In-Depth Biz Profile: Renewable Rochester
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What was once considered technology of the future is increasingly a part of the present. Solar panels are everywhere today helping light up signs in town parks and reducing energy costs at area businesses.
Shawn Lessord realized these panels would become a big part of many future homebuilders' plans, and that is why he teamed up with Viola Homes two years ago and started Renewable Rochester.
They design and install solar panel systems that fit on your roof or are installed in your yard.
"I've been in the renewable energy business for about 15 years," Lessord said. "And I've seen the market grow over the years from a few installations to many, many, many systems in one year."
Lessord says they're installing those systems in area businesses, vineyards and increasingly in private homes.
They start with an assessment of your home, then determine how many panels you might need. Power from those panels go through a conduit and into your electric box. These inventors monitor everything.
Lessord says Renewable Rochester employs three installers and two people in the office, two who were just recently hired this year as the company continues to grow. He said they've seen a 15 percent increase in business from last year as more and more businesses and homeowners start seeing the savings.
"It reduces your electric bill so you can be a sustainable home that uses much less electricity than it used to," Lessord added. "Many of the electric bills for many of our homeowners is only $20."
Lessord says these solar panels work throughout the year, even through and under Rochester's snowy winters.
They can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000.
"You can get federal tax credits, 30 percent. A state tax credit, 20 percent. There's also a NYSERDA where they offer a cash incentive to do these," Lessord said." A 20 could end up costing you 5 when all is said and done."
Lessord expects prices will continue to come down and more businesses spring up as the technology gets better and better.
"Energy companies, HVAC companies, companies who never were into solar industry are starting to do solar so that tells me there's definitely an interest and a demand there and I see Renewable Rochester as one of those companies," Lessord said." We want to see this happen in Rochester."