Readers recently voted Sunlight Solar the Best Green Business in Bend. It's not the first time Sunlight has accepted the honor, so the staff is warming (excuse the pun) to the designation.
Sunlight Solar's outreach director, Lindsey Hardy, says she was surprised to hear of the results, but she and the staff are beaming (again, excuse the pun). For a business that focuses on uses the sun's rays to produce energy, Hardy says it's more than meets the eye.
"We try to make it not just about solar energy, but about education, too," she stressed.
Staff members are practicing what they preach in other ways, such as going paperless and composting at their shop on 50 NE Scott Street.
The business is the brainchild of President Paul Israel, who began Sunlight Solar in 1988. He came to Oregon in the '90s and expanded to cover the entire state and into Washington. And what better place to call home than Bend? With 30 percent more sunlight than neighboring Portland, Bend is a great placeto install rooftop solar panels. Hardy adds, though, that Portland receives more sunlight than Germany, which boasts the most solar panel installs per capita.
To encourage more Oregonians to go solar, Hardy broadcasts numerous incentives. On average, she says, installing solar panels can offset energy usage by about 30 percent a month.
"Instead of a sales pitch, we try to get clients excited about it," Hardy says with a grin.
Look for the Sunlight Solar crew at the Green + Solar Homes Tour in October. (JK)