Solar Tours, New hires and State Rollouts, Oh My! Interview with Creative Solar USA’s CEO, Russell Seifert.
What do you hope to achieve on this month’s Solar Tour?
More or less, the solar tour this month is an extension of the Solarize Middle GA program, and because there is a low concentration of people in the middle Georgia area, we hope to provide more workshops to educate home and business owners on the cost benefits and overall benefits of solar energy. Our goal is to educate, provide solar industry insights and create new ways of powering homes through using a Sustainable resource like solar energy in the middle GA region.
Our team is growing rapidly. What do you have to say to future employees of Creative Solar USA?
Now’s the time to be excited to join the solar industry. Creative Solar USA has created a sustainable and growing platform that advocates for internal promotions to take place before external hires are made. The benefits of healthcare and a 401K that you’ll soon enjoy are supplied for our talented team to help ensure that those who are passionate and committed to the solar industry are taken care of. We cannot wait to welcome you to one of the coolest solar teams around!
We recently hired Rob Blatecky as VP-Chief of Revenue. Can you tell us a little more about his role and what he will be providing for CSUSA?
Rob is going to help with the outward expansion and growth of the company in our residential market but will also help take on some of the internal responsibilities as well - like supporting operations and helping mitigate cost overruns, so we can provide even better service for our customers down the road and help sustain the great quality workmanship program that we’ve already implemented.
How are sales looking for end of Q1? Are we on track to meet our goals?
We are! We have already had a better quarter than last year by 25% and are expecting an even bigger lift in Q2. Although we’re on track for more growth in Q3, there is a concern regarding the solar panel supply chain shortage. If you’re planning on undergoing a commercial project in Q2, Q3 and Q4, you may face delays and difficulty in getting materials. Panel prices have gone up because of high demand, so naturally, solar pricing may also rise too. However, we feel that because of our long-term relationships with our suppliers, this shortage should not affect our customer base as harshly.
Why Solar Energy and Taxes go Together — And How To Benefit From It
Peanut butter and jelly, coffee and donuts, bees and honey. Some things go undeniably together, but did you know that solar energy and taxes are not far from this list? If you enjoy saving money and we’ve sparked your interest, keep reading to find out why solar and taxes go hand in hand.
Using Your Tax Returns for Solar Energy
After the not-so-fun process of gathering receipts, filing taxes and figuring what half of the words on the forms mean, it’s time to decide what to do with your tax returns. Even though some people like to take advantage of this extra cash and go on vacation or a shopping spree, this TurboTax article explains that there are 12 smart things you could do with your tax refund, and one of them is focusing on making home improvements including energy efficiency measures such as solar power.
Some other benefits to solar energy are:
● Immediate money savings on energy bills
● Avoiding rising costs of power in the future
● Added resale value to your home
● Better performance than an Individual Retirement Account (IRA)
● Solar may provide energy to your home when the power is out
● Reduced dependence on fossil fuels
● Alternative energy leaves a legacy of environmental sustainability to future generations
Click here to learn more about using your tax returns for solar power and other solar energy benefits.
Taking Advantage of Tax Credits
Did you know that a taxpayer may claim a credit of 30% of qualified expenditures for a system that serves a dwelling unit located in the United States?
There are a few differences between residential and commercial tax credits. For residential tax credits:
● Installs completed in 2019 may receive the 30% federal tax credit.*
● Installs completed in 2020 may receive a 26% federal tax credit.*
● Installs completed in 2021 may receive a 22% federal tax credit. 2021 is the final year for the federal tax credit for residential installs.*
For commercial tax credits:
● Installs completed in 2019 may receive the 30% federal tax credit.*
● Installs completed in 2020 may receive a 26% federal tax credit.*
● Installs completed in 2021 may receive a 22% federal tax credit. In 2022 and beyond, the federal tax credit will drop to a permanent 10% for commercial and utility projects.*
*Tax credit information subject to change. Creative Solar USA does not warrant or guarantee rebates, grants, credits, awards, or ROI. See your tax professional to assess which financial advantages will apply to your installation.
Because the end of 2019 marks the end of the highest percentage you can get for the federal tax credit (30%), now is definitely the time to act!!
In addition to all these financial benefits, solar panels will continue to generate and save money on your energy bills for more than 20 years, as homeowners start saving on utility bills almost immediately after installation. Why would anyone want to skip on these savings?
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Creative Solar USA is a Georgia-based, turn-key installer of innovative solar panel systems, dedicated to alternative energy solutions for your home or business. Become a member of the Creative Solar USA community. We're your solar power resource long after the installation is complete because we don't just build PV systems for our clients – we build relationships.
Recent talk with Creative Solar USA’s CEO, Russell Seifert: Q1 and beyond!
With the state expansion rollout plan emerging, what’s the first thing CSUSA hopes to accomplish?
We want to make sure that we incorporate the best practices, customer service, installation quality all while maintaining great client relations at all times. Our goals are to acquire 200-215 new customers in the 2nd quarter in the Carolinas and state of Florida.
Are there any new product rollouts that we can plan on seeing in the near future?
