This year, NECA Notes features articles telling the stories of NECA’s new Premier Partner companies. This month, we are proud to feature Day & Night Solar.
In 1883, New York inventor Charles Fritts created the first solar cell by coat- ing selenium with a thin layer of gold. This marked the beginning of photovoltaic solar panel innovation in America.
Fast forward nearly a century later, when America found itself amidst an energy crisis resulting from the OPEC oil embargo. As part of the National Energy Act, Congress passed the Energy Tax Act in 1978 to encourage energy conservation and promote fuel efficiency and renewable energy through taxes and tax credits. These were some of the biggest subsidies offered and moved renewable energy forward.
Modern solar cells are not lined with gold. However, like the California Gold Rush, this movement triggered opportunists with minimal solar knowledge to jump into the solar market, leaving the public confused.
Congress’s stance towards renewables changed the game as it attempted to mainstream solar power as a core energy source in 2008. Day & Night Solar (DNS) knew it had to set itself apart from traditional business models. With an appreciation for technology and investing, Bob Eaton, the company’s founder and Managing Member, anticipated solar would not be for daytime use only but also harnessed and stored for utilization 24/7. He combined his passion and foresight with his background in construction and finance, as well as his experience in solar sales in 1981.
DNS’s goal is to bring value through knowledge. The senior team is comprised of seasoned professionals with a minimum of 30–40 years of experience in construction management, electrical and structural backgrounds. The team further extends to a national level, collaborating with other industry experts, providing DNS additional resources and knowledge, giving them the leading edge in a rapidly emerging market.
Strategically positioned as a national, turnkey solar integrator of high-quality solar technologies, DNS aspires to drive contractors to a larger market share in the solar industry within their respective communities and assist contractors across the country to improve their efficiency and profitability.
Education and innovation
When asked what sets them apart from the competition, Melinda Kershaw, Director of Marketing, stated, “Education, national experience in the industry, and utilizing local labor.” Since its inception, DNS believed technology and government policies would constantly evolve. Priority is assigned to a knowledge-based understanding of the latest solar technology; to name a few, solar panel advancements, non-corrosive hardware and energy storage.
With this ever-changing industry, it is imperative to stay up to date on all products available and how to integrate those materials when needed. “The educational core of our expertise is one of the greatest assets DNS offers, saving our contractors time and money. We take the burden from our contractors and manage this piece for them. To be effective and successful, we must arm contractors and ourselves with every market advantage,” Kershaw said.
National team working with local ECs
While DNS is headquartered in the Midwest, its reach expands to a national platform. DNS believes solar should be an extension of the electrical industry. By corporate design, DNS elected to build relationships, using a teaming approach, rather than employing its own installers. DNS teams with the network of local NECA-IBEW contractors who work in their core strengths and are local to maintain and service the projects in their communities for decades to come.
National experts in the areas of design, engineering and manufacturing were carefully assembled by DNS as a value-added extension to their team. This extension of the DNS team brings decades of experience, giving local contractors the most competitive market advantage. The result is hundreds of successfully completed solar projects ranging from roof and ground mounts, canopy structures in downtown urban areas, to megawatt fields. The DNS team members have performed work for Fortune 500 companies as well as local main street businesses across the country. This talented group assures the highest performing solar arrays with local contractors, local support, top-tier products and years of experience.
Offering a turnkey solution and reducing risk
DNS provides an estimating team that works for contractors, at no cost, until the job is awarded. Marketing and sales, engineering and system design, design-build solutions, understanding federal/state utility and local incentives, construction management, project funding, and commodities brokerage are a few of the services provided.
Providing services for a total turnkey project, DNS gives contractors the opportunity to mitigate their risks on facets of a project that may not be an area of expertise or proficiency. There may be aspects of a project that contractors have not performed, like setting a steel canopy on the top deck of a parking garage, for example. DNS can remove risk, provide oversight on that part of the contract and allow the contractor to proceed as the prime while feeling confident in execution.
Increasing profits, saving time and offering factory-direct pricing
Working with DNS eliminates the expense of developing a