Green & Solar Training News

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Lessons for the Solar Industry: It Starts at The Top

Steve JobsApple, Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon, Nike and  Southwest Airlines. Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, Phil Knight and Herb Kelleher. What lessons we can learn from the great companies and great leaders that apply to the renewable energy industry? It starts at the top with strong leadership.

Establish corporate culture that’s distinguishable, consistent, positive and challenging.

What we can learn from these leaders is to establish corporate culture that’s distinguishable, consistent, positive and challenging. They have all masterminded a convergence and combination of technology, good business processes, and understanding of people. Their priorities are clear and permeate from the top to the bottom.

Steve Jobs was a shining example of a leader. His genius was not just that Apple makes good products. He got people to understand and buy into what Apple believes and stands for. It’s not an accident that most of Apple’s ads don’t talk about how good their products are, but more about what you can do with them and how they make you feel. Their customer loyalty is remarkable and people stand in line to buy their products and pay more for them.

Great companies always have great leaders. And these leaders have several traits in common.  First they are there to lead and motivate employees, and create great experiences for customers. When they do that, profits and growth follow and opportunities appear. Customers hear about them and want to do business with them because they keep their eye on the ball and not on the scoreboard first. Successful leaders make decisions based on the long term, but they know that a focus on today will enable them to meet the goals of tomorrow.

Leadership in the Solar Industry

Competition in the solar industry, or any renewable energy business, is at an all-time high. It makes environmental, financial, and social sense for the industry to thrive, become strong, and to improve to the point where solar is affordable and companies are profitable.  At a time when prices are dropping, demand is increasing, and politics are prevailing, it is imperative that good leaders rise to the top and create great companies in this industry.

Danny Kennedy, President and one of the founders of the very successful residential solar company Sungevity, based in Oakland, California, said that for him it’s about “keeping things simple for the customer, giving them a great customer experience and stressing the intangibles as well as the financial parts of the products they provide.”

Using Apple’s culture and customer experience as a model, he developed a customer experience that is easy to understand and install, affordable, and “something that makes people feel good about themselves and how they are helping the environment and energy crisis”.  Based on results to date, he is succeeding; as Sungevity just recently doubled its office space in Jack London Square in Oakland, has strong brand recognition and Danny Kennedy is a leading industry spokesperson.

As with the successful businesses mentioned here, it all begins with leadership. But our models of success also exhibit a shared culture, empowered employees and top-notch training. We’ll cover these keys to success in subsequent articles that will focus on lessons learned and how they can be applied to the solar industry.

Chris HillmanAbout the Author

Chris Hillman is the Manager of Allied Business Schools,
Renewable Energy Department

Read More >>Lessons for the Solar Industry: It Starts at The Top


Online Solar Training, NABCEP Certification and Resources – Everything You Need to Know!

We’ve compiled some helpful information and links for your reference. Learn more about your solar career with the data provided below.

NABCEP LogoNorth American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP)

“Designed to raise industry standards and promote consumer confidence, NABCEP offers certification and certificate programs to renewable energy professionals throughout North America.”
Types of NABCEP Solar Certifications Available:
Requirements for Certification:
  • Recertification:
    • Every 3 years
    • 3 Qualifying PV systems over 3 years
    • 6 hours on latest NEC Code, 6hours on Installation and Technology, 6 hours  of additional study (technical or non)
Dates for Certification Testing:
  • Entry Level – Taken any time at Prometrics Testing after completing course
  • Certified PV Installer – January 13, 2012: Application deadline for the March 24, 2012 exam
  • PV Technical Salesperson – November 14, 2011:  Application deadline for the January 21 – February 4, 2012 PV Technical Sales Exam
  • Recertification – Test not required; application plus proof of Continuing Education and fee

How to Apply:
Additional Resources:
Want to get certified? Allied can help you every step of the way – including training, certification and jobs! We can also provide guidance on how to complete the certification exam applications.

Still have questions? Please call Chris Hillman at (800) 732-7410.

Read More >>Online Solar Training, NABCEP Certification and Resources – Everything You Need to Know!


Online Solar Courses – The Best Way to Advance Your Solar Career!

Online Solar CourseFor those of you who want to either start a new solar career or are looking to advance an existing one, online solar courses are the way to go. Plus, Allied Schools offers additional resources to help you reach your goals. It’s a win-win for your future!

Why Online Solar Courses?

  • Self Paced – Study at a pace that works for you. You are not bound by a set schedule.
  • Convenient – You set the schedule of your studies. Learn day or night, it’s up to you!
  • Easy to Navigate – You can easily complete your assignments or take a quick right at your fingertips.
  • Cost Effective – You don’t have to pay extra for gas, parking or even a babysitter. You pay a reasonable fee for your course.

Why Allied Schools?

Allied Schools offers everything you need to build a solid foundation of knowledge and prepare for your solar career. When taking your course, there are live tutors available to assist with your questions and help keep you on task. Some of the courses also prepare you to sit for a certification exam – a must when you want to stand out in your career! Allied’s online job portal can help point you in the right direction when you finish your course. All of this is included with your course, which is reasonably priced to fit your budget!

Want to get to know Allied even more? Read this article written by Allied’s Green Department Manager, Chris Hillman.

Did you know that Allied partners with many major PV companies? Yes! They send their employees to train at various levels. And did you also know that there are corporate B2B programs available?

Call (800) 732-7410 today to learn more.

Find out firsthand how online solar courses can lead to a new and exciting future!

Photo credit: Solar Energy

Read More >>Online Solar Courses – The Best Way to Advance Your Solar Career!


Solar Sales Career: How to Transition Even When You’re Employed in Another Industry!

Solar CareerAre you ready for a new opportunity? Is becoming a solar salesperson something that you’ve considered? With the U.S. having the third largest solar market in the world, behind Germany and Italy (SolarBuzz), now’s the time to consider a solar career.  Apply your sales experience to a growing and evolving market!

Take the Steps to Prepare for Your Solar Sales Career!
  • Make a commitment to learn everything you can to prepare for a smooth transition into a solar career, such as reading articles and books , and taking solar courses
  • Build a strong knowledge base – learn essential terminology, technology, government incentives, financial programs, and how to analyze customer bills
  • Learn who the best companies are and what they are looking for in an employee – become that “ideal” candidate! 
  • Network  with as many people as you can – build relationships and find that hidden job market
  • Talk to successful salespeople (use Linkedin) and get tips from them on how they started and what they do to be successful
  • Become a confident and proactive interviewer – demonstrate that you are a winner, producer and valuable employee!
  • Realize that you might have to start in an entry-level  position in order to realize your career goals 
  • Know your long-term goals and how to reach them!
  • Regularly use YouTube, Facebook, and green-related websites to keep up to date on your industry
  • Commit to daily improvement – know what you need to do to become an outstanding employee!
  • Remember that finding the right job is a process – search for people who look at more than just a  resume as an indicator of success
  • Stress what makes you unique and better than the average person looking for work
  • Study the NABCEP Sales Task analysis – this should be your ultimate goal to strive for skill-wise in a few years
  • Consider yourself part of the Industry, and think and act accordingly!
There are many opportunities for a stable and long-term career in the solar industry. The most important thing… start now and don’t look back! Keep moving forward and setting daily goals. Your new career is just around the corner!

Read More >>Solar Sales Career: How to Transition Even When You’re Employed in Another Industry!