After sitting down to literally hundreds of kitchen tables and presenting more solar proposals over the past year than I can hope to ever keep track of, it's safe to say I've learned a few things about homeowners.
(1) As they should, homeowners take the decision to go solar very seriously.
(2) Homeowners are often very concerned with preserving the natural state of the area in which the solar array will be installed.
(3) The "bottom line" is essential for determining whether solar is right for each family.
(4) Customers are often very interested in hearing your company story and delving a bit deeper into the sustainability of your business.
These are all legitimate concerns, questions and thoughts for any homeowner thinking about going solar.
Due diligence is an essential part of the process.
Bahram Shadzi, the president of Cosmic Solar, has an interesting tale regarding how he decided to start and run his company. After working as a chemical engineer in the waste treatment and semiconductor industry for many decades, he ultimately began feeling burned out.
"I really enjoyed being a chemical engineer and it certainly provided adequate means for supporting a family but I knew deep down that sustainable, solar energy was my true passion. As best I tried to stay the course and tell myself that what I was doing was in my best interest, eventually it became clear to me that it was time to make a change."Now, I'm sure you readers out there can appreciate the difficulty of switching careers midstream and traveling down a road less traveled, making a life altering decision in order to achieve a life long dream. Possibly some of you out there have attempted this kind of transition yourself and could probably even write a book about your experiences. The bottom line is it's not easy changing careers so late in the game and many employers aren't willing to give you a chance.
Luckily, for Bahram, being a general contractor with a C-10 electrician license, in 2004 he was able to get his foot in the door at a solar company and begin solidifying his dream of making it possible for homeowners to go solar. Little did he know the challenges ahead of him in making this dream a possibility.
At Cosmic Solar, we have a general rule in that we never bad-mouth our competition. We feel the best way to promote this exciting industry is by leading through example. Therefore, suffice to say the company Bahram began working at, managing solar installation projects and provide his engineering expertise, did not have the same long-term goals of promoting solar as a logical alternative for their customers. Eventually, Bahram knew if he was to achieve his goals of making solar affordable and feasible for the general public and creating a better tomorrow, he would need to start his own company to do so. Fast forward, a few years later to 2006, and this dream became a reality.
"Starting Cosmic Solar has been, hands down, the best professional experience of my entire life. Not only am I able to follow my dreams and passions regarding promoting the most economical and reliable way of producing energy, but I'm having the time of my life doing it. The most important lesson I have learned is following your calling, often times against all odds, is simply the best way to life your life."
In addition to running a successful business and eliminating our customer's electric bills, Bahram and Judith -- his wife and vice president of Cosmic Solar -- say they've made more friends and have created more lifelong relationships through Cosmic Solar than any other time in our life. "It's truly a gift to be able to meet such amazing customers," they stated in a recent interview.
So if you're like so many other homeowners out there who are considering going solar, make it a priority to not only ask the company providing you a bid about the details of your project, but also how that company came into existence and why they continue doing what they do each and every day. It's simply one of the best ways to learn about a company you're considering working with and can provide incredible insight about a prospective company. Best of luck out there!
Operations Manager at Cosmic Solar
Operations Manager at Cosmic Solar