2.0
February 19, 2009

Namaste Solar, with Obama & Biden & Ritter, becomes posterchild for New Economy—moving from job cuts to hiring again. [Also, how Stimulus will help you go Solar]

Yesterday, Obama chose to sign the Stimulus in elephantjournal.com’s backyard—Denver. Biden was there. Ritter was there. And Boulder, Colorado’s Namaste (which Biden pronounced Nam-ass-tee) was there. For more on the event from Namaste, click here. Here’s a useful excerpt from Namaste’s new site (which went down briefly, yesterday, due to crazy traffic):

 

Namaste Solar was founded in early 2005 and has experienced rapid growth over the last four years.  This was mainly due to the passage of Colorado’s Renewable Energy Standard in 2004, which drove local utility incentives and ignited the solar electricity market in Colorado.  In October 2008, our company was confronted with challenges on two fronts: political and economic.  
In the political arena, the federal government provided an 8-year extension to federal investment tax credits, but local utility rebates were lowered in response to this increase.  This led to an immediate reduction in sales for 2009 installations.  In addition, the global economic crisis has led to frozen capital markets, which are necessary to finance dozens of our projects that were scheduled to be installed this year.  This one-two punch has required us to slash budgets, reduce sub-contractor work, and consider layoffs, not knowing what actions the federal government would take to assist the economy.
The most immediate impact of the stimulus package is the creation of grants through the Department of Treasury for 30% of the cost of solar property placed in service during 2009 and 2010.  This replaces the investment tax credits with up-front cash.  Homeowners and businesses will submit applications to the Department of Treasury following the completion of the solar installation, and checks will be cut within 60 days to help offset the cost of installing systems.  Any solar electric system whose construction begins before December 31, 2010 and is placed in service before January 1, 2017, will qualify for the same grant.  
There are additional benefits to the solar industry in the package, but this provision alone allows Namaste Solar and other installation companies around the country to feel new hope and optimism about their local markets.  Namaste Solar now plans to hire additional co-owners this year, with an expectation of 20% growth in 2009 and 40% growth by the end of 2010.  
According to SEIA, the Solar Energy Industries Association, the stimulus package is expected to generate new good paying jobs over the next few years, putting Americans back to work installing solar panels, manufacturing components and constructing solar power plants. “The solar industry is poised to lead the new, clean energy economy and the strong solar provisions in this legislation will help give hundreds of thousands of out-of-work Americans a job that they can be proud of.  The solar energy provisions in this bill will help create 60,000 jobs in the solar industry in 2009 alone and a total of 110,000 over the next two years,” said Rhone Resch, president of SEIA.  
For more information on the key provisions benefiting the solar industry, please refer to this executive summary provided by SEIA: http://seia.org/galleries/pdf/exec_summary_of_final_bill_2_17_09.pdf
The most immediate assistance to homeowners and businesses in the stimulus package is the creation of grants through the Department of Treasury for 30% of the cost of solar property placed in service during 2009 and 2010.  This replaces the investment tax credits with up-front cash.  Homeowners and businesses will submit applications to the Department of Treasury following the completion of the solar installation, and checks will be cut within 60 days to help offset the cost of installing systems.  Any solar electric system whose construction begins before December 31, 2010 and is placed in service before January 1, 2017, will qualify for the same grant.  
An additional benefit to Boulder County homeowners is the ability to utilize both the county’s ClimateSmart Loan Program (a subsided loan at below market rates) and the 30% federal grants to finance solar electric systems.  Before the passage of the stimulus package, this was not possible.  For more information about Boulder County’s ClimateSmart loan program, please see:http://www.bouldercounty.org/bocc/ClimateSmartLoanProgram/index.htm
Namaste Solar was founded in early 2005 and has experienced rapid growth over the last four years.  This was mainly due to the passage of Colorado’s Renewable Energy Standard in 2004, which drove local utility incentives and ignited the solar electricity market in Colorado.  In October 2008, our company was confronted with challenges on two fronts: political and economic.    

In the political arena, the federal government provided an 8-year extension to federal investment tax credits, but local utility rebates were lowered in response to this increase.  This led to an immediate reduction in sales for 2009 installations.  In addition, the global economic crisis has led to frozen capital markets, which are necessary to finance dozens of our projects that were scheduled to be installed this year.  This one-two punch has required us to slash budgets, reduce sub-contractor work, and consider layoffs, not knowing what actions the federal government would take to assist the economy.

