Contractors Corner: Titan Solar Construction
The residential solar market in California is very competitive with big names (like SolarCity, Vivint) consistently making headlines and grabbing customers. Smaller companies like Titan Solar Construction out of Van Nuys focuses on customization to make some headway against companies with larger marketing budgets.
“With the larger companies, if a roof needs to be redone, they can’t do it because it’s not part of their business model which is volume and replication,” said Omar Melo, Titan Solar’s director of corporate strategy and development. “If it doesn’t fit into their little box, then they just move on to the next sell. For us, we’re going to customize the project for that particular customer. We [might] install LEDs so the amount [of money] can pencil out to go solar. That holistic, customized approach is what’s working for us.”
Titan Solar’s approach is indeed working. The company formed in 2011 and currently has four offices—three in Southern California and a fourth just opened near San Francisco. It touts itself as a one-stop-shop for energy needs. In addition to PV and thermal solar system installation, the company does HVAC, fuel cells, LED lighting and more.
Working primarily on residential and small commercial projects, Titan Solar’s customers have already taken notice of the potential residential ITC elimination at the end of 2016.
“There is a mad rush to get in before the 11th hour, before the elimination of the tax credit,” Melo said. “It helps people get off the fence knowing that they don’t have forever and it takes time to sell a system.”
As a company, Titan Solar has plans on how to thrive in an industry without tax credits.
“Now it’s a matter of adjusting and preparing for that by managing our costs appropriately, trying different ways to approach the market so we can offer the same value even after the tax credit goes away,” Melo said. “Often times when we install LEDs or upgrade an HVAC system [it is] so the customer is not buying a much bigger [solar] system they may not need if they were already energy efficient. We’re becoming more efficient and looking for ways to make up that difference before that actually comes along.”
Melo said Titan Solar is looking forward to the next few years, because issues with utilities, net metering and tax credits will be sorted out.
“We see in five years that some of these issues are going to be settled,” he said. “Solar will become a lot more mainstream; we won’t be selling just to the early adopters. The writing’s on the wall. We think power feed will start to move more in the favor of solar, as well as market adoptability. It will become more mainstream as people start to see their neighbors [installing solar] and won’t want to be left behind.
“There’s so much to enjoy about the industry,” Melo continued. “It’s thrilling, it’s exciting to be part of the energy revolution. We think we’re well positioned, and we’re excited about the prospects. We love the fact that it’s a product that is genuinely good for the environment, good for our future, good for our future generations.”