• Randy Sklar

How I Broke The Handcuffs That The Power Company Has Locked On Everyone!

Recently, I got solar panels installed on the roof of my building. It’s only been a few months, but I’m already thrilled with the decision. On sunny days, I can see the meter running backward! How crazy is that?

I’m fortunate to have hired a great company, Shockoe Solar, to do the job. Bernie Stanley, the owner of the company, is the best vendor I’ve ever worked with. He’s given me way more than I expected, and he’s really passionate about what he does. At one point, I said to him, “You shouldn’t be on my roof installing solar panels. You should be out getting your next deal!” Bernie said, “Yeah, but I love working.”

You know what? I believed him. And once you learn more about Bernie, you’ll believe him, too.

A Word From Bernie:

I only wear a suit for three occasions: weddings, funerals, and my photo on the “Our Team” page for the company website. I figured I should look like a company president for the picture at least, but I don’t wear a suit every day. As Randy already mentioned, I’d much rather be on the roof myself, making sure every job gets done right. You might think I’m controlling, and maybe that’s true. But I’ve been doing this for a long time, and if there’s a problem during a job and a choice has to be made, I want to be there to make that call. Furthermore, if a mistake gets made, I want it to be on me so I can own up to it.

My standards are the same as anyone else’s should be: Treat every customer as if they are your only customer. Over the years, I’ve learned this hospitality isn’t always the norm, and my high standards might be why I rarely find someone I can trust to do this job right. Shockoe Solar isn’t a big company. It’s just me and my lead technician, Ryan Phaup.

If you scroll down a bit past my picture on the website, you’ll see a picture of Ryan in the middle of a CrossFit workout. I actually met Ryan at CrossFit. He’s a great guy with a good head on his shoulders. Ryan is learning quickly, and one day, I think he might just surprise me. But until then, if you call Shockoe Solar, I’m going to be up on your roof myself.

Shockoe Solar is responsible for two of the three biggest solar installations in Richmond. You can find our handiwork on the Scott’s Edge Apartments and the University of Richmond — the biggest and thirdbiggest solar jobs, respectively. This summer, Ryan and I will be breaking that record — twice! The largest of these jobs will be around 500 kilowatthours, which is twice as big as the current biggest solar installation in Richmond.

With just Ryan and me, these jobs are going to take some time, but I look forward to it. Honestly, I like being up there installing the panels. Solar is one of the few purchases no one regrets making. People might feel bad about the money they spent on a new car or a house, but who can feel bad about something that’s saving them money? Customer are excited when they see their meter going backward on sunny days. They also tend to become more energy-conscious, turning off lights and other electronics when they’re not using them. Plus, the panels we use are from Solar World, an American company.

I’m helping people save money, protect the environment, and support the American economy while doing a job I can feel good about. Why wouldn’t I love the work I do?

Thanks for reading!

Randy Sklar

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