An interview with Beau Dingler.
An Interview with Beau Dingler, Co-founder of
ECOPRO SOLAR SUPPLY
Ecopro Solar Supply Co. is a Louisiana based solar distributor specializing in complete solar systems for contractors. Beau Dingler, C0-founder of Geoshield and Ecopro Solar was the sponsor for May’s Solar Roundtable. The Solar Roundtable is an opportunity for solar installers, solar advocates and the community to meet and talk about issues important to the Solar industry. Mr. Dingler was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about his experience in the Solar industry.
1. How many years have you worked in the solar industry?
We are celebrating the 2nd year of Ecopro Supply officially being open for business, but we’ve been distributing energy efficient products for 8 years. We tried to get into distribution of solar PV components 8 years ago, but the market in Louisiana was non existent, so we turned to other energy efficient products, namely window film products. When the market started to pick up in 2010, due in large part the LA state tax credit, we decided the time was right to focus on developing the solar PV side of our business.
2. What made you join the solar industry?
I’ve been a tree hugger since way back, but the decision to join the solar industry was primarily due to the favorable economic conditions for the solar industry going forward. The tax credit from the Louisiana state government helps, as do rising energy and oil prices. We wouldn’t be in this business if we couldn’t make money. After a decades long development period for solar, the industry seems to be coming of age. Materials and installation costs have come down, which in turn has opened up the market for more homeowners.
3. What sets ECOPRO supply apart from other solar system distributors?
We are local, friendly, and cost competitive with all national distributors. Our prime objective is servicing the contractors and installers of the Louisiana solar PV market.
4. What are the most common reasons people don’t want to invest in solar energy?
a. They don’t know enough about it (ie. how the tax credits work, how the technology works)
b. High initial cost (which can now be alleviated through financing or leasing models)
c. Aesthetics, outward appearance
5. What are some misconceptions of solar energy?
There are many. By and large, people don’t understand how net metering works or that it even exists. Net metering, or selling back onto the grid, eliminates the need for a battery back up and reduces the cost and space needed. Also, generally, people aren’t familiar with the terms and technology (units of measurement, what the panels will produce vis-a-vis how much energy they use), so its hard for them to make a decision about installing solar unless the numbers are laid out for them by a trained professional.
6. What would you change about the industry?
Bring down prices for the consumer. The fastest way to grow this industry is bring the cost of solar in line with energy from the grid. Material prices have come down significantly over the past few years, but still may have a little ways to go.
7. Your thoughts on the future of solar energy
I see the future of solar as bright and sunny. Pun fully intended.