Q: There have been a couple of letters floating around recently taking SEIA to task for not fighting harder in state solar battles like net-metering and others. What do you think of those letters and do you you worry those sentiments could split the solar industry?
Tom Kimbis (TK): I’m familiar with the letters, [and] I don’t think they are going to cause a rift in the solar industry. The [issues raised by the letters] are the kinds of things we discuss [at SEIA] on a daily basis. The majority of our policy expenditures are at the state level, and in 2017, you’re going to see a stepped up push at the state level from SEIA.
Q: If I’m a small solar installer, what would your pitch be as to why I should join SEIA?
TK: You simply can’t make a better investment than joining SEIA. You get access to the discussions, the webinars, the information that comes across on a day-to-day basis. We don’t just represent that big companies that are household names. It’s important to be part of the larger solar community, and we believe that all installers — especially smaller installers — it’s great bang for your buck.
Q: What is the next step for SEIA after the huge ITC victory last year?
TK: We are exploring other avenues to help the solar industry beyond policy. We’re taking a look at getting involved in codes and standards work. we definitely want to help the industry deal with consumer-protection concerns. Especially at the residential level, our business is still word-of-mouth — so you need to do good work to get more work.
As our industry matures, we will be looking to help solar installers on a much broader portfolio of issues.
Want to hear more from Tom Kimbis and other industry leaders? Then check out the Solar Wakeup podcast series, The United States of Solar.
This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.