Future looks bright for PowerHome as solar market heats up
No. 5: PowerHome Solar – Dec. 6, 2019
The following write up comes from Laura Williams-Tracy, a contributing writer for the Charlotte Business Journal.
Jayson Waller spent two years off the payroll and even sold his home on Lake Norman to build PowerHome Solar. This year, the company is on pace to crest $200 million in sales as it helps homeowners and organizations transition to clean solar energy.
“It’s about educating people,” Waller says. “They think solar is going to cost thousands. But when you get solar, you are really shifting your payment from the utility company and getting clean energy.”
Waller ran and sold two home-security businesses before starting a company that rebranded to PowerHome Solar in 2014.
Sales took off in 2017 after the company switched to American-made solar panels ahead of tariffs imposed on imported panels.
The Mooresville-based company has 700 employees installing solar panels in nine states, including North Carolina. PowerHome Solar does not subcontract the installation.
Solar has grown quickly in California, New York and Connecticut, where electricity is expensive. PowerHome Solar works in the Midwest and Southeast, where the cost of power is relatively cheap, but there is plenty of sun.
“In the states we are in, there’s a pride about our customers,” Waller says. “We want to own our power. We want to stand up for ourselves. That’s our customer and those are their values.”
The bulk of PowerHome Solar’s business is residential. But its commercial division is growing fast with some high-profile applications. PowerHome has placed solar panels in five NFL stadiums, including the homes of the Carolina Panthers, Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions, and it recently signed a contract to put solar panels on athletic facilities at N.C. State University. Other commercial clients include car dealerships and schools.
The company deals with homeowners’ association approvals, design and permitting to connect with the existing power system. Customers also receive blown insulation in their attic and LED lights to make the home more efficient. PowerHome connects customers with a partner company that will finance the purchase.
“We have a saying, BAM, which means Build a Movement,” Waller says. “We have a great team, and we are passionate about what we do. Our customers can see and feel that. They are saving money, saving the planet, and standing up to the utility companies.”
Q&A with Jayson Waller, founder
What are the economics of going solar?
Rather than continue to pay the utility company, you finance solar panels for around the same payment you are already making for power. You can’t get off the grid entirely, so you will always have a meter fee of around $12 a month. But if you were paying $300 a month to the utility company, you might pay $250 a month for the solar panels instead. With the utility company there’s no end date, and they increase rates all the time.
Talk about the struggle.
I finished high school through the 10th grade and married my high school sweetheart. I was working for Verizon, and I opened a home-security company. I sold that company and started PowerHome Solar. I wasn’t on the payroll for two years. We sold our house on the lake and put the money into the business. I have four kids, so trust me, we will find a way to win. It was the first time I felt backed up in a corner. Things finally started to turn at the end of 2016. We’ve worked hard. Now we’ve built a rocket ship.
Laura Williams-Tracy is a Charlotte-based freelance writer who can be reached at email@example.com.