The most immediate impact of the stimulus package is the creation of grants through the Department of Treasury for 30% of the cost of solar property placed in service during 2009 and 2010.  This replaces the investment tax credits with up-front cash.  Homeowners and businesses will submit applications to the Department of Treasury following the completion of the solar installation, and checks will be cut within 60 days to help offset the cost of installing systems.  Any solar electric system whose construction begins before December 31, 2010 and is placed in service before January 1, 2017, will qualify for the same grant.  

There are additional benefits to the solar industry in the package, but this provision alone allows Namaste Solar and other installation companies around the country to feel new hope and optimism about their local markets.  Namaste Solar now plans to hire additional co-owners this year, with an expectation of 20% growth in 2009 and 40% growth by the end of 2010.  

According to SEIA, the Solar Energy Industries Association, the stimulus package is expected to generate new good paying jobs over the next few years, putting Americans back to work installing solar panels, manufacturing components and constructing solar power plants. “The solar industry is poised to lead the new, clean energy economy and the strong solar provisions in this legislation will help give hundreds of thousands of out-of-work Americans a job that they can be proud of.  The solar energy provisions in this bill will help create 60,000 jobs in the solar industry in 2009 alone and a total of 110,000 over the next two years,” said Rhone Resch, president of SEIA.    

For more information on the key provisions benefiting the solar industry, please refer to this executive summary provided by SEIA:  http://seia.org/galleries/pdf/exec_summary_of_final_bill_2_17_09.pdf

The most immediate assistance to homeowners and businesses in the stimulus package is the creation of grants through the Department of Treasury for 30% of the cost of solar property placed in service during 2009 and 2010.  This replaces the investment tax credits with up-front cash.  Homeowners and businesses will submit applications to the Department of Treasury following the completion of the solar installation, and checks will be cut within 60 days to help offset the cost of installing systems.  Any solar electric system whose construction begins before December 31, 2010 and is placed in service before January 1, 2017, will qualify for the same grant.    

An additional benefit to Boulder County homeowners is the ability to utilize both the county’s ClimateSmart Loan Program (a subsided loan at below market rates) and the 30% federal grants to finance solar electric systems.  Before the passage of the stimulus package, this was not possible.  For more information about Boulder County’s ClimateSmart loan program, please see:  http://www.bouldercounty.org/bocc/ClimateSmartLoanProgram/index.htm

Is there anything in the stimulus package that will help me integrate solar electricity into my home or business?

What impact will the stimulus package have on your company/industry?

Is there anything in the stimulus package that will help me integrate solar electricity into my home or business?

 

Excerpt

 

Namaste Solar Electric snagged a starring role in the signing of the $787 billion economic stimulus package by President Obama on Tuesday.

The Boulder, Colo.-based solar service company was held up by Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter as an example of how the massive legislation, billed by Obama as the largest stimulus package in the U.S. history, would create green jobs and boost the country’s production of clean energy. Namaste installed the solar panels on the Colorado governor’s mansion, as well as the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, where the signing ceremony took place.

Blake Jones, CEO of Namaste Solar, gave Obama’s introduction. Before the president signed the legislation, Jones told the story of his company, which installs solar energy systems, and said that it was on a hiring freeze and had to cut budgets in recent months. The company grew its staff from three to 60 in the last three years, but was considering laying off employees.

“This weekend I called the CEOs of other solar companies, and the overwhelming consensus was that this stimulus bill will immediately benefit companies like ours,” Jones said. “Now we have plans to increase the workforce by 20 percent this year and 40 percent through 2010.”

The testimony is an important message for Obama to send. Winning support for this stimulus package proved difficult, and Americans are pinning a lot of hopes on this mammoth spending and tax reduction plan. The Solar Energy Industries Association expects the legislation to create 60,000 new jobs in the solar industry this year, or 111,000 over the next two years.

The package includes tax credits, grants and loan guarantees for solar, wind, plug-in hybrid cars, advanced batteries and other renewable energy sectors (see Obama Signs Stimulus Package). 

“I don’t want to pretend that today marks the end of our economic problems,” Obama said before signing the bill. “We are laying the groundwork for a green energy economy that can create countless green jobs. We will transform the way we use energy.”

Obama and lawmakers hope the legislation will create or save 3.5 million jobs in the next two years and double the country’s renewable energy generation in three years. The U.S. economy lost three million jobs last year alone, Biden said…

…for the rest, go here.

Read 3 Comments and Reply
X

Read 3 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Waylon Lewis  |  Contribution: 1,016,170