Established solar companies are rolling out a new way of solar cells to be wired, making them much more efficient. Because of this progression of efficiency, we are excited to be able to offer the best of the best products to our current and future solar clients. Secondly, with LG’s new plant in Alabama, we can make new LG systems from LG solar panels to LG batteries to an LG inverter. That means, that we will have the highest quality system that consumers can purchase in the solar market.
Why are more businesses going solar this year?
Businesses are going solar because they’re realizing that solar energy makes great economic sense and provides great ROI. Plus, with this being the last year to take advantage of the ITC tax credit, solar panels are already almost sold out for the entire year due to consumers trying to get their projects in for the end of the year! This is really helping push businesses to get the ball rolling.
How has our recent Solarize Middle Ga campaign been performing? What about the solar tour?
The recent Solar tour in middle Ga has had a great impact. We reached several hundred people over the last couple of weeks and were able to educate consumers on the benefits of solar. Because of the media and press efforts surrounding the Solarize Campaign, we have received many inquiries from Middle Ga consumers and we could not be more thrilled!
Tell us more about the panel and speaking event that took place on February 28th, 2019.
It was a very interesting discussion and many people from municipalities and elected officials attended, so it made for a very good and open discussion. I spoke on the topic of solar regulations in Georgia, what needs to change and how I would like to see our elected officials make our state more stable economically when it comes to the renewable energy sector. You can see a live video of this panel discussion here.
Saying “I Do” To Solar Energy: Long Term Commitments for New Couples
Why new couples are nesting with solar. Heart shaped tattoos and engagement rings are some of the most common ways people demonstrate to their significant other that they’re in it for the long haul. When “love is in the air,” however, there are many ways to show your commitment and showing love, so why not make solar energy one of them? Here are a few ways why new couples are saying “I do” and committing to solar energy.
Saving Money is Better than Chocolate … And It’s Calorie-Free!
If you believe there’s nothing sweeter than a box of chocolates, you should think twice. A few things that affect how much you’ll save with solar energy are:
Tax Returns Will Help You Save Too
If your relationship status has changed from “single” to “married” this tax season, why not get even luckier and take advantage of tax breaks with solar energy? The residential federal tax credit allows residents access to a credit of 30%* of qualified expenditures for a system that serves a dwelling unit located in the United States. Expenditures include labor costs for on-site preparation, assembly or original system installation, and other associated costs. This can easily turn your love-hate relationship with taxes into a strictly love one.
Spread the Love
When you’re in love you want to tell the whole world. So why not tell the whole world by also helping save the environment? “Solar energy creates clean, renewable power from the sun and benefits the environment. Alternatives to fossil fuels reduce carbon footprint at home and abroad, reducing greenhouse gases around the globe. Solar is known to have a favorable impact on the environment,” this article explains.
Young Couples are Building a Relationship With Solar Energy
One of the many stereotypes for younger generations is that they don’t care as much about global issues and aren’t willing to put in the work for what they want. This myth, however, is definitely debunked when it comes to Millenials’ concern for the environment. Did you know that Millennials are willing to pay more for investments in renewable energy than other demographics? According to this Clean Technica article, “Millennials are knowledgeable and smart about electricity services and want to use clean energy for their homes while utilizing the power of the Internet.”
Believe it or not, younger couples are also choosing solar energy for their homes. Not only for themselves and their significant others, but also for future generations.
Are you ready to say “I love you” with solar energy? Let us hold your hand through the process! At Creative Solar USA, our comprehensive project approach gives you the power to choose, and with zero money down payment options now available, solar is more affordable than ever. Even better, new home-buyers can include the cost of solar within their mortgage loan, thereby making solar a positive investment from day one. The portion of the mortgage financing the solar installation is typically LESS THAN the savings on electricity bills and the increased home value. Contact us to learn more!
INTERVIEW WITH CREATIVE SOLAR USA’S CEO, RUSSELL SEIFERT: WHAT’S ON THE HORIZON FOR CREATIVE SOLAR USA
So, tell us what’s going on? What have you been up to since we last interviewed you?
I’ve been mentoring a smart kid on stats on solar energy, return on investments, solar production and the various things that affect it. His name is Eric Holder and he’s a Senior at North Cobb high school. He recently attended his solar presentation and I must say, he did an outstanding job!
Last weekend was Mayor’s Day. I spoke about solar and how it’s impacting communities and cities and how our new elected officials need to embrace and adapt to it for the better of the community. We also talked about how solar can reduce long-term overhead expenses. I’ve also been preparing for 2019 and how to better serve our customers. Creative Solar USA has large goals and with strategy and dedication, we will meet them.
What are our goals? What’re we looking out for?
More or less, my job is focused on the relations and keeping an eye on IRP and what Georgia Power is going to do next. It will have a big impact on solar in the state and will dictate whether or not Georgia Power is for the people or if they’re regulating it and gearing it for their benefit and away from the people. Will they be more liberal to help their customers? Or will they create more roadblocks? That’s what I’m waiting to see.
We hear you’re working on a video Series: What’s coming next?
