We know some really great humans here in San Diego who run their own businesses. We want to shine a spotlight on them! Every week or two we will interview and introduce a local entrepreneur who has gained our trust and respect, and might be able to help you!
Our first interview is with Rebecca Ely who has a unique and genuine approach to installing SOLAR POWER on your home or business. She has helped several of our friends and PaintGreen’s clients already and we’ve received nothing but great feedback.
Catch her at:
Here is a transcript of our conversation:
Hey, this is Jon with PaintGreen. I’m here with Rebecca Ely from Relyant Solar. I’m starting a new series of community spotlights, where I just wanted to share some of the awesome people that I found here in San Diego who are professionals and who I’ve come to trust and who I’ve referred past business to, past clients, and who I’ve heard good feedback from. And I just wanted to start with Rebecca. Rebecca and I have both referred work to each other and done work for each other’s friends and for each other’s clients. And I just learned that Rebecca is a powerhouse in the solar industry here in San Diego. So I just wanted to do a little interview, just introduce her to all of you and take it from there. So Rebecca, tell me, how did you get into the solar business?
I was an executive chef in the Bay Area. It was incredibly stressful. I worked around the clock, couldn’t do that any longer. And this was about eight years ago, and I was debating what to do next. I’m from the beautiful Sierra Foothills. I’m passionate about nature, preserving nature. My best friend at the time was selling solar, and she kept trying to recruit me. It was Solar City. That was my first solar job.
Okay. I’ve heard of them.
And initially, I didn’t want to do it because I thought sales people were tricky, schmoozy, high pressure. And that was not something I was interested in. I’ve learned over time that you simply deliver information, help families, be honest, and the product sells itself.
Particularly in the solar industry, it kind of has a reputation for sales people being kind of pushy and maybe not very forthright with everything that they say. You’ve seen that in the solar industry?
A thousand percent. I think that’s the biggest thing homeowners need to look out for is most consultants do not have the homeowner’s best interest in mind. They either have a quota or some plans pay that rep more than other plans. So really in the back of their heads, they’re thinking of themselves essentially. And I don’t mean to say that about all solar reps. There are some excellent, knowledgeable individuals out there.
Thank you. But that’s how the industry is set up. So I would definitely say get other quotes or talk to somebody like me who’s a broker who is just going to be honest with you. I don’t need to sign everybody up. I don’t have a quota. The first meeting is just informational, so there’s never pressure. And at the end of the day, it sounds altruistic, but I truly have the homeowner’s best interest in mind because it all evens out. I get referrals. I do just fine. I’m very busy. But I do that, I would like to think, from just being a very honest person.
Yeah. I mean, that’s the feedback that I’ve heard about everybody that I’ve referred to you.
Yeah. I would say that’s an accurate statement.
Back at you.
Right on. Tell me what’s one thing that everybody should know before hiring a solar company?
Well, that’s actually it is just take what they say with a grain of salt, because they could have an incentive behind why they’re referring a certain program, a certain company, a certain solar panel. Maybe that’s the only solar panel they offer. Whereas I, as a broker, I offer about 400 different panels, all different types of inverters, batteries. I work with over two dozen companies, so I’m not incentivized by one company to just sell that product. So you have to look at are they just selling that product? Because of course they’re going to think it’s the best. Do they get paid more with one plan? Of course they’re going to push that plan. Will their company fire them if they don’t hit a quota? Of course they’re just trying to sign you up.
I tell people all the time, “Solar might not even make sense for you. You want to work with somebody where they don’t have a quota. They’re not sold to just one company or panel. They’re going to deliver honest, objective information and actually have the experience.” I’ve helped over 600 families switch to solar. So people that have had the experience that they know what they’re talking about, because if they’re new or they don’t know how to design your system properly, they know nothing about electrical. They could be the nicest people in the world, most ethical, but you also have to get the product that you need.
Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. You’re answering a lot of the questions that I had here for you too, so that’s great.
I’m also psychic guys, so.
So one of the things that I’ve heard in solar is that if you go direct to the company, then you can get a better deal. Is that true?
Actually, I appreciate you asking, because counterintuitively as a broker, a lot of homeowners are concerned that there’s another mouth to feed. And they think that I must be charging more, because if I don’t work directly with that company, I get asked all the time, “Why don’t I just go directly to that company?” Believe it or not, I actually get lower pricing than if you went directly to the company, because I have no marketing overhead. I don’t want to say the names of any companies, but you see these cars driving around with the company names. Those companies pay their employees a base salary. They buy their insurance. They buy them cars. Well, who’s paying for that? You are. Or if a company is out of a main store, like the Home Depot or Costco, Costco or Home Depot get huge referral fees from that company. Well, because I don’t work from those locations, I can offer the same company but not have to pay out referral fees. So I can pass that savings on to the homeowner.
Okay. Yeah. That makes sense. So here’s a random question. What do you like about San Diego?
The weather and the people and my job.
Yeah. I think those are some of the top three for me as well.
Yeah. I do miss the mountains. I admit I miss the mountains, and I miss my family. They’re all in Northern California, but.
I’d say the same. Yeah. I miss my family up in Seattle, but oh man, I do not miss that weather.
Oh, yeah. I bet. Perfect breeze, you can see with our hair blowing right now. It’s perfect temperature.
Yeah. Here in November, Thanksgiving is next week. Most of the country is frozen.
I know. So that’s what I love.
So what is the best way that people could connect with you if they’re interested in looking at solar?
Well, you can check out my website and Yelp reviews. Just check me out first. My website is relyantsolar.com. But to contact me, you can text or call me on my cell number or a email intro as well. So I’m extremely responsive, not just when you meet me, but throughout the process, years down the road. That’s also what makes me different. I’m here for customers from six years ago. So yeah, email, text, or a phone call.
Email, text, phone call. What about Snapchat or? No, I’m just kidding.
Okay. Hey, I get messages through Instagram and Facebook. If there’s any way to contact me, that’s a good way. But I think just the mainstream ways. I’m very diligent about responding.
Right on. Well, we’ll make sure that we put all of your contact info and everything in the video, in one of the comments or something below. So you guys can find her there. But thank you very much for giving me-
Thank you very much.
… a little bit of your time and allowing me to showcase you to some my favorite people.
I really appreciate it. Thank you. I appreciate you guys. Thank you.