What prompted you to start Solect Energy 8 years ago?
Craig, Jim and I, the three founders of Solect, all had well-established careers at large, high tech and financial companies. However, we were eager to build a business from the ground up that reflected our values and to foster a company culture that supported those values. We were intrigued with how the internet was disrupting how business was conducted, bringing new efficiencies and cost savings. We looked around for the next disruptive technology on the horizon that would deliver big rewards for customers, and we saw solar as a promising opportunity.
Why did you focus on the business market vs. the residential or utility-scale markets?
As we explored the opportunities for a new company in solar, it was clear there were already large players in the residential and utility-scale spaces. What we did not see was a solar company selling to the commercial and industrial (C&I) markets, essentially solar for mid-sized businesses and organizations. Selling to businesses was a focus for all of us in our previous careers. So we honed in on this important market that was not being served by this new technology. From our previous experience we knew that sharp, mid-market business folks would quickly appreciate the value propositions of solar. We were also steeped in a commitment to customer service. We knew we could translate these skills to our solar customers to ensure they were getting a superior experience and value. And this has been a key differentiator for us.
What have been the most important lessons learned along the way?
Community is important. We have deep roots in Hopkinton, and we’re committed to staying active, volunteering and giving back to the local communities where we live and work.
The customer experience is paramount. We want our customers to have an outstanding experience from the moment we first meet with them, through the time their array is turned on, and for the next 20 years as we maintain and optimize their system.
Lastly, hire the best people, and give them measurable goals to work toward. We pride ourselves on what we call KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), and we evaluate them on a quarterly basis.
What will the future bring?
We are thrilled with how far Solect Energy has come. Our strategy has been validated. An analysis of Massachusetts Department of Energy (DOER) data, and rankings from Solar Power World and Inc. magazine show that we once again achieved the top ranking for commercial-scale, solar rooftop providers in Massachusetts.
Moving forward the goal is two-fold: to extend the benefits of solar with new technologies such as storage. And 2) to continue to broaden into new regions where businesses and non-profits are eager to harness the power of solar to substantially reduce their energy expenditures.