Real Goods Solar Taps University of San Diego Alumnus Scott Schumacher to Lead and Grow Its San Diego/Inland Empire Operations
New Zero-Down Financing Options, Market Incentives and Dropping Module Prices Make Solar Affordable to Record Number of Southern California Hhouseholds
SAN DIEGO, CA (PRWEB) May 30, 2012America’s most established solar installer and integrator, Real Goods Solar, Inc. has tapped University of San Diego (USD) School of Law graduate Scott Schumacher to manage its growing San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino operations.
The high-integrity company is looking to double the size of its San Diego/Inland Empire team over the course of the next 12 months to bring cost-cutting, job-creating advanced energy solutions to the region’s homeowners.
“San Diego can take pride in being California’s number one solar city, but there remains so much untapped solar potential in the region,” said Schumacher. “With our perfect climate, great south-facing rooftops and high electricity rates, San Diegans and families in California’s Inland Empire stand to benefit from the power of residential solar energy more than almost anyone,” he said. “And with utility rates threatening to increase by 7 or 8 percent, solar is an effective hedge against skyrocketing energy bills.”
The solar offerings today are much different than they’ve been in year’s past. According to a recently published NREL (National Renewable Energy Labs) study(1), the introduction of a menu of enticing new financing products like zero-down lease options and pre-pay agreements means solar is finally within reach of most homeowners.
“We’re hiring qualified people to help consumers across the region understand the benefits of these new financing options, which can deliver utility bill savings from month one,” Schumacher said. Plans are to expand current operations to employ up to 30 individuals over the course of the next 12 months.
Real Goods Solar’s teams installed the first grid-tied solar solution in San Diego County in 1998. Real Goods Solar also sold America’s first residential solar panel. The year was 1978, in the wake of the OPEC oil embargo.
Schumacher himself has been in the industry since 2008, working alongside his father and uncle in a bustling manufacturing business designed to improve the performance of polysilicon, a key ingredient in electricity-producing solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. When the bulk of his family’s company clients (and his client base) joined the industry migration to the Far East, Schumacher vowed to find ways to create solar jobs here in the U.S. This is when he became interested in the installation side of the business. “It’s really where the solar jobs are being created,” he said.
Schumacher says it was Real Goods’ industry track record that sold him on the company. “I think the thing that differentiates Real Goods Solar from others in San Diego is its history. We’ve been in the business for 34 years. We believe in the benefits of solar. The president of our company, John Schaeffer, authored what many call the Bible of modern sustainable living, the Solar Living Sourcebook. It’s a company that’s been dedicated to solar for decades. And with the highest percentage of employees with solar on their homes, our employees walk the talk.”
But even in a solar-savvy town like San Diego, Schumacher says he and the Real Goods Solar team aren’t just in the business of solar, they’re in the business of educating.
“There’s an astounding amount of misinformation circulating about solar. There are families all over San Diego who could benefit from solar, but who have resisted considering solar because they simply don’t have the facts,” said Schumacher.
That’s one reason Real Goods Solar recently published 87 Solar Power Myths, a free, downloadable, myth-busting eBook addressing the questions their feet-on-the-street solar project developers are hearing year after year. This quick read is an easy way for anyone considering solar for the home to cut through the mythology and separate solar fact from solar fiction.
Schumacher says one of the most important new messages for consumers is that solar is not the most expensive source of electricity anymore. “In almost all cases, for residential applications, solar is the least expensive way to get energy today,” he said. And while solar in time’s past was perceived as only for more affluent environmentalists, he says today’s economic incentives make it a prudent play for homeowners across the board. “Solar’s just a smart move for anyone who wants to live comfortably, slash their electric bills and improve their property values. Solar’s benefits of reducing carbon emissions and creating cleaner communities strengthen the value proposition.”
Scott Schumacher earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Notre Dame University. And he comes with impeccable environmental credentials. His interest in environmental law was piqued on the heels of the Exxon Valdez disaster, where he was privy to riveting Sierra Club accounts about the damage the crude oil spill had wrought upon wildlife, habitat and local commerce – and the valiant efforts of more than 11,000 Alaskan residents and volunteers to rescue wildlife, save and restore habitat and ameliorate the harm to hundreds of communities.
San Diego’s climate and its status as a veritable haven for those who enjoy active lifestyles attracted him to pursue a law degree at USD, where he wrote for the USD Regulatory Law Reporter on issues related to the California Board of Forestry. In 1994, Schumacher earned a Juris Doctor (JD) from the University of San Diego School of Law, where he concentrated on environmental and regulatory studies.
An avowed family man and outdoorsman, the 44-year-old, 6’7” Schumacher enjoys volleyball, skiing and recreational time with family. He currently lives in San Clemente with his wife Michelle and their two daughters, 16-year-old Carolyn and 5-year-old Natalie.
“Scott brings a degree of managerial savvy, passion and expertise to our business that is remarkably personal,” said Real Goods Solar General Manager Josh Price. “Scott’s industry knowledge and his commitment to quality ensure households across the region will receive impeccable service as they seek to save — and create more sustainable communities — with solar.”
About Real Goods Solar
Real Goods Solar, Inc. is a leading residential and commercial solar energy EPC provider, having installed over 13,000 solar systems. Real Goods Solar offers turnkey solar energy services and has 34 years of experience in solar energy, beginning with the sale in 1978 of the first solar photovoltaic, or PV, panels in the United States. With 15 offices in California, Colorado and the Northeast, Real Goods Solar is one of the largest residential and commercial solar providers in the country. For more information about Real Goods Solar, please visit RealGoodsSolar.com or call (888) 507-2561.
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(1)NREL Energy Policy report “The Transformation of Southern California’s Residential Photovoltaics Market through Third-Party Ownership.”