NM Solar Group Becomes Employee Owned

NM Solar Group NM Solar Group   

I started NM Solar Group in 2015.   It had always been my dream to start a company.   I had been warned of all the risks and challenges, but they didn't scare me. In my heart, I knew I could do it.   

 As the son of entrepreneurial parents, I learned that the key to any successful business venture is hard work. Quite simply, I was taught that if you just kept the faith and kept working, eventually you’d get to the other side. So that was what I did.

 The first year of NM Solar Group was very easily the hardest year of my life to date.  As any prospective small business owner will tell you, being solely responsible for the success of your dream can be daunting.

Throughout the stresses of the first year, there were several months where I was sick to my stomach every single minute of every single day. It was during that time that I realized the true challenges of entrepreneurship. No one wanted to help with anything; prospective advertisers, software programmers, and other business owners took advantage of me. I had never felt so alone or frustrated.

 But I stuck to my dreams and to parents’ advice. I worked hard, I kept the faith and piece by piece, NM Solar Group came together. In year two, with the right people by my side, the business grew 500%. What a miracle.

 With growth, comes problems. As the demand for solar increased, the need for NM Solar group to expand was apparent so we migrated from our home base in Albuquerque and established a second location in Alamogordo. Initially, working in both Alamogordo and Albuquerque proved to be much more difficult than I could’ve imagined. However, thanks to the great people in Alamogordo, and their acceptance of us, the expansion paid off. We were able to bring our solar services to an entire community; they took care of us and we took care of them. Still, having so much growth and only having one me made it somewhat scary to be the sole owner of an LLC.

 NM Solar Group quickly became the largest residential solar installer in the state of New Mexico. Our success is primarily attributed to our fair pricing, honest dealings and customer focused values. With all of this evolution and activity, I wanted the culture to continue. I wanted the company to succeed. I wanted the employees who built the company to be rewarded for the hard work. But wanting it wasn’t enough and I knew I needed guidance in getting us to where we wanted to go.

 During my research, I explored many different options: business brokers, venture capitalists, partners or even franchising but still, nothing felt quite right. As a company, we had built such an amazing culture of honesty, hard work and trust. I had to protect it! And as I learned more about ESOP programs, I knew it was the right fit.

 By choosing the Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP), the employees that have worked tirelessly to build this company become it's true owners. That’s right, I’ve sold NM Solar Group! But to the best buyers around: my employees. As an authentically employee-owned company, NM Solar Group will continue to service our clients and provide the best experience possible. Prior to organizing the ESOP, I worked hard to build the best executive team, the best project management teams and the best install crews possible. It was no easy feat and it was certainly not without hardships, but we did it. 

 So what changes? Giving each employee a vested individual interest in the company’s success guarantees that we will reach new heights in our achievements as a team. It means that every screw on every system will be fastened by an owner of the company. Every service call placed to an NM Solar Group employee will be placed to an owner of the company. The person sweeping the floor in the warehouse? You guessed it. An owner. The successes and challenges of the business will be shared by every employee at NM Solar Group which means our team really, truly cares.

 NM Solar Group’s mission is to do as much solar as possible, the right way. I fully believe in our mission, more so every day. Over the past few years, the solar coaster has been more intense than I could’ve imagined but I am looking forward to continuing to lead the company, now as an employee. In doing so, NM Solar Group will continue to lead the industry and personally, I hope to continue to bring solar to home and business owners throughout New Mexico.

 NM Solar Group, a local and employee-owned company, would love to bring solar to your home and into your community. We are, without a doubt, the best solar provider for New Mexicans. We’re helping homeowners, we’re growing and we sure aren’t done yet. 

--- Ryan Wallace, Founder of NM Solar Group

NM Attorney General Sues National Solar Company

Bad Solar Practices by National Solar Comapny

New Mexico Attorney General is filing a lawsuit against a national solar company, who has been locking clients into 20-year contracts where they are bound to a lease agreement, paying the company for their electricity generated by the solar panels installed on their homes. This is a common practice among national solar companies, who sell leases or power purchase agreements. With this particular national company, the rate the client pays  for their electricity increases by over 72% in the 20-years of the agreement.
To see the complete article click here.

