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Solar Power Rocks

Clear info on home solar power rebates, tax credits, and other benefits

Dan Hahn

Traveling through the south in the summer of 2007, I realized a few things. For one, it was hot. Really hot. Second, I was really tired of driving. That day I’d made it from Savannah, Georgia up to the middle of North Carolina. There wasn’t a soul to be found on the state road I was driving on, so I pulled over and got out. I gazed up at the sun, then down at the asphalt and stood there in a mixture of awe and dehydration for a few minutes. At the side of the road was an abandoned service station – the heat slowly slithering off the top of the old black roof.

Though I grew up in Chicago and am no stranger to what muggy feels like, this was oppressive – the equivalent perhaps of being inside someone’s mouth, with a fever. I started the car again, the heat and sun still on my mind and drove through the scrappy outskirts of Durham, looking for signs of minor league baseball and Tim Robbins. Though I found neither, I parked my car in a shaded garage, 6 floors above ground – enough altitude for a view of tarred rooftops stretching miles into the horizon. The panorama was a mirage of pale grey roofline and hazy sky. At that moment, I began thinking about why it was that none of these properties had solar panels on them.

I began researching tax credits and payback periods for solar hot water systems and photovoltaics in my own state of Oregon. I was blown away by what I found. Just a month earlier, the Oregon legislature had passed a huge bill to spur solar implementation. They offer a 50% tax credit for businesses installing solar equipment. Couple this with rapid depreciation, an incentive from the energy trust of Oregon, and a federal tax credit, and there is zero net cost after 1 year. Zero cost! What?! Every single business in the state should be getting in on this.

My old friend Dave Llorens called me an hour later, explaining he was at a career crossroads and didn’t know which path to take. I explained the solar incentives passed in Oregon and urged him to look into options in California. Perhaps we could form our own solar water heating business? To do that, we figured the best way to learn all that we’d need to learn about solar was to communicate it to everyone else who was also interested. A month later, solarpowerrocks.com was launched.

While I was still finishing my master’s in I/O psychology, Dave landed a job providing solar solutions to San Francisco area businesses and homeowners. Utilizing his honesty, humor (I argue this is a skill), intellect, and persistence, he has become the best salesperson in the company in less than 6 months. Now that I have completed my master’s program, I am now an independent solar energy consultant and a human resource management consultant. How about that?

Feel free to call or email me with any opportunities or questions.

dan@solarpowerrocks.com
503-470-9544

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38 thoughts on “Dan Hahn

  1. Anonymous says:

    What can i do to get my foot in the door? where I live is an almost untapped resource. There are no companies within a 100 mile radius that has any dealings in solar power. I’d like to provide a “foothold” for a successful established company to help people in this area realize the potential of this resource…..any advice would be welcomed.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I realize I may have gotten to the party late but I am here now. I live in a place that has an almost untouched market. I read an earlier article about all the things i should do to prepare myself before I start applying for a sales position in solarpanel sales. Since then ive been flooding my every waking moment with some sort of information about solar power and its almost limitless potential.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Dear Dan, I am a single mom in Spring Texas I own a house and want to put in a solar system for my home. But being a single income house i can’t afford the 45000 dollar quote I received. is there any way to get solar panels for my home cheaper or free that could help me? Beverly

  4. bruce says:

    Dan and Dave,

    I had a detailed question for you but your “contact” page does not seem to be working; there is no form to fill out where the text suggests there should be one.

    1. Dave Llorens says:

      Bruce that’s really concerning. Can you email us the link to what is broken?

      dan or dave at solarpowerrocks.com

  5. Kris says:

    I was recently given my freedom from my place of employment after 16+ years. I have returned to school seeking a new degree in energy management. I am in Massachusetts and took advantage of the financial plan laid out by S.P.R. that enables the people of the commonwealth to install a system for essentially $0 out of pocket. This information gave me the ammunition to win a debate in class and gave me an A for the assignment. Do you have a Marketing Strategy? I would like to summarize it for another class. Thank you for what you do. I am looking forward to becoming a more active renewable energy soldier.

  6. Steven Carp says:

    Your website contact forms for installers ect. are not functioning. We are a company with solar panels, as well as soon to be release new solar and hydrogen fuel technology. We are looking for investors (take advantage of the 30% tax credit) and installations.

