People of the 10th anniversary Top Solar Contractors list: Sumit Bhatnagar, GreenBrilliance 

For the 10th anniversary of the Top Solar Contractors list, we’re sharing Q&A’s with the people who make the industry run every day. Read more interviews here.

How’d you get started in solar?

The solar journey of GreenBrilliance started 14 years ago, in 2007. When solar EPC companies were seldom to be found, turnkey solar was a term practically invented by GreenBrilliance. With Europe and the rest of the world adopting solar at an enormous pace, and America lagging behind and just trying to pick up some solar in both on residential and commercial side, it was a perfect opportunity for GreenBrilliance to start offering turnkey solar solutions in the Mid-Atlantic region of the country.

What’s your favorite part about being in the solar industry?

There are two reasons why every member of GreenBrilliance wants to be part of solar industry. First is the satisfaction of offering a system and seeing a customer happy. A satisfaction of doing a solar PV system for hundreds of customers every day and seeing a smile and appreciation from these customers where they can realize the worth of their investment, being handled by contractors in a very friendly manner, which does not exist in the world of contracting.

Second, being a team of hardcore technologists at heart, we feel great pride in using technology that challenges us intellectually and trying to help prepare a cleaner planet for the future generations.

What has surprised you the most about the solar industry in the last several years?

The solar industry over the last 14 years has changed significantly. What surprises me is how easy has it become for homeowners to get a solar PV system, how easy it is for the sales teams to build a very informative and detailed proposal at a click of a button and how easy it has become to be thorough with our customer’s history using a robust CRM. The solar industry has literally transformed over the last 14 years, where now we can service the clients the best and also the growth of solar industry has become sustainable, so solar companies like ours can project the growth.

What are your solar predictions for the next 10 years?

Solar is centerstage in the global economy of the world. In America, the rate of growth of solar in the last four years has been practically doubling every year and the projections for the next 10 years is very similar. There are approximately 140 million houses in the country and solar is unstoppable until every home in the country gets solar, with an average of a 10-kW system on a rooftop and efficiency of panels increasing, and solar ownership becoming affordable, solar is unstoppable. So essentially if solar has seen even growth in 10 years, we are talking about 140 GW every year and the power of distributed solar is going to significantly grow stronger. It may be seen as competition to the grid, but the beauty is that adding solar helps to cool the pressure from the grid and actually helps the grid to last longer by working with the grid rather than against the grid. The sooner the utility companies start to realize this, the faster the growth of solar would be, which is what we are witnessing today.

How’d you/your company stand out in the last year?

We have seen unprecedented growth even when last year was an unpredictable year. Even with every economy in the world paralyzed by COVID-19, solar was one sector that saw a significant growth because of the mere fact that people started to stay home, businesses started to work from home, students started to study from home, families started getting connected with their homes better since last year as compared to the last several decades. With that came the obvious increase in electricity bills and to get rid of relief from unexpected high bills, solar energy was a significant reason for people to consider as an alternative option. Even though it was a year of sorrow, turmoil and sadness, and we feel for every individual who has lost their loved ones, the solar industry has certainly stood strong together to continue the good work of cleaning the environment and making our earth a better place.

How are you helping to improve the industry?

GreenBrilliance’s strength is to educate every customer. The biggest strength we intend to add in this industry is to raise the awareness level, to raise the respect for solar and to raise the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) of the homeowners to see value in investing in solar not just for themselves and their homes, but for a cleaner future and next generation.