Your Program Manager

NY State Solar: Introducing Your Program Manager

If you’re a native New Yorker, you’ve probably seen more solar panels in the past few years than you’d ever seen before.

Solar panels power lights and signs on our highways. Solar arrays are going up in parking lots. Solar farms have been built on Long Island. And of course, solar systems are powering our communities from right on top of our homes.

There has never been a better time to turn to renewable energy, and solar power’s incredible growth across the country is a testament to this. New Yorkers are ahead of most in embracing solar energy, which should be no surprise as we pay high electric rates, yet receive abundant sunshine, and have access to some of the best solar incentives in the country.

Most of us are well aware of the benefits of solar energy — it’s great for the environment, it produces free electricity, and it adds value to your home. But there are dozens of solar contractors operating on as many business models. It can be hard to get a straight answer on how solar works, what incentives are available for you, and whether your project is moving forward in a timely manner.

That’s why NY State Solar assigns a program manager to every individual project. It’s the PM’s job to coordinate the various departments behind the scenes that work together to help you go solar. The PM will assess the solar potential of your home and give you a sense of what to expect. Throughout your experience with us, the program manager serves as your single point of contact to answer your questions, keep the project moving, and update you as important milestones are achieved.

Why Do I Need a Program Manager?

There isn’t a “one size fits all” approach to going solar. Every home is a little different, and of course, so are the families that live in them. We like to sit down with you and have a conversation. You get to learn about us, ask us everything that’s on your mind, and we’ll get a sense of the best route to help you go green.

So it’s a learning process on both sides. What are our program managers looking for? These are a few things that our program managers would like to review so that we’re able to provide a seamless, enjoyable transition from conventional fossil fuels to clean solar energy.

Site Quality for Solar — Solar panels only produce electricity if the sun is shining on them, and being in the northern hemisphere, New York homes get direct sunlight from the south. Our PMs will check around the property for shading issues, like trees or chimneys. They’ll also look at the roof for vent pipes or attic fans that would affect the panel layout, and what size system would fit on the roof in compliance with local fire regulations.

Your Roof Condition — It’s important that your roof is in good condition prior to the panels going up. A properly-installed solar system should last with little to no maintenance for 30-35 years. The program manager can explain how solar systems are installed, how they affect the roof, and what to expect if your roof requires replacement years down the line. If your roof is in poor condition, the PM can reach out to a licensed and insured roofer to get you a quote (although you’re free to work with a roofer you know and trust).

Your Meter Pan & Service Conduit — If your interconnection to the electrical grid is outdated or in disrepair, it most likely wouldn’t pass inspection. The program manager’s role is to identify potential problem areas ahead of time so that your experience going solar is seamless and simple. If there is significant rusting, our master electrician will give his opinion and your PM will follow up with you on the next visit.

Your Present & Future Electric Usage — Your utility bill will provide a clear indication of the electrical usage of the home measured in kilowatt-hours. We’ll sit and discuss with you if you anticipate lifestyle changes, such as a family member moving in, a child going off to college, and so forth. This allows us to prepare you for what sized system should fit on the home and how much electricity it will provide. After your initial consultation, your program manager will provide this input to our engineering team to create a custom design based on your home and your needs.

How the Solar Incentives Work — Please consult your tax preparer for individual eligibility for solar incentives! On an informal basis, our PMs meet with several hundred homeowners every year from all walks of life. While our team doesn’t seek to provide tax advice or financial counseling, we’re happy to provide general information about the incentives available for your solar system.

Answering Your Questions — Everyone’s got a lot on their plate, and there’s no such thing as a bad question. Our process gives you plenty of time to ask all your questions, large or small. Your program manager is only a call, text, or email away, and if they aren’t able to answer your question, they’ll find someone who can.

How Are Program Managers Trained?

Our program managers go through 6 to 8 weeks of training before they’re put in the field. They’ll observe a more experienced member of our team while learning about federal and state incentives, roofing systems, electrical systems, and naturally all the equipment involved in solar systems, like different types of solar panels and solar inverters.

Our program managers spend time with each department — our engineering team that creates designs and draws plansets, our operations team which coordinates with state and municipal processes, our site survey team that inspects roofs, and our installation crew overseen by our master electrician.

We don’t expect our PMs to be masters of all these trades! Rather, we expect them to be conversant enough to explain in plain English how it affects your system, and interact with those departments when changes need to be made for custom needs.

NY State Solar is proud to field the best-trained team in New York City and Long Island. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a program manager and learn how solar power could work for you.

“NY State Solar and especially Matt McAuliffe have been exceptional in explaining, planning, estimating financial impacts and monitoring the progress of our solar project. Essentially, NYS Solar provides a vehicle to access the best solar installation companies and assures a fair competitive price. NYS Solar’s relationship with NYSERDA was a key factor in making the application and approval process go very smoothly. Matt McAuliffe is a real professional who knows his business; and his honesty and passion for renewable energy expansion was key in my confidence in making the decision to install our solar system.”

– Paul R  |  West Sayville

“We thought our program manager was very knowledgeable and answered ALL of our questions!!! The installation went very smoothly and was quick and they cleaned up afterwards. In all we are very happy with the experience and look forward to seeing how much money we save!!”

– Roland Z.  |  Island Park

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385 W. John St.
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