Build Native http://buildnative.com Leading Green Home Building and Residential/Commercial Solar Power Experts Tue, 14 Apr 2015 14:47:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Announcing Partnership with 1Sun Solutions http://buildnative.com/announcing-partnership-with-1sun-solutions/ http://buildnative.com/announcing-partnership-with-1sun-solutions/#comments Fri, 10 Apr 2015 18:44:07 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?p=12499 AUSTIN, TEXAS – April 10, 2015 – NATiVE, a leader in green building and solar contracting, has finalized a formal partnership with 1Sun Solutions. 1Sun Solutions is an employee-owned installation company that offers industry leading solar installation expertise with over 40 years of comb...

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solar installers austinAUSTIN, TEXAS – April 10, 2015 – NATiVE, a leader in green building and solar contracting, has finalized a formal partnership with 1Sun Solutions. 1Sun Solutions is an employee-owned installation company that offers industry leading solar installation expertise with over 40 years of combined experience in the field.

1Sun Solutions is comprised of NATiVE’s former installation teams and is managed by Brandon Gibbs. Brandon has 5 years of solar industry experience and a total of 15 years experience in construction management, most recently serving as NATiVE’s Solar Operations Manager. Brandon’s unmatched work ethic and attention to detail make him uniquely qualified to lead the 1Sun Solutions team.

The last few years have resulted in dramatic cost reductions in the solar industry, coming primarily from the equipment manufacturers. The largest area of cost control that a solar contractor has is installation cost reduction through increased efficiency. During this period of cost reductions, the industry has seen trends toward outsourced installations – similar to that of the building construction industry. NATiVE’s partnership with 1Sun Solutions provides the installation cost containment necessary to be competitive, while retaining ownership of the customer experience by working with the same team and culture that built its reputation for quality.

This unique business model was developed to allow Native to focus on design and project management while empowering 1Sun Solutions’ employees to progress their solar careers and build upon their proven track record. Establishing 1Sun Solutions as an employee-owned company resonates the quality message throughout the organization, with each employee owner taking a special sense of pride in their work. 1Sun Solutions’ team of NABCEP certified installers and licensed electricians helped create NATiVE’s reputation for industry leading workmanship and will continue to do so for NATiVE and other solar companies who are seeking high quality installation work.

About NATiVE
NATiVE is an industry leading green building and solar contractor. Native was named by Solar Power World as a top 150 national solar contractor and top 5 solar contractor in Texas and by Austin Business Journal as the 10th fastest growing business in the Austin area, as well as a top 10 custom home builder in the area. More information about Native can be found at www.buildnative.com.

About 1Sun Solutions
1Sun Solutions is an employee owned company comprised of talented solar professionals who are responsible for over 10MW of installed capacity. 1Sun Solutions is built upon a foundation of quality workmanship and excellent customer service. More information about 1Sun Solutions can be found at www.1sunsolutions.com.

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Why Go Solar Now? http://buildnative.com/why-go-solar-now/ http://buildnative.com/why-go-solar-now/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 17:59:31 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?p=12449 As we head into another scorching summer in Texas, the temptation to go solar is only natural. Look outside: Our roofs are drenched in untapped energy reserves. But with solar prices plummeting over the last several years, isn’t it better to wait until prices hit “rock bottom”? Why pull the trigger ...

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go solar

As we head into another scorching summer in Texas, the temptation to go solar is only natural. Look outside: Our roofs are drenched in untapped energy reserves. But with solar prices plummeting over the last several years, isn’t it better to wait until prices hit “rock bottom”? Why pull the trigger on solar now?

Over the last several years, solar adoption has soared, pushing solar panel prices to an all-time low.  System costs since 1998 have fallen 75% and Texas boasts  the lowest solar installation prices in the country. But if you wait a year or two, won’t the costs drop even more?

Maybe. But maybe not. Much of the cost has been driven out of the system components and future cost reductions will be much more gradual.  When you’re evaluating the pros and cons of buying a system now or waiting, consider the cost of waiting. Currently available incentives won’t last forever.

The Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit is due to expire at the end of 2016, unless legislators intervene. This tax credit is a boon to solar adopters as it offsets 30% of the system cost. Local utility incentives – while still healthy in many communities across Texas – can change at any moment. To avoid the Gold Rush effect, Austin Energy doesn’t give advance warning when its solar rebates are going to change. Oncor’s residential rebate pool dropped 20% from last year and is expected to be depleted by summer. In San Antonio, CPS is moving away from net metering to a PPA model, and its current rebate program is likely to expire at the end of this year.

Meanwhile, electricity prices are going up every year – in Texas, utility rates are expected to rise an average of 65 percent over the next 25 years, the average lifespan of a solar PV system.  Any calculation of the cost of waiting must weigh these increases against the potential benefits of adding solar to your home.

