Ashland Living and Doing Business Guide 2018-19
“We installed solar on our house. Net zero is the goal -- producing as much electricity as we consume.” -Eric Hansen
Inspired by the urgencies of energy independence and ecological sustainability, Eric Hansen and Shawn Schreiner founded True South Solar in 2010.Their intention: empower as many Southern Oregon home and business owners as possible to transition to solar as soon as possible.
The mission of True South Solar is “Solar on Every Rooftop and Best Jobs Ever.” In 2017, they installed 163 projects (1.2MW). Their goal in 2018 is to install over 1.5 megawatts of solar in Southern Oregon, over 175 projects!
Referrals have been essential to the successful growth of True South Solar. Over half of their business last year came directly from referrals, neighbors and businesses within our community who have become solar advocates. Have a neighbor or business you think should go solar? They reward folks with a $500 dollar referral check for every installation.
They recognize their own diverse team of solar professionals as key to the organization’s success, and their culture reflects this. The company has grown to 20 employees, including four Southern Oregon University alumni. They offer their employees living wages, health care, gym memberships, retirement, and profit sharing, as well as additional job training. True South Solar is a family driven organization, with paid time off, sick leave, and family leave. Their new volunteer policy allows employees to utilize work hours to a volunteer opportunity of their choice. Employees are taking solar seriously with many of them installing solar on their own homes. Currently, 5 employees have made the choice to switch to solar!
True South Solar’s culture of empowerment extends beyond their employees and embraces the community. In collaboration with Talent Maker City, they recently co-chaired the Raising Innovative Solar Engineers (R.I.S.E.) workshop. Talent Middle School students installed solar along-side professionals and learned more about the diverse roles in the solar industry. This workshop is the first of its kind but absolutely not the last. Each year TSS participates in a variety of events and sponsorships like the Rogue Valley Farm to School’s Siskiyou Challenge, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland Independent Film Festival, Peace House, Southern Oregon Land Conservancy, and the Ashland Food Project. Recent commercial projects include Ashland Food Coop Barn, 12.42kW, 36 panels; SOS Plumbing 14.96kW, 44 panels; Ashland Supportive Housing, 14.38kW, 44 panels; Talent Community Center, 15.69kW, 48 panels; Schultz Wine, 11.77kW, 36 panels.
Will your home or business be next? If you haven’t looked at solar for your home or business, now is a great time with federal tax credits and cash incentives available. Give them a call and find out what solar can do for you. To learn more visit: truesouthsolar.net