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7184RE: [hreg] RE experience

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  • Kevin Conlin
    Jan 9, 2008

      Good advice, Jim.  Everybody loves solar, and a lot of people want to be in the business, but as you know firsthand, making a living at it is not always easy.




      Kevin Conlin

      Solarcraft, Inc.

      4007 C Greenbriar

      Stafford, TX 77477-4536

      Local (281) 340-1224

      Toll Free (877) 340-1224

      Fax 281 340 1230

      Cell 281 960 8979




      Please make a note of our new contact information above.


      From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jim & Janet
      Sent: Wednesday, January 09, 2008 1:17 PM
      To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [hreg] RE experience


      The cost and the PV course certificate is the easy part. In 1993 the cost of a PV design and installation course was $1200.00 and took 40 hours. There were no PP presentations, CD's or online study guides. The manuals, 2-3 ring binders were 2 inches thick each. There were hours of lectures, o/h projectors and whiteboard notes as well as the hands on part. A complete written design was required and was hand graded. You will still get what you pay for.

      I know of almost no PV installation companies in Texas that didn't begin at the ground up and bust their hump to get whatever modest income they have achieved. Many others have failed or given up and vanished from our ranks. Those who hang on will hopefully succeed but it won't happen until the incentives arrive statewide.

      Even AE's decent rebate program has seen installers startup and still fail. I personally find it hard to believe that a truly dedicated PV installation company could NOT survive with the "free money" as is available in the Austin market. Granted the free money brings installers "out of the woodwork" but only the smart and motivated will survive. The exception is usually the deep pockets.

      Still businesses with deep pockets have no excuse not to survive, though having adequate business collateral still doesn't guarantee that a company can do a safe, reputable and efficient PV installation.

      If you are looking for job security you already posses it. If you are looking for a new career at your age (my age too) you have as good a chance as any other entrepreneur. But if you don't have the stomach for a long hard struggle, you won't be happy and you probably won't survive.

      Good luck

      Jim Duncan

      North Texas Renewable Energy Inc
      ntrei@earthlink. net




      ----- Original Message -----

      Sent: Wednesday, January 09, 2008 12:17 PM

      Subject: Re: [hreg] RE experience


      Try looking at the online courses from Solar Energy International.


      Hello all,
      I have been a residential electrician (some
      commercial/industri al) for almost 28 years now. I have tried before to
      brainstorm how to get RE experience while staying employed to keep my
      family finances intact. While exploring the job market nationally most
      employers want someone already versed in the trade of Solar lets say.
      OK, well I looked at getting certified either in Austin or Colorado to
      be able to sit for the NABCEP exam. The courses are quite expensive
      and consume precious work time ($$). Being self-employed this presents
      quite a situation I have always had a passion for RE, homebuilding,
      along with passive/mass solar installations and this has become quite
      frustrating. With all of the problem-solving and intelligence from
      this group I plead my case for any ideas that you all may have.
      Thank you all in advance,
      William B. Stange


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