Island and Moloka‘i Youth Center on Moloka‘i, Lokelani Intermediate School on Maui and Kanuikapono School on Kaua‘i.<br/><br/> On The Web:<br/><br/>KHON2 News: Be Green<br/>Blue Planet Foundation<br/><br/>DailyMe<br/><br/><br/>

Sunetric Announces New Personnel

Monday, October 4, 2010

Honolulu, HI  – <a href="" target="_blank"></a> – Sunetric, Hawaii’s largest locally owned and operated solar company, has announced staff promotions and new hires as follows:<br/><br/><strong>Tammy Berger</strong>:  Tammy has joined Sunetric as the Director of Human Resources.  Prior to joining Sunetric, she worked in the Human Resources Department for Home Depot on Kauai.  Prior to then, she spent the previous 15 years as the Director and Vice President of Human Resources for various Native American Casino Resorts throughout the U.S including Cliff Castle Casinos and Del Sol Casinos in Arizona, Chinook Winds in Oregon, and Inn of the Mountain Gods in New Mexico. Tammy directed the recruitment, benefits, employee relations, payroll, compensation, training and development functions. She also served as the Director of Human Resources for COPE Community Services for 3 years in Tucson, Arizona.  <br/><br/> Tammy holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources Certification and has served on the board of directors for the Arizona and Nevada chapters of the Society for Human Resource Management.  She was the President for the Sierra Nevada chapter of the American Society for Training and Development.  Tammy earned her Bachelor’s in Communication from Arizona State University.<br/><br/><strong>Anthony Guzik</strong>:  Anthony has joined the Sunetric’s commercial operations team as a Commercial Project Manager.  Prior to joining Sunetric, Anthony worked  in the communications industry for 27 years. The last 17 years, of which he has worked in Hawaii as a Project Manager on the installation of communication antennas and structures for Hawaiian Tel (now Hawaiian Telcom), Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint/Nextel, City and County of Honolulu, Cox Radio, and Clear Channel Radio. <br/><br/><strong>Glen Smith</strong>:  A Sunetric Energy Consultant since 2009, Glen has been promoted to the company’s Residential General Manager.  For well over a decade Glen has contributed to Hawaii’s economy as an engineer for Provident Funding and Integration Technologies and the owner of Hawaii Business Computing.  He holds a BA in Business Psychology with a minor in Business Administration from Fresno State University, as well as several industry-related certifications.  He is nearing completion of an MBA from the green building pioneering school from the San Francisco Institute of Architecture.  This globally offered MBA in Sustainable Business is widely known as the “Green MBA.”  He brings over 25 years of industry-specific skills such as customer service, general construction, green building, roofing construction, electrical cable and wiring installation, sales and engineering, and several years of solar energy industry experience.<br/><br/> On The Web:<br/><a href="" target="_blank">Pacific Business News</a>

Shortage of solar and PV parts could affect Hawaii projects

Premium content from Pacific Business News – by Sophie Cocke<br/><br/>Date: Monday, October 4, 2010, 12:00am HST – Last Modified: Thursday, September 30, 2010, 8:46pm HST<br/><br/> A spike in local demand for photovoltaic systems and an increasingly tight global market for parts has left some solar companies in Hawaii scrambling to fill orders.<br/><br/> “There’s shortages of everything — panels, inverters, racking — companies are behind schedule,” said Briand Achong, president of Honolulu’s Greenpath Technologies.<br/><br/> The waiting time has about doubled for Guy Akasaki, CEO of Commercial Roofing & Waterproofing Hawaii in Honolulu, who says it can take up to four months to get parts.<br/><br/> The crunch is indicative of a local market interacting with global forces — where parts are manufactured in countries worldwide and demand is driven by international trends.<br/><br/> Germany, which is considered the largest mover of markets with the highest global demand for solar, has reduced feed-in-tariff rates, prompting companies to increase purchasing. The FIT program allows independent power producers to sell energy to the utilities.<br/><br/> Worldwide, PV installations are expected to have grown 95 percent by the end of 2010, compared to last year, and PV module shipments are forecast to double to 16 gigawatts for the second quarter of this year, according to IMS Research, a market research company for the global electronics industry.<br/><br/> With global demand increasing this year, the Hawaii market also is seeing an upsurge.<br/><br/> Local homeowners and businesses with a better sense of their tax returns tend to decide mid-year whether to invest in solar systems and take advantage of federal and state tax credits — increasing demand not only in Hawaii but nationally.<br/><br/> “At this time, you know what type of year it’s been,” said Mark Duda, president of the Hawaii Solar Energy Association and principal at Distributed Energy Partners and RevoluSun. “If you buy a system in February, you’re not going to file until April, and you can be out-of-pocket for the amount of a solar system for a long time. Ordering later in the year shortens the period between expenditure and recovery.”<br/><br/> Some local companies, such as Duda’s RevoluSun and Distributed Energy Partners, Sunetric in Kailua and Rising Sun Solar in Haiku, Maui, have learned to deal with the year-end crunch caused by local demand.<br/><br/> “We did a lot of planning and had the good fortune of having lived through this before when something similar happened in 2008,” Sunetric CEO Alex Tiller said, noting that he ordered a lot of inventory in advance this year.<br/><br/> Brad Albert, co-owner of Rising Sun Solar, said increased demand in the second half of the year was common.<br/><br/> “Retail picks up in the third and fourth quarter every year,” he said. “In the fourth quarter a lot of projects go in.”<br/><br/> The company has adjusted by working with multiple manufacturers, he said.<br/><br/> While global demand is projected to decrease significantly next year in European markets due to curtailed incentives, demand is expected to increase in the U.S. market, according to IMS Research.<br/><br/> Demand for solar is expected to intensify in Hawaii as well, leading to the possibility of increased shortages if companies don’t plan ahead.

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