Local Solar Companies are Booming

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ASHLAND, Ore. — Local solar power companies say their business has soared over the past year, with help from a new program.

“It’s a rooftop revolution that’s happening right now in Southern Oregon,” Eric Hansen with True South Solar said.

The future is bright for solar power in the Rogue Valley.

“These panels are going to offset 100% of their electricity.”

True South Solar says their business has heated up. They’re installing more solar panels on homes and businesses every week.

“Almost 100% from 2012 to 2013 so far,” Hansen added.

It’s thanks to the company’s bright idea to partner with the “Rogue Solar” program, which gives local companies first crack at customers who can get the installation at a discount.

“They’ve seen the price drop a little bit, because us contractors that have banded together under this umbrella of Rogue Solar have been able to buy in bulk and lower our prices,” Hansen said.

“It’s a long investment and it’s good financially, it’s good environmentally, and it’s really nice on the pocketbook,” Buzz Thielemann from RHT Energy Solutions said.

RHT Energy Solutions which helps coordinate Rogue Solar with the Rogue Valley Council of Governments, says the goal over the past year has been to increase interest in alternative power. It’s worked, the program now partners with 7 companies and has made more than 60 installations since last year.

“It’s primarily in Josephine and Jackson County but we have people even in Klamath Falls that are taking advantage because the program is so strong,” Thielemann explained.

Now that the program is entering its second phase, it wants to work with even more solar companies to continue adding jobs and saving customers money on their energy bills.

“We have such an untapped solar resource in Southern Oregon, and the idea is to bring this to the businesses and the people and the residences here, and it was successful,” Thielemann said.

“It’s getting us closer to our mission of a net zero Southern Oregon, a completely renewable, sustained Southern Oregon,” Hansen added.

And they say it looks like sunny skies ahead.