When you buy your solar system – and there are many financing options now that make buying much more attractive than leasing – you are adding an asset to your home that is now recognized just like any other home improvement such as a new water heater or roof, with one monumental difference: This asset generates ongoing cash for your family to apply to your utility bill. Does your refrigerator do that?

But if you’re still not convinced that the benefits outweigh the costs, consider this: According to a new report by the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center, a financed solar PV system already costs less than the energy purchased from a residential customer’s local utility in 42 of the 50 largest cities in the United States—and seven of those cities are in Texas.

Texas – the bellwether energy state — took an early lead in renewables, becoming the #1 state for wind. We are second only to California in terms of solar energy potential, and we have among the lowest solar installation costs in the country. Yet Texas ranks EIGHTH in solar capacity nationwide.

Texas has the unbridled opportunity to become one of the leaders in rooftop solar. But so far, when it comes to solar, we’ve been – as they say in the Lone Star State – “all hat and no cattle.”
Why are we waiting? If for no other reason than pure Texas pride, it’s time to take our energy leadership back – and make Texas #1 in solar.

Go Solar!

Go Solar Go Solar Go Solar

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Field Marketing Representatives http://buildnative.com/now-hiring-for-field-marketing-positions/ http://buildnative.com/now-hiring-for-field-marketing-positions/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 16:28:24 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?p=12279 Responsibilities: Create strong partner relationships built on Customer engagement, commitment and customer service Initiate, schedule and attend community events in order to promote Native’s full-scope of services Provide weekly and monthly reporting statistics and communication on current and upco...

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field marketing

Native is a leader in renewable energy and construction. Our continued growth has resulted in multiple positions opening up in our Marketing Department.

As a Field Marketing Representative, you generate solar leads by educating homeowners on the benefits of solar. Your role impacts sales results by developing, supporting and executing field marketing campaigns and activities. You will create and maintain strong lasting partner relationships built on Customer engagement, commitment and customer service. If you have a passion for sustainable energy and love working with the local community, this job is for you.

Field Marketing Representative
Type: Part-time
Open: Immediately
Deadline: March 15, 2015
(or until filled)
Apply Here

Responsibilities:

  • Create strong partner relationships built on Customer engagement, commitment and customer service
  • Initiate, schedule and attend community events in order to promote Native’s full-scope of services
  • Provide weekly and monthly reporting statistics and communication on current and upcoming objectives
  • Demonstrate a strong understanding of the solar industry and Native’s business goals
  • Consult and advise Customers about solar, while emphasizing product features and demonstrating technical knowledge of our products
  • Develop and maintain detailed records of Customer visits and activity and prepare monthly reports to define Customer value
  • Ensure customer satisfaction and create the best possible experience for the Customer
  • Develop and share best practices from the Field Marketing Representative role

 

Qualifications:

  • Experience in customer service, sales or marketing preferred
  • Exudes professionalism and confidence as a Representative of Native
  • Plans, organizes and prioritizes in an efficient and productive manner
  • Demonstrates tenacity and willingness to go the distance to get something done
  • Adaptable to changing priorities and conditions; anticipates and copes with change effectively
  • Ability to work independently and contribute in a team environment
  • Exceptional communication skills, including presenting and training abilities
  • Desire to Succeed
  • Candidate should have a flexible work schedule and have reliable transportation.

 
Interested applicants should fill out our online Native Application with resume on the Native website prior to the deadline. Qualified applicants will be called to schedule an interview.

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Women in Solar Energy http://buildnative.com/women-solar-energy/ http://buildnative.com/women-solar-energy/#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 15:03:37 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?p=12223 #NationWISE (Women in Solar Energy) Join the #NationWISE Multi-City Round Table Women in Solar Energy (WISE) is hosting a nationwide roundtable on Tuesday, 2/24. Be part of the movement to foster a better female workforce for clean energy and network with others in the growing solar industry. Native...

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women in solar energy

#NationWISE (Women in Solar Energy)

Join the #NationWISE Multi-City Round Table

Women in Solar Energy (WISE) is hosting a nationwide roundtable on Tuesday, 2/24. Be part of the movement to foster a better female workforce for clean energy and network with others in the growing solar industry.

Native’s Cathy Redson joins execs from SunPower, Public Citizen and others in the industry to share stories and advice during a historic multi-city round table on Tuesday, February 24, 2015.

The Austin event will take place at

Sagra
1050 E. 11th #100
Austin, Texas 78702
from 5:30 to 7 pm.
Register here: Women in Solar Energy
#NationWISE

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River Bend http://buildnative.com/portfolio/river-bend/ http://buildnative.com/portfolio/river-bend/#comments Thu, 05 Feb 2015 20:55:29 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?post_type=portfolio&p=12149 River Bend – Austin, TX Click Image for Gallery The River Bend Project is a 3.78kW residential solar photovoltaic (PV) array consisting of 14 270W LG modules and 14 Enphase M250 microinverters. Our river front client can expect to generate a minimum of 25 years, maintenance free, clean energy ...

