Local solar companies see green as industry sets record during pandemic – Good Day Sacramento


TURLOCK (CBS13) – A pandemic craze could actually be the medicine Mother Nature needs. People are in such a rush to buy solar panels that a company calls the solar boom “crazy”.

Rachael Romine invested in solar panels after seeing she was paying hundreds more in utility bills with everyone at home during the pandemic.

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“With all the kids on their devices and everyone at home, then the summer to boot. And I’m back to school myself too, so we had a lot of devices running,” said Romine.

She’s not the only one suddenly on board with solar power. A recent report from Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie shows that installations jumped 43% in 2020, reaching a record 19.2 gigawatts of new capacity.

Solar Energy Partners in Turlock added 500 sales representatives and expanded to five other states to handle the rise in business.

“Most people don’t know it, but 60-70% of your bill may be for just a few devices,” said Phil Horton, president of Mr. Sunshine’s Solar.

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They realize that now more people are spending time at home during the pandemic. Horton says he gets about 120 calls a day now. The business has jumped more than 60% percent in the past year, but Horton ties it to more than the pandemic.

“Seeing the inconsistencies of utility, power, network themselves and wanting to have a little more independence. The main thing we got from our clients was that they wanted to be self-sufficient, ”said Horton.

Romine is ready to make more than an economic investment. She encourages others to invest in the environment.

“The more research we did, the more we realized we had an opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint and put more energy back into the grid, which sounded good too. It’s time we realized that normal was not working. We need to do something now and not just kick the road and expect our kids to fix it, ”Romine said.

California is among the top states for annual solar additions for the second year in a row. With a steady increase in the number of customers, the cost of solar power has fallen by over 80% over the past decade.

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Solar could also get a boost from President Biden’s infrastructure proposal that includes a 10-year extension of tax credits for wind, solar and batteries, which are expected to be phased out.


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