    1. Dave Llorens says:

      Steven, I’d love to know what’s not funcitoning, can you be more specific? Please hit me at dave@solarpowerrocks.com

  7. Barry says:

    I love the solar information on the site, but the political party bashing is really a put off. Both parties are full of thieves and power brokers not just one of them. “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Any one who believes or sells the premise that one political party is better for America than the other is just being fooled by the party they’ve chosen. If you want your local tax dollars to stay local then push for a huge reduction in federal power returning it to the people and the states like the founders intended.Such blue against red discussion is a huge waste of time and contributes nothing to solar energy in America. The Democratic party had the house and senate (with a 59/60 vote majority)for the last two years and made no monumental contributions to renewable energy. Let’s concentrate on renewable energy petitions, rallies and getting the power of govenment back in the hands of he people not political attacks on two parties which are just the same. Really, its like arguing over who is more evil, Manson or Bundy. Total waste of website resources. I gues it’s kind of like the solar discussion on the site is green and the party dissing is big oil.

  8. Hartlett says:

    Hi Dan

  9. Mella says:

    Dear Dan,
    I am a 35-year-old massage therapist in Santa Fe, NM. I’ve been reading and learning about solar power since November of last year and am hopeful to enter the Solar movement as a bright and enthusiastic professional salesperson. I’ve been away from sales and marketing for about 8 years, but at one time, was a very passionate member of a sales team with a 13-state territory in the natural foods industry (before the devolution of co-op distribution).
    I’m enjoying your article on entering the Solar field (August, 2008) and am looking forward to attending a SEI workshop in Mesa, AZ next week; “Solar Sales and Marketing” with Andy Black. If you have any further suggestions for me, before I begin job searching, I would be most appreciative of your guidance.
    Kind Regards,
    Mella Hunter

  10. MELBZ says:

    Btw, Dan your profile on here is admirable… Good job!! Keep it up more power and God Bless!

  11. MELBZ says:

    Need help… Would anyone know where I can get statistics on solar power usage in Dallas, Phoenix and Albuquerque??? Need some facts for my project… Thank you and Happy Holidays…. Please email me url or notes at melba.notario@live.com

  12. Mark Hagerty says:

    Dan,
    Love the new ‘Report Card’ for the states.
    Although I believe Michigan’s needs to be updated to reflect the recent changes.
    Michigan is now a True Net Metering state.
    Our Interconnection policy is very user friendly. It is the same application regardless of the utility company. The utility company has 30 days to approve/reject them. It is only $75.00 for the interconnect and $25.00 for the Net Metering agreements.
    Thanks for the great work.

  13. Sean Ryan says:

    Great site. We make pet products that gives back to green causes. We would love to have our Solar Power Pooch products help support this site. We feel that solar needs to be the future of power.

    Take a look and let us know if you are interested:
    http://wagginggreen.com/Products/Saving%20The%20Earth%20Collections/SolarPowered/Solarpowered.html

  14. Matt Macfadden says:

    I have recently gotten the solar bug. It happend while taking some corporate sustainability courses during my MBA at George Washington University. I have good sales experience and am looking for any opportunity to get my feet wet in the industry.
    If anyone has any ideas I would be truly greatful.
    Thanks

  15. Jena Winberry says:

    Dear Dan and Dave,

    I’m writing to see if you’re still looking for your solar energy ninja. I tried emailing your Craigslist email but the address had expired, so this might be a futile effort. I apologize for posting this in your comments, but was not sure how else to reach you. If you are still looking, I’m very interested in applying for the position. Your ad stood out to me for multiple reasons: it was clever, well-written, and thorough. Most importantly, your ad made me laugh and it felt very genuine.

    A little about me: right now I reside in Washington, DC, but I am planning to move to Portland, OR this summer. I currently work as the Assistant to the Chairman at the National Endowment for the Arts, I majored in English: Creative Writing, Poetry (GPA 3.7 at graduation from The Colorado College in 2008), and I have interned for the sustainable, organic, free trade coffee and tea enterprise BuyWell International. I can email my resume for further details.