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River Bend – Austin, TX

Click Image for Gallery

The River Bend Project is a 3.78kW residential solar photovoltaic (PV) array consisting of 14 270W LG modules and 14 Enphase M250 microinverters. Our river front client can expect to generate a minimum of 25 years, maintenance free, clean energy from this NATiVE solar array, offsetting hundreds of tons of CO2 over it’s lifetime.

get started on your residential solar project
 
 

Project Features:

3.78kW Solar Array
(14) 270W LG Solar Panels
(14) Enphase M250 Microinverters

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Energy Monitoring http://buildnative.com/energy-monitoring/ http://buildnative.com/energy-monitoring/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 16:00:56 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?p=11949 “If you can not measure it, you can not improve it” - Lord Kelvin We are in the midst of a mindshift of the energy consumer. Consumers are becoming keenly aware of not only the direct cost of the energy that they use, but also of the external health and environmental effects as well. For a multitude...

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energy monitoring
energy monitoring

“If you can not measure it, you can not improve it”
- Lord Kelvin

We are in the midst of a mindshift of the energy consumer. Consumers are becoming keenly aware of not only the direct cost of the energy that they use, but also of the external health and environmental effects as well. For a multitude of reasons, they are looking to reduce the amount of energy that is being supplied by the grid.

But our homes are complex energy distribution centers. We connect dozens to hundreds of lights, appliances, and plugs into our homes, and most of us have no idea of what energy is being used where.

For many, installing a solar system is a sure fire way to reduce utility energy consumption. But even after a solar system is installed, a client may have several questions:

  • Is my solar array producing the power that I was told?
  • Is my energy usage appropriate for my home?
  • What other opportunities are there to reduce my energy consumption?
  • How should these other opportunities be prioritized?

There is one answer to all of these questions: energy monitoring.

Awareness is the first step towards change and it is gained through measurement. The energy monitor is the enabling tool in this process. It consists of a small device that connects to the electrical panel in your home that can be configured to measure a variety of different energy flows throughout your house in real time. Energy monitors also collect energy usage over time. This allows you to understand energy usage patterns and identify opportunities to make positive steps to change.

Energy monitors can provide energy consumption down to the appliance level. Think of it as your home’s fingerprint, by analyzing this print, we are able to find patterns and usage and identify areas where energy can be saved. We have been able to identify a failing HVAC system, point out an inefficient pool pump, and even find an overactive water heater.

Below is an example of one day’s energy usage in one of our client’s homes. The area in red represents energy that the home is using from the grid. The area in white represents energy that the home is using from the solar system on the roof. The area in green represents excess solar energy that is being fed back into grid.

energy monitoring

In addition to this macro level view, there are also individual circuits being monitored, that allows the homeowner to identify specific appliances in the home. Having this data provides a slate of options for the customer when looking for other ways to reduce energy consumption.

When you measure, you will improve it…and you can quote us on that.

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FM 1704 http://buildnative.com/portfolio/fm-1704/ http://buildnative.com/portfolio/fm-1704/#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2015 18:20:51 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?post_type=portfolio&p=11926 FM 1704 – Elgin, Texas Click Image for Gallery The FM 1704 Project is a beautiful Elgin high-performance home that was NATiVE built and features a unique design and an abundance of energy-saving solutions. Project Features...

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FM 1704 – Elgin, Texas

Click Image for Gallery

The FM 1704 Project is a beautiful Elgin high-performance home that was NATiVE built and features a unique design and an abundance of energy-saving solutions.

get started on your residential construction project

Project Features

29,000 gallon Rainwater collection tank
5.00kW Solar array
Spray foam insulation
Advanced framing
Natural day lighting

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San Jose Way http://buildnative.com/portfolio/san-jose-way/ http://buildnative.com/portfolio/san-jose-way/#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2015 18:03:53 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?post_type=portfolio&p=11909 San Jose Way – Canyon Lake, Texas Click Image for Gallery The San Jose Way Project is a beautiful Canyon Lake high performance passive solar home that was NATiVE built and features an abundance of energy-saving solutions. Project Features...

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San Jose Way – Canyon Lake, Texas

Click Image for Gallery

The San Jose Way Project is a beautiful Canyon Lake high performance passive solar home that was NATiVE built and features an abundance of energy-saving solutions.

get started on your residential construction project

Project Features

Rainwater collection tank
5.00kW Solar array
Spray foam insulation
Standing seam galvalume roof
Advanced framing
Natural day lighting

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Canyon View http://buildnative.com/portfolio/canyon-view/ http://buildnative.com/portfolio/canyon-view/#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2015 17:20:07 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?post_type=portfolio&p=11875 Canyon View - Dripping Springs, Texas Click Image for Gallery The Canyon View Project is a beautiful hill country high performance passive solar home that was NATiVE built in Dripping Springs, Texas. Project Features...

