SolarFlair to Open Bolton Office….June 24, 2016

| June 28, 2016

Submitted by: Barbara D. Parente, for Solarize Mass Bolton

Tom Rummel, SolarFlair residential sales associate, is conducting the site evaluations for the discount Solarize Mass Bolton program. Behind him is an independent SolarFlair project the company installed on South Bolton Road.  Courtesy Barbara Parente

Tom Rummel, SolarFlair residential sales associate, is conducting the site evaluations for the discount Solarize Mass Bolton program. Behind him is an independent SolarFlair project the company installed on South Bolton Road. Courtesy Barbara Parente


SolarFlair, the installer chosen by your neighbors on the Solarize Bolton Committee for the tiered discount Solarize Mass Bolton program, plans to open an office in Bolton within a month. Having the Ashland-based installer as a neighbor will provide advantages to townspeople.

“I will be more available to those who have already signed up, and I will be here to answer questions,” says Tom Rummel, residential sales associate for SolarFlair, who will be the face of SolarFlair in Bolton, as he performs site evaluations for 85 homeowners who have requested assessments, as well as others who opt in before the September deadline.

Rummel says he is looking forward to working with homeowners and feels they can have great confidence in SolarFlair. “SolarFlair is a local, trusted company that performs very high quality installations. Customer service is our number one priority.”

Sixty Bolton residents had signed up for site evaluations before the May 24 “Meet the Installer” presentation and question-answer session at Florence Sawyer School, which attracted 60 people, many of whom were uncommitted. Questions about income tax deductions, loan interest, site preparation, and excess production were posed to the representatives from SolarFlair, the Solarize Bolton Committee, and the Mass Clean Energy Center/Department of Energy Resources. After the meeting, the number swelled to 83, with two more signing on in the days that followed.

“The meeting went well. We don’t typically see that good a turnout for the first meeting,” noted Dan Barnett, SolarFlair’s residential sales manager, who said the company has been involved in 15 community projects, among them Solarize Massachusetts initiatives in Arlington, Mendon, Hopkinton, and Quincy.

Although Rummel isn’t anchored to a Bolton office yet, he and an associate have already completed 41 site visits. Not everyone who desires solar has an optimum location.  Nationally, only about 20 percent have an appropriate site.  Boltonians, however, may be far above the national average. Rummel estimates close to half of all homes he visits will be good for solar installation.

After talking to a homeowner, Tom studies maps, checks the direction of the house, and shading. If the site isn’t optimal, it doesn’t mean solar is impossible, but he may tell the homeowner there will be a longer return. Trimming or removing trees is up to the homeowner. “I don’t tell them what to do; I leave it in their hands,” he said. On the site visit, he explains the program, pricing and incentives. He takes measurements, determines project size, and suggests where to put the panels. Rummel prepares a proposal and hopes the result will be a signed contract. Solarize Mass Bolton already has four as of this writing.

With 29 committed homeowners, the group will qualify for the desired tier five pricing on the basic package, $3.08 per Watt, a bargain compared to the state average of $4.92. (A basic 26- panel, 7020 -Watt system, at tier five pricing, would cost $21,622, before incentives.)

Seven companies vied for selection as the sole installer for Bolton’s Solarize Mass initiative. Solarize Bolton’s solar coach Tony Jagodnik cited reasons for the selection.

“They offered the best value and the broadest range of choices, and scored well against many other selection criteria,” he says. “ Although not a formal criterion, in the installer interviews to which the top 3 were invited, they gave us the best impression of positive attitude and willingness to cooperate effectively with us.”

SolarFlair has installed 850 projects since its inception in 2007. Originally, SolarFlair focused on medium sized commercial installations, but saw the opportunity for residential when the Solarize Massachusetts project began in 2011, noted Barnett.

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