For the past six years we have followed the phenomenal growth and success story of local company True South Solar. On a mission to place solar on every roof in Southern Oregon, the company has the wind in their sails and is on course to make their dream a big reality.

As happy customers abounded with word of mouth referrals and passersby took mental notes to soon install their own solar electric system. I was able to catch up with local owners Eric Hansen & Shawn Schreiner and their team to conduct the following interview.

True South Solar…. WOW! Congratulations on another amazing year of continued growth, excellence in service, and taking leads forward towards having solar on every roof in Southern Oregon!

Thank you. We’re really lucky to have so much community support and such an awesome team to work with.

Shawn & Eric… what’s really happening here… are we really in the midst of a rooftop revolution?

Yes, this is absolutely a rooftop revolution and it’s awesome to be a part of it! We have a choice where our energy comes from — more and more people are choosing solar. Solar is an investment in our community’s independence, a cleaner environment, and a good investment in our own homes & businesses. The economics of solar are incredible. 50 to 80% of the costs are offset by tax credits and incentives. Over a system’s lifetime, its return is often better than what folks are getting in other investments.

Touring around the Valley, you can see more and more installations popping up. We’re a leader in the state for sure, but we’re just keeping pace with the industry as whole. Nationwide solar is growing about 150% a year and that’s what True South is doing as well.

Eric, can you tell us more about this being the right time and right place for solar right now?

Of course, I’d love to. Prices are at an all-time low. Tax credits and incentives are very good. And solar technology is more efficient and better-built than ever before. Couple all those things with a consumer awareness about energy use and the environment and it’s no wonder so many folks are choosing solar.

Now that people can easily get their hands on an electric car and fill it up with their own homemade solar electricity, there’s a whole new group of folks going solar. Elon Musk and the rest of those Silicon Valley innovators are helping popularize this part of the movement. We have an electric SmartCar & Ford Cmax at work and run them off our solar system — we love it!

I’ve been hearing a lot about the new SunPower Equinox system and it sounds amazing.

Yes – SunPower’s Equinox system is the first engineered “AC module” system solution of its kind. I think the coolest thing about it is that has less system components so it looks really discreet. It’s also very efficient! Each module has its own micro inverter on the back optimizing the output of each module. This means shading that might affect one module won’t affect the others. Another cool feature of the system is that it has comprehensive monitoring. With Equinox we can see both what each panel is producing and what the house is consuming. Monitoring like this allows folks to see exactly what’s being made by the system and consumed by the house so you really get to drill into energy efficiency as a consumer.