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Canyon View - Dripping Springs, Texas

Click Image for Gallery

The Canyon View Project is a beautiful hill country high performance passive solar home that was NATiVE built in Dripping Springs, Texas.

get started on your residential construction project

Project Features

Rainwater collection tank
3.00kW Solar array
Geo Thermal
Spray foam insulation
Standing seam galvalume roof
Advanced framing
Natural day lighting

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American Dream 2.0 http://buildnative.com/american-dream-2-0/ http://buildnative.com/american-dream-2-0/#comments Mon, 05 Jan 2015 15:23:29 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?p=11665 If You’ve Ever Considered Solar, You Must Read This Declare Your Independence and Take Ownership of Your Energy The origins of the American Dream date back to the frontier days when early settlers, unbounded by the hierarchical limitations they left behind in Europe, saw the opportunity throug...

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american dream

If You’ve Ever Considered Solar, You Must Read This

Declare Your Independence and Take Ownership of Your Energy

The origins of the American Dream date back to the frontier days when early settlers, unbounded by the hierarchical limitations they left behind in Europe, saw the opportunity through hard work to build a better life for their families. In these early beginnings, and even today, this Dream includes home ownership. The purchase of a home is considered a memorable and significant step in our lives and one that pays homage to history as a time of “settling” down.

Despite our ambition to achieve this Dream of home ownership, most of us are content with the concept of renting the energy it takes to occupy our dream homes. We pay our energy landlords on a monthly basis and don’t think much about it – other than we wish other people in the home could learn to turn off the lights!

Even though as a country, we still power our homes with the same coal fire/steam technology used since the days of the first railroads, we have the ability to power them from our own rooftops. We now have the potential to take the American Dream a step further and own our energy for the same price we’re paying our energy landlords. This is possible due to a concept that enabled most of us the ability to recognize the homeownership dream in the first place: financing.

Native is constantly being contacted by institutions promoting their financing options to gain our customers’ business. Many of these are conventional banks that want to add solar loans as a product they offer, but with terms more similar to an auto loan. Over the years we have found only a few institutions that we felt offered a financing product that met our customers’ needs. However, as the solar industry has matured, more and more financing institutions are starting to offer products. Native’s current offerings reflect the results of a rigorous vetting process so that we can offer specifically designed loans that align with the cost, output, and lifetime of a PV system.

In some areas of Texas, historically the only low/no money down option was a lease product offered by a few large, national solar companies and in very select areas that allow them. While leasing often requires little or no money down, payments are subject to annual escalators, and after 20 years of payment , the lessee has no equity in the system. Also, the sale of homes with leased systems can be problematic if the new owner does not want, or can’t qualify for the existing lease. This could lead to a default, with high penalties owed to reimburse the leasing company.

This fall, new solar finance options have emerged that not only align the financing with the life of the system, but can be cash positive from day one, with little or no money down. This means that the payment is LESS than what the solar system will save off of your electric bill! Not only is your monthly energy bill reduced the same month your system installed, it will never go up as your neighbors’ grid power rates are increased.

This is possible through a 20 year solar loan, with low interest rates starting at 6.49%. The loan is secured by the solar panels on your roof and the loan includes a 15 year solar performance guarantee. If your system goes down or is under performing, it gets serviced for free. To put this another way, because of the long duration (equating to a low monthly payment) and performance guarantee, this loan product has the feel and security of a lease. The difference is you own it!

In addition to the aforementioned solar specific loan, conventional real estate loan options are available for those who are buying/building a new home, remodeling an existing home, or refinancing an existing mortgage. Conventional finance vehicles can include solar as part of the loan with terms consistent with market mortgage rates. The result is the same: loan payments that are less than what would be paid to the utility.

For commercial customers, there are leases and loans that can be cash positive in under 3 years in any Texas market. Commercial customers with access to rebates or production-based incentives [from Austin Energy, CPS Energy in San Antonio, AEP, Oncor, Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative, Sharyland Utilities, or City of San Marcos] can realize immediate positive cash flow when these funds are combined with the 30% federal tax credit and the MACRS accelerated depreciation tax structure.

There are several variables and non-solar related circumstances relevant to every building and homeowner’s specific situation. As a builder who works with its customers to find the best home financing solutions and as a solar integrator that works with its customers to find the best solar financing solutions, Native is uniquely positioned to help navigate these complicated waters. Contact us to learn how to start taking ownership of your energy and live the new American Dream.

financing options

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