Preferred contractor spotlight: Sol Reliable
Founded in 2011, Sol Reliable has seen its business grow significantly thanks to its emphasis on excellent customer service and a comprehensive approach to solarelectric services. With offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Sol Reliable has added a wide mix of services under an umbrella called “green energy solutions” – including coolroofing, windows and doors, high-efficiency HVAC, and green home remodeling.
We chatted with Sol Reliable founder and CEO Nir Maimon to talk about the company’s plans for growth and how its partnership with Renew Financial’s CaliforniaFIRST program has helped fuel its expansion.
Tell us about the opportunity you saw in the financing partnership with CaliforniaFIRST.
Nir: We had a problem – 40% cancellation rates on solar jobs we were signing up. A lot of contractors don’t think 40% is that bad, but we are motivated to be the best and we wanted to reduce that number.
We needed to find a program that could help with the money question for customers. In the past, credit scores and debt-to-income ratio were often a challenge for customers seeking financing. CaliforniaFIRST’s PACE option eliminated these obstacles.
I researched a wide range of financing options and CaliforniaFIRST was the perfect solution for our company’s needs. It was the perfect fit for company goals.
In the end, CaliforniaFIRST allowed us to reduce our prices and our cancellation rates dropped to 28%. We’ve been able to add services beyond solar and get help with our long-term business concept.
What do your customers like about CaliforniaFIRST financing?
Nir: This product gives my customers positive cash flow. They enjoy lower product prices and the immediate return on their investment in solar.
One recent example was a local software engineer I worked with. He is hard-working and very successful in his career, and owns a beautiful house that he bought 10 years ago.
This customer’s HVAC equipment was aging fast and he was paying over $150 per month in utility costs. He had spoken with a few other national financing companies about his options, but there were complications with both the job itself and the customer’s credit score.
With CaliforniaFIRST’s PACE financing, we were able to finance $57,000 for a whole-home upgrade project, including solar panels, a cool roof, and a new A/C. The customer is 100% solar today – he has no utility costs.
What does the future hold for Sol Reliable?
Nir: Sol Reliable is looking to expand geographically. We already have a foothold in San Diego and San Francisco, and we have an eye on markets outside of California as well.
Federal rebates are expiring next year, so we’ll need to reinforce our sales and marketing. CaliforniaFIRST and Renew Financial will help us with this.
I’ll always be in this business. I love the concept of solar and am finding it easy to extend and grow the Sol Reliable brand. We are bringing everything in-house for a better customer experience.