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Going solar now includes a shopping option

Posted: August 9, 2013 5:25 p.m.
Updated: August 9, 2013 5:25 p.m.

Dislike inviting salespeople you don’t know into your home?

A local Santa Clarita solar power company changes all that Saturday by opening the Santa Clarita Valley’s first walk-in solar design center.

SunPower by Green Convergence debuted its nearly 11,000-square-foot solar center Thursday night at the Gateway Corporate Pointe office center off Newhall Ranch Road near the Interstate 5 freeway.

“The traditional way of selling solar in the home is changing,” said Mark Figearo, CEO and co-owner. “We think we’re at the forefront.”

While the company will still send a representative to the home to consult if desired, Figearo said the firm opened the center for people who are more comfortable learning about their options in a center without feeling defensive about a sales pitch in their homes.

Started in 2008 by construction professionals Mark Figearo and Donald Schramm, Green Convergence has nearly 50 employees. Demand for solar energy has resulted in their business doubling or tripling in size every year since it opened, he said.

In the early days of the industry, buying solar panels was an all-cash purchase. Then came leasing. The company now offers finance plans with very low interest rates.

On average, the cost of solar panels has dropped to less than half than what it cost a few years ago, Figearo said.
In 2011, 90 percent of Green Convergence’s customers leased the panels. But the market has shifted considerably and today the buy-lease ratio is closer to 50/50, he said.



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