Since moving to my new location in the Dry Bridge Commerce Park last winter, I have had the pleasure of getting to know several interesting neighbors. Neighbors who have thriving businesses right here in North Kingstown in the technology, home remodeling, biochemical, and furniture industries. It is a business community with a lot of friendly faces and helpful business leaders willing to lend a hand or advice to make your business day run smoother. One of my interesting neighbors is Newport Solar. Newport Solar was founded in 2009 by owner Doug Sabetti. Sabetti, who maintains a staff of about 10 employees, has an incredible background in the construction industry and is a very innovative person on top of that. Being a fan of renewable energy solutions such as solar power, I wanted to learn more about Newport Solar and how they are helping to change the world, both on the local and national level. Doug was kind enough to give me an hour of his busy schedule to discuss these topics and what exactly a photovoltaic nerd is. Here is an excerpt from our conversation:
Hi Doug, thanks for sitting down with me. So let’s start with the acronym, NABCEP. What should that mean to people shopping for solar power solutions?
Thanks Noel. I could talk solar power all day. So, NABCEP is an acronym for North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners. It is the gold standard of my industry and I currently have this certification. It means I am highly qualified to install, service, and educate my customers on the benefits of solar power as well as following through on the installation of their solar power. Now, a homeowner can look up my credentials, education, and experience and feel confident that I am a trusted and qualified resource here in RI for solar power solutions.
So what about hiring the “other guys?” Are the rates and products consistent with what Newport Solar has to offer?
I can’t speak for these “other guys.” What I will say should alarm people considering a cheap solution for solar power. First off, you have to have a licensed Rhode Island electrician install solar components. At Newport Solar, we have staff that are licensed electricians with 15 to 30 years experience in the electrical field. Second, cheap installation can lead to major problems for your home. Leaks, faulty and damaged wires, and worse fire hazards can all result from sub-par installation. Homeowners, please be careful who you hire to install. We want your business long term. Our team is committed to building a solid relationship with you before the sale, during the installation, and years after the sale with education and service. Ok, so you know from talking to me that I have bought into this renewable energy solution and I want to start the process of solar power installed at my home. What is the next step, Doug?
Sure, there are two sets of studies that will be performed. One a general overview and one much more personal to your property. The first is a satellite image of your home which will give us an approximate set of data for us to use. The second is our shading study, which will need to be performed right there on your roof top. Yes, our technician will make an appointment with you and come out to your home, climb up to your rooftop, and get some hands on data. They survey the tree line, pitch of the roof, do a visual scan of the surrounding properties to help formulate just how much electricity you can expect from your solar system. Here is something that makes Newport Solar a more personal choice for your solar power solutions. Most companies only perform the first satellite image test and thus, are only giving you a small piece of data towards your solar power potential. Our shading program is software based along with the on-site analysis to give you a more comprehensive set of data. Once we have the data, then the next stages, including the sales and installation process, can begin.
So, if I am ready to get going on this, can it be installed by next week, next month, next 3 months?
With the programs we have in place, you would be looking at a 3 month window, on average, for the process to take place. We have to do the analysis, the shading study at your home, crunch the numbers and come up with a customized plan, then we can arrange an educational meeting. Our sales staff, led by Eric Martin, will sit down with you and explain the incentive options and go over the costs involved. We aim to educate the homeowner on the federal tax incentives, financing options, what to expect once the solar panels are installed, and make them 100% comfortable with their decision. Our staff tells our customers “it is not what size system you have, it is how much electricity you are getting from your system.” This along with our educational center online at www.newportsolarri.com gives our customers a ton of great information not only pre-installation but for years to follow once the system is in place. One of our website pages outlines the project timeline specifics. Our educational services and experience make us a leader in solar power here in RI. Any questions, call our knowledgeable staff at 401-295-4500.
Doug, you call yourself a photovoltaic nerd? Is there something more to that?
Photovoltaic simply means producing voltage from light. And yes, I am very passionate about my field, solar power. I am an advocate who goes to the State House in Providence and meets with legislators about renewable energy. I travel to speak and meet with other solar power advocates. I am part of several national and regional advocacy groups and some right here in RI who are helping to shape the renewable energy programs for our kids and grand kids to benefit from. My aim is to inform consumers on electricity rates and the role of the multi national electric companies in all of this. I helped to create a solar license here in RI that did not exist – another factor that helps make our homes safer to install solar programs. And, I have to say, the response from the State House has been mostly positive in terms of legislation. Where other states in the south and southwest have struggled, Rhode Island seems to be interested in the discussion of expanding our renewable energy solutions and programs, especially solar power. One last point to make. It is a great time to Go Solar!!! I want to thank Doug Sabetti of Newport Solar for being a great local resource for solar power and for being an important advocate in the solar power industry. Located in North Kingstown, Newport Solar can be reached at 401-787-5682. Their website, www.newportsolarri.com, helps guide you through the process of installing solar panels, education on renewable energy, financing options, as well as samples of their work. You can read up on bios for staff, such as Doug. In particular, check out the section entitled “Doug’s Yurt.” Fantastic reading. Newport Solar, your local solar power resource company since 2009.