We’re going to be providing product information and breaking down the different parts of solar installations. We will also be teaching about energy storage (and how it will help the consumer long-term). In the near future, we are considering filming a video about some of the debunking of solar to clear up some of the hearsay as well. Stay tuned!
What’re our employees up to? Any new training?
We are constantly training and striving to better our knowledge and skill. We’re branching off into Florida and the Carolinas and with that on the horizon, we’re focused on our strategy to maintain a strong presence and to be a reliable customer-service oriented organization.
Who are you rooting for in the Super bowl?
My votes on the Rams! I always support the underdog.
5 Ways Solar Energy Says “I Love You” to the Love of your Life
Just as quickly as end-of-year holidays come and go, Valentine’s day is another time that we are encouraged to share how much we love and care for our significant others and families. Even though chocolates, flowers and dinner reservations (did you know that in 2015 OpenTable reported 2 million diners seated on Valentine’s day?) are some of the most fun ways to show your affection and appreciation, here are five ways in which taking advantage of solar energy will tell the love of your life “I love you” for a longer time:
Help them lower utility bills
Because solar panels generate their own power, your utility bill can quickly decrease in a matter of weeks. Even though this will entirely depend on your location and energy consumption, it’s likely that the higher your bill is, the more solar energy benefits you’ll see.
Just thinking about these cost savings should be enough to give you butterflies!
Be Easier on the environment
The Environment Georgia Center explains that transitioning to clean, renewable energy will improve our health by preventing hazardous air pollution, and has the capability to meet all of our electricity needs in the not-so-distant future. Becoming a part of this movement not only shows your love for your loved one, but for Mother Earth too.
Potential Tax Credits
Did you know that a residential federal tax credit allows residents a credit of 30% of qualified expenditures for a solar power system that serves a dwelling unit located in the United States? Expenditures include labor costs for on-site preparation, assembly or original system installation, and other associated costs. The full 30% credit is available only until the end of 2019 and decreases thereafter. Taking advantage of this can easily turn your love-hate relationship with taxes into a strictly love one.
Enjoy Savings from day one
A solar power system has a 30+ year lifespan and starts reducing your bill as soon as it is activated. Further, financing options are available to help homeowners get started. So in 2019, it’s worth installing solar panels at your home while the 30% tax credit is still in place — as a short and long term love demonstration. Click here to learn more about other savings options!
Take Advantage of Decreasing Prices
For years, there has been a false idea that solar panels are almost impossible to afford due to their high cost. However, studies show that the cost of solar power is rapidly decreasing. According to this Business Insider article, “The rapidly declining cost of solar is a sign that the world may be on the verge of a dramatic change in how we power our buildings and vehicles. The price drop is likely to spur a shift toward renewable power sources like wind and solar and away from fossil fuels like oil and coal.” You’ll love these savings more than you love 50% off chocolate the day after cupid’s celebration!
Ready to say “I do” to solar energy this Valentine’s Day? Choose us! At Creative Solar USA we will continue to hold your hand even after installation is done. The reason? We don’t just build systems for our clients -- we build relationships.
Get Ready for Tax Returns - Improve the Value of Your Home with Solar Energy
Why you should take advantage of that extra cash to improve your home with solar energy.
Tax season is quickly approaching and with that, people tend to start planning what they’d like to do with their tax returns. Even though some people like to take advantage of this extra cash and go on vacation or a shopping spree, this TurboTax article explains that there are 12 smart things you could do with your tax refund, and one of them is focusing on making home improvements including energy efficiency measures such as solar power.
What is Solar Energy?
The Solar Energy Industries Association defines solar energy (also referred to as solar power) as “energy from the sun that is converted into thermal or electrical energy.” Their website explains that “is the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy source available, and the U.S. has some of the richest solar resources in the world. Solar technologies can harness this energy for a variety of uses, including generating electricity, providing light or a comfortable interior environment, and heating water for domestic, commercial, or industrial use.”
How Much Will It Cost?
When it comes to solar energy panels, there really isn’t a “one size fits all,” as final pricing will be determined by multiple factors. A few things that will affect how much you invest are:
This NerdWallet.com article explains why solar panels will help you save money
Generally speaking, it’s important to know that solar panels will continue to generate and save money on your energy bills for more than 20 years, as homeowners start saving on utility bills almost immediately after installation. Further, like other home improvements, solar power systems increase the value of the home, thereby adding an additional element towards return on the investment even if you sell the home before the end of the system’s lifespan.
Click here to learn more about tax incentives, rebates, discounts and savings with solar energy at your house.
Can I Do it Myself?
Even though you might save a few dollars by installing solar panels yourself, the Georgia Solar Energy Association explains that a professional assessment will examine:
By having a professional do the work, you are not only making the process much easier for yourself, but you are ensuring safety for your family and the entire neighborhood, as well as having the installer’s warrantees for additional peace of mind.
If you’re thinking about using your tax refund to improve your home with solar panels, contact us today to get a free evaluation and estimate!
Interview with Creative Solar USA's CEO, Russell Seifert: Our company's New Year