SD Solar Startup To Hire 100 People For Green Jobs
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Aired 2/23/12 on KPBS News.
A San Diego solar company is working directly with roofers to sell and install its one-of-a kind rooftop systems. It also hopes to hire up to 100 people this year to help with the increased work load.
SAN DIEGO A San Diego solar company is working directly with roofers to sell and install its one-of-a kind rooftop systems. It also hopes to hire up to 100 people this year to help with the increased work load. A family in Rancho Penasquitos was one of the first to take advantage of the company's solar lease program.
With a simple flip of a switch, San Diego's Mayor turned on the power of the sun at the Berghage home. "Not only does San Diego have the highest use of residential solar of any other U.S city, we're quickly becoming a hub for innovations in renewable energy," Mayor Jerry Sanders said.
Diane Berghgage thought the new solar panels look great. "A lot of the solar panels we really didn't like the way they looked. But we were getting a new roof and this just seemed like its integrated into the roof in a way that is not objectionable," she said.
This is actually the first rooftop of its kind in the country, integrated into the rooftop shingles.
Berghgage's husband, Tom, hopes it cuts the cost of air conditioning this summer so he can spend more on water for his garden to feed the needy.
"This is a backyard garden project in the Penasquitos area where people raise vegetables. The YMCA is a collection point for people that are less fortunate and can't afford fresh vegetables," he said.
OneRoof Energy received $50 million in financing to create the SolarSelect Lease Program. It allows homeowners the ability to integrate solar into their roof with little to no upfront payment. Customers simply make a monthly lease payment for the system.
OneRoof Energy claims homeowners on average could save up to 20 percent on their monthly bill with this system.
With all the sunshine in San Diego, you would think this solar company would be hiring more than just 100 people this year. But David Field, CEO of OneRoof Energy said the challenge is getting more homeowners interested.
"We're in the process of developing an active retired military program for solar. Again it's the issue of how do you get more solar on rooftops," Field said.
Mayor Jerry Sanders said San Diego already has the highest residential solar use in the country. He also believes we are quickly becoming a hub for innovations in renewable energy as well.