    I have all of the requirements and almost all of the pluses you listed on Craigslist (although I can’t attest to how well Dave writes). While I have not interfaced with local government in the environmental sector, I do maintain relationships with state and local arts agencies in my current position and am well versed in the ways of the federal government. I would love to change careers and work in the environmental field. While I may not have a scientific background, I do feel very strongly about the need to use renewable energy sources and motivate our culture towards sustainable living.

    If you think I might be a good fit and would like to meet in person, I will be in Portland on April 24th and 25th.

    Best,
    Jena O. Winberry
    jenaow@gmail.com

  16. Bob Gramm says:

    Dan and Dave,

    Great web site. I am just starting a residential home addition in Downers Grove, IL, and need some recommendations to include a solar system for electricity generation. Info on systems and sub-contractors to use will be greatly appreciated.

  17. michael Scott says:

    Are there any schools in atlanta ga. that offer training on installing solar panels?

  18. Dan Hahn says:

    Max,

    Thanks for your comment. We’re here to get all the information out there so people who can take advantage of available credits at least know about them. If you can’t take advantage of these incentives, at least you know you can’t (hopefully we’ve helped you determine that too). We urge you to clamor for better incentives that are more meaningful to you. Don’t shoot the messenger! We’re here to help.

  19. max says:

    Dan, yes, and what about the poor souls who can’t use any of these ‘TAX Incentives’? where is there incentive?

  20. Avi Dey says:

    12 October, 2008

    TO: Dan Hahn

    I found your website quite accidentally while looking for Virginia Solar Case Studies.

    You have some interesting info, but I think you are trying to do too much for too many people.

    “Mass Community” is really a “fiction”. In fact, you are attempting “mass community”.

    “Regional Cluster” Community for solar is a much better option.

    Lastly, you are obviously the leader of this website. But you say nothing about yourself !

    Your trip to NC is interesting, and caught my attention since I am from NC and taken very driving trips through NC.

    By the way I am a qualified independent tv producer at Fairfax Community TV, Fairfax, VA.

    I am also an engineer and a renewable energy consultant.

    I can find out who you are and what you want, may be we can find some synergy of interest relating to solar in our Virginia/DCM Region.

    Avi Dey

  21. JimmyD says:

    Dan…

    I’ve linked your site from mine, per your request. :)

    As my site grows, hopefully awareness will too! If you’re so inclined, you may link mine as well.

    http://www.jjhamilton.com/solar.html

    JimmyD

  22. Dan Hahn says:

    Bob,

    Thanks for your support and kind words. We’d love any contributions you are willing to make to our cause. If you write some good content, we’ll publish it in a heartbeat.

    Looking forward to it,

    – Dan

  23. Bob says:

    I am among the many new fans of the website. Actually, I’m in awe. May I suggest (unless I missed it) a type of clearinghouse for industry opportunities – education, training, jobs etc.
    I know you have enough to do, but it won’t stop, you just have to find good help.
    I’d like to throw my hat in the ring for a support position – specifically research and content!
    Keep up the good work – and be proud of what you have going on here, it really is first class.

  24. Exactly, Steve,

    We’ll get some more standardized best practices in solar along with municipalities following the 2008 NEC code. Things are solidifying but it’s a slow process.

  25. The organization I work for spent several years investigating the green energy industry, especially solar, and were amazed at the wide variety of often-conflicting standards & practices in training, certification, and regulations. So we committed to delivering courses that point to where those elements are likely to stabilize in the market, instead of teaching the “home-grown” information that has commonly been taught for the past 30 years. Things are changing rapidly now, and moving towards standards & certification.

    Our students are split between those wanting to work as PV installers, and those wanting to work as designers / estimators / sales people. The process of how solar energy works is not complicated, so the most important things we can teach are the various factors & real-world scenarios that are rarely the same between two solar energy customers.

    Steve Watkins
    Director, Partner & Academic Relations
    stevew@bootsontheroof.com

  26. Ford Clark says:

    Also, it needs to be ASAP!

  27. Ford Clark says:

    I am working on a documentary for the University of Nebraska about alternative fuels, and I am looking for someone who would be willing to let me come out and shoot some video and possibly conduct an interview about solar power. It needs to be relatively close to Lincoln, but you would be seen by legistlators across the Midwest.

