Heights solar company lighting up Central Texas | Business

HARKER HEIGHTS — Every solar panel installation company will tell you it is the best, but how can you tell which one is telling the truth?

One way to know is by a rating from an industry expert, such as Solar Power World magazine, which recently ranked Solar CenTex No. 371 out of 500 solar contractor companies in the United States.

This is the third year in a row the Harker Heights company at 1901 E. Farm-to-Market 2410 earned a top spot, and owner Scott Arey is especially proud.

“We continue to grow each year as our reputation for quality and value spreads across Central Texas,” Arey said. “We nearly doubled our installations from 2016.”

The annual Top Solar Contractors list was developed by Solar Power World to recognize the work completed by solar contractors.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the U.S. solar market installed more than 14,700 megawatts of solar in 2016, almost a 50 percent increase in the capacity of 2015. GTM Research and the association predict the U.S. solar market will triple over the next five years.

As of the end of 2016, Texas had a total installed capacity of 1,215 megawatts of solar energy, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. This represented a 124 percent increase over 2015, and puts Texas ninth in the nation.

Even more important to Arey is the customer rating at Solarreviews.com, similar to an Angie’s List for solar companies, where customers gave the company 4.96 of 5 stars.

With more than 350 solar projects, mostly residential, since the company started in 2014, Arey attributes the growth to multiple factors that separate Solar CenTex from its competitors — skilled staff, local presence and honesty with customers.

“My staff has advanced training and professional certifications, along with four years’ experience, so they understand what they’re doing,” he said, adding Solar Centex is also the only solar contractor in the area.

“Customers see us in the stores and know they can call us anytime; we’re here in the community.”

Additionally, the beauty of the work wins praise from clients, since the company doesn’t do, what Arey calls, “ugly solar.”

“Our conduits are hidden on the underside of the roof, so they’re not seen, and we don’t cram as many panels on the roof like other installers,” he said.

The company employs 12, and the type of work includes rooftop, ground arrays, dual-axis trackers, battery backup/off-grid, and solar pergolas.

A battery backup solar system is becoming a more viable option as customers think about energy security and resiliency, he said.

“We install a state-of-the-art battery back-up system in case of power black outs, and we hit three peak records for electrical use in July,” he said.

Arey said his role as a business owner is not only to install a quality product, but also to honestly tell his customers what they can expect from a solar system.

“Some solar installers overestimate a new system and promise more than it can produce, so a customer doesn’t get the savings he was told,” Arey said. “But we’re completely honest with clients, giving them an accurate evaluation and projected cost savings from their new system.”

Arey, a retired Army colonel, spent 25 years as a helicopter pilot, but he traded national security for energy security, and earned certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, the industry’s highest certification.

Arey combined his passion for solar energy and the need in the area for an expert solar provider when he started ​the company.

“I know electrical prices will go up and solar becomes the ultimate hedge against that to meet future energy needs as Texas continues to grow,” Arey said.

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5 August 2017 7:07 pm
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