NM Solar Group Always Chooses Best Practices

From the perspective of NM Solar Group we are deeply saddened to see when New Mexican's get treated poorly. We think solar can be such a positive experience to save money on electricity, increase the value of your home, and to live a more renewable lifestyle. It isn't okay to use something great like solar to manipulate others.  We believe in being fair with our clients and them being fair with us, and that solar should be owned by the consumer.  When NM Solar Group was created we made a conscious decision to never sell leases or Power Purchase Agreements.  We know nothing in this life is free and never wanted to portray that to our clients. Transparency is important to us and from the start of the company we chose simple financing and straight forward terms.
We are committed to continuing to do the best job we can to bring solar the right way to New Mexico.
See our other related articles:
How to choose the best solar company
Answers to common questions about going solar
Increase home value by going solar

Expanding our services- Silver City, NM

Serving New Areas

It is extremely important to NM Solar Group to serve New Mexico with integrity and respect. We are a company who serves clients first and installs solar second. New Mexico is our home, and there isn't a place we would rather be.  We take our time, and really ask ourselves if we are making a positive difference whenever we begin business in a new part of our beautiful state. Then, when we begin business in a new town or city, we like to learn about the culture to best serve our clients. We are excited to begin a new project in Silver City, NM. We hope to help transition Silver City into a place where the households save money by using renewable resources.


What we can do for Silver City, New Mexico

On a micro level, each family that decides to add solar to their home can save 15% or more on their electricity costs, while paying for the solar system. Once the P.V System is paid in full, 100% of electricity costs will be produced by the sun*. If solar is installed this year, the federal government will cover 30% of costs with an Income Tax Deduction. On top of countless other benefits to each person that decides to make the switch to renewable energy.

The town of Silver City is rich with national parks, forests, and wildlife. People travel from all over to boulder in City Rocks State Park or wander through the Gila National Forest. One of the missions of NM Solar Group is to keep New Mexico Enchanted. Silver City is a gem in our state, and we hope to keep it this way for many generations to come. When families make the decision to switch to renewable energy to power their homes it helps us to ensure this future for Silver City, and New Mexico as a whole.


Our First Project in Silver City, New Mexico

We will be installing a 2.95kw System Size (10x panels)
SolarEdge Inverter + Optimizer for optimal efficiency of solar system
100% of electricity from clean solar
$35.5k savings over life of system
19.5% yearly ROI

Equivalent environmental savings as:
2,518 trees planted
20.45 vehicles off the road
228.29 barrels of oil not consumed
*Each PV System will produce different amounts of energy.

New Mexico Senate Passed State Tax Credit for Solar

About Solar Tax Credits

In 2016 the New Mexico tax credit for residential solar installation expired. The prior tax credit was a 10% income tax credit up to $9,000 for qualifying PV systems installed on residential homes, small businesses and agriculture enterprises. 

New Mexico Solar Tax Credit passed through the Senate, it is now making its way to the house for review.

Tax Credit Passed Through the Senate

The New Mexico Senate voted 35-6 on Monday, Feb. 12th for a bill would that would reinstate the tax credits that expired in 2016 with a cap for annual credits at $5 million. The new credit would gradually decline from 10% of costs to 6% over a 15-year period. The bill will now be moved to the House, and will hopefully be passed before the session ends on Thursday. If passed through the house, it will move to Gov. Susana Martinez's desk for approval. 

The Benefit of the New Mexico Tax Credit

This bill would benefit households, small businesses, and farms. As always, we hope New Mexico can become an example of sustainable living for the rest of the country. If New Mexico reinstates the state income tax credit, jobs will be created, we will be closer to our goals for the Paris climate agreement, and we can guarantee a beautiful state for future generations. 

Find out more here

 

Albuquerque will Uphold the Paris Climate Agreement

Albuquerque joining Paris Climate Agreement

In an effort to keep Albuquerque a green city. Mayor Tim Keller has agreed to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement. This is excellent news for the Solar industry, and job growth that comes with it. Keller didn't specify any specific goals on how he was going to be adopting the climate agreement. But did state:

“We will not only make things better for our families and businesses in the short term, we will begin to define a more sustainable future for Albuquerque to ensure that our city will continue to thrive over generations to come,”

NM Solar Group is looking forward to working with Keller during his term to ensure Albuquerque becomes a city to look up to in terms of job growth and climate protection.

Watch video:

http://krqe.com/2018/01/11/mayor-albuquerque-to-adopt-paris-climate-agreement-goals/

A New Normal: Trump Solar Tariff

What the New Solar Tariff Means for New Mexico

Yesterday President Trump signed a tariff on Chinese imported solar panels in order to bring production to America. In the next month, this will increase the price of solar and will change the solar industry.  This is not a death sentence for solar in America, or for NM Solar Group. We keep our prices as low as possible to prepare for events such as this. The industry has seen rapid growth recently, and don't expect that to change now. 

With financing through our lending partners, we don't expect to see a major difference in monthly costs to our clients. NM Solar Group is committed to keeping our prices as low as possible while maintaining the quality of our work. 

Despite the price increase, adding solar to a home will...

Significantly decrease or eliminate an electricity bill.  

Add value to a home for resale.

Save water

Save the planet by switching to renewable energy.

And give a homeowner wicked street cred.

Increase Home Value by Installing Solar

Installing solar panels on your house and owning the system can pay for itself with an increase in value to your home. According to a study conducted by Berkeley National Lab with Sandia National Labs, the average increase in a home's value across the nation is about $3.78 per Watt. The average home has a 6KW system, translating to (6KWx$3.78=$22,680) about a $22k increase in value immediately after the install is complete. Meaning homes with solar panel systems sell for more than without.

Do Solar Panels add Value to a house?

The study analyzed 20,000 homes in six states across the country to find out just how much a solar panel system would increase the price of a home. The study concluded, home values increased at a rate between $2.68- $4.31 per watt of energy. This data is just beginning to become an asset to realtors while selling homes. Solar panel systems are becoming exceedingly popular making it easier for realtors to value these systems, and recognize the potential for home value increase. Speaking to New Mexican appraiser Mark Raney, SRA who specializes in "valuation of sustainable homes, he says "Many appraisers use ‘PV value’, a program originally developed by a Sandia Labs engineer to get the value contribution.  Just type in the size and age of the system, the tilt of the panels and the zip code and they will set a value."

If you are thinking about purchasing a solar system for your home, the study should give you confidence that you are making a smart investment. The study found that homes with owned solar panels will benefit from a ‘solar premium’ when they are sold because buyers are willing to pay more for a home with solar panels.

The location, size, age, and efficiency must be considered when evaluating the value of a home with a PV system. To be sure you are getting the maximum value while getting your home appraisal done with your solar panel system, be sure to use one of the many New Mexican appraisers who specializes in the valuation of sustainable buildings

Is it worth the Investment?

This suggests that if you sell your house soon after you have a solar system installed, you will recoup most or all of your investment while saving money on your power bills. It also confirms: Payback periods on solar power systems are not something to be overly concerned about. Your solar system will either increase your home value should you decide to sell your house, or it will pay itself off in power bill savings before you move out. In both cases, solar is a sound investment."

Thinking about getting Solar? Click here to get a quote.

 

Sources:

EnergySage

Electricity Markets & Policy Group

 

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Solar Energy Saves Water

Solar Energy could be the answer we need to save one of our most valued resources. Water. Especially in a state that rarely comes out of a drought phase. We recently had the first day in over 90 that New Mexico received any measurable precipitation. We love our bright blue skies and brag about the sunshine, but we all know that New Mexicans crave a good day of heavy rain or snow. Today we all got to rejoice while our solar panels got a good rinse, and we could rest, assured that our water supply recouped a little of what we take from it each day.

One thing that not everyone knows, or understands is that power plants use an exuberant amount of water to give energy to the people. Water is used to pump crude oil out of the ground, remove pollutants from power plant exhaust, flush out residue after fossil fuels are burned, cool power plants, and much more. Our energy resources rely on water, much more than we probably realize. This is something New Mexican residents cannot ignore. You will see in the infographic below, created by One Block Off The Grid That Coal power plants use approximately 100-1,100 gallons per MWh, Nuclear uses 600-800 gallons/ MWh, natural gas 20-300 gallons/ Mwh, while solar uses nearly no water at all.

Switching your energy over to solar, with NM Solar Group won't just save you money on your electric bill monthly, but it will help preserve the scarce resource we all need.

 

To read more about water used for energy click here.

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Technology that Could Lower the Cost of Solar Electricity

NM Lab Found Low-Cost Technology that Could Lower the Cost of Solar Electricity

At NM Solar Group, we have a passion for all things solar, and new solar technology. We get excited when we discover new advances in this technology, and hope one day we can help pass these onto our clients.

An interesting article on eletrek.com explained how Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico have been working on developing a new technology that would lower the cost of solar technology. They've developed a 6″ prototype of a quantum tuned, double paned, solar powered window. The window is special, in that the outside window pane has quantum dots changing ultraviolet and blue light into more easily absorbable frequencies for off the shelf solar cells to turn into electricity. The same technology applied to a standard solar panel suggests a decrease in cost of electricity from said panel of up to 34%.

To transform a window into a ‘tandem luminescent sunlight collector’, the Los Alamos team deposits a layer of highly emissive manganese-doped quantum dots onto the outside surface of the outer glass pane and a layer of copper indium selenide quantum dots onto the inner surface of the inside (bottom) pane.

The outside pane absorbs the blue and ultraviolet portions of the solar spectrum and re-emits in the colors that a standard solar cell can absorb. Then, the re-emitted light is guided by internal reflection in the glass pane to the edges of the window, where solar cells are perpendicular to the glass pane.

The purple and blue wavelengths are then being absorbed and redirected to the edges, while the remaining light continues to the second glass pane – which also redirects to solar cells at the pane edges.

These researchers also suggested using the first layer of glass to sit atop a standard solar panel.

A standard commercial solar panel is about two square meters in size for an approximate cost of $10 per panel ($8.33 for a 60 cell residential solar panel) – if applied to a modern 350W solar panel, the cost would add 2.9¢/W to the cost of the module.

The author suggests application of this quantum dot layer, with further refinement, could offer cost savings on solar electricity of 34% versus a standard, standalone solar panel. A question is out to the Dr. to determine if the % efficiency applies to an area equivalent to a window, or the area of solar cells along the edge of the glass pane. If it is the glass pane, the effective efficiency gain would be much lower, however, savings of 28-34% off of the output material (electricity) suggests the effective area is greater than the edge of the pane solar cells.

Read article in entirety here

Are you thinking about the process of getting Solar? Click here to find out more about what we do.

Solar Power News

Solar is our passion at NM Solar Group and we try to stay up to date with solar power news. Some interesting things are happening in the world of solar power. Here are a few snippets of articles I read recently:

Solar + Mushroom Farming In Japan

Sustainergy, a Tokyo-based renewable-energy start-up has partnered with Hitachi Capital and manufacturer Daiwa House Industry to deploy a new ‘solar-sharing’ business model, where Japanese farmers will be encouraged to make use of unexploited farms to produce mushrooms, while solar PVs will feed the operations and sell electricity to the grid at the same time.

The ‘solar-sharing’ business model constitutes an idea of Sustainergy, where crops that need little radiation can be yielded underneath solar photovoltaic panels, while the excessive electricity is exported to the grid, generating double income for farmers. (Climate Action)

[I love the idea of taking advantage of the space under ground-mount solar systems for growing food! I am going to suggest this to a few of our clients for their systems.]

Solar Power + Honey Bees

Last year, when Minnesota passed a groundbreaking law on best practices for providing pollinator habitat at solar power sites, they also (unexpectedly) helped launch something called Solar Honey, in which solar companies and commercial beekeepers work together in a mutually beneficial arrangement. (Smithsonian)

[Anything we can do to help local honey bees thrive is worth pursuing. Their importance to our local ecosystem cannot be understated and we are losing populations of pollinators at an alarming rate. As an incentive to homeowners, fresh honey is amazing!]

Solar Could Help Your Neighbors During An Emergency

A new set of algorithms could make it possible for renewable energy-generating homes to not only access their power reserves during outages, but share their resources with their neighbors -- a move which could play a significant role in disaster relief efforts. (Engadget)

[In these trying times with tragic disasters occurring around our country, anything we can do to help our communities can make a difference. For many folks, having access to power will allow them to rebuild after a disaster. For others who are dependent on electricity for life-preserving devices, access to electricity can mean the difference between life or death.]

Solar power can help homeowners and their local community in many ways. If you would like to learn more about solar for your home, please call the Albuquerque-based solar company NM Solar Group at 505-415-6172 or Click Here to schedule a free consultation. We would love to help!