  28. Teddy Bouchereau says:

    I wonder what it would take to promote your products here in Georgia , where there is lil to no solar power being used, But I feel very strongly that if there is something reasonable offerred to them they would take it as a replacement to the conventional power methods. I am seeking to promote your products via street temas and rapped vehicles if this is of any interest to you please get in touch with me. I also work out of florida and atlanta promoting products for companiees based out of florida and atlanta. If your interested please let me know where i can send u a proposal and presentation of our past clients and current clients and marketing we have done

  29. TODD says:

    HOW CAN I START A CAREER IN THE SOLAR INDUSTRY WITH NO ELECTRICAL BACKGOUND? I WANT TO GET IN THIS INDUSTRY BEFORE IT REALLY BLOWS UP. WHAT DOES ANYONE RECOMEND?

  30. This email may come unsolicited, but I believe we have similar intentions. I am the founder of LynxStreet.com. The concept is an online trading floor (auction) for intellectual property that is exclusively green in nature. My concept will hopefully be a catalyst for bringing ingenuity to market. As corporations realize the importance, from a public image motive or economic incentive, ‘green’ innovation will become essential to propel our world through sustainability and positive transformation from our habits, our effects through negligence or apathy, to given solutions in a number of prominent fields. From air quality to waste management, LynxStreet is offering a platform for intellectual property to be categorized and auctioned.

    We have made a sincere conscious effort to assuage the needs of both buyers and sellers. We have made available a Wanted Ads section on the homepage to promote any sought after solutions or expertise, free. We are seeking membership, but more importantly, we are hungry for ideas. This is the recourse for that anonymous inventor in some small town to post his idea that he feels can change the planet. This is the site where companies can get that PR makeover without investing in timeless R&D. Or where governments can come to collaborate with other entities to show a level of eco-awareness and responsibility.

    Any voice you may have, in willingness to promote the concept in terms of awareness and collective support, is greatly appreciated.

    Best regards,

    Jordan Barenburg
    CEO – Founder of LynxSreet

  31. Clark Mackintosh says:

    You’ve got a great and informative site. Do you have any advice for a recent college graduate trying to get into this area? I finished at the University of San Francisco with a business degree about a year ago, and would really like to get involved in Solar with a company here in the Bay Area. I know you’ve probably got alot going on yourself, but if you could set aside some time to either swap some emails or set a call I’d really appreciate it. All the best…

  32. Wilmer says:

    Dear all;
    I am an Uruguayan leaving in a tourist resourse town called Maldonado in Uruguay South America. I am very interested in getting in contact with some of those comapanies who manufacter solar panels. I would like to find out the posibility of importing them into this country. Although Argentina produce them they are not interested in distribute their product.
    Many thanks for your help.

  33. SolarGy Services says:

    Thanks for the wealth of information you have put on your site, very nice! Keep up the great work you guys are doing for the future of this planet. Earth needs a lot more of us Renewable Energy junkies.

  34. Tikor says:

    Just wanted to congratulate you guys on an awesome site. I’m a graduate student and future home owner who may just install one of these systems someday. I’ve found it informative and entertaining (though in need of a few technical edits in places). I read you guys were in the negative, so I bought a shirt. Ever think of selling the site to a lobbying group?

  35. REX JAMES says:

    Great site, i was gong to get some college students together as an internship project and get all this stuff together. now i can put them to work on sonmething else, that is unless you have some ideas of more stuff that needs to be collected and organized for easy access to the industry, business and home solar investors.

    I was your age when i got the bug, 3 years out of Cornell (1976) trying to get the world into action.

    The company i am with now has been in business since 1986 and has done a tremenduos job of staying in the business and moving forward.

    We install anywhere in florida and ship equipmenmt and expertise all over the country.

    If you can send people our way we would give them excellent service.

    If you want to set up an affiliate relationship and promote our shopping cart, we could help you pay for grad school !!!

    Hope to hear from you.
    Rex James
    VP Market Development
    Solar Direct.

  36. Ronny Hahn says:

    I am notA US citizenBut I am a proud uncle
    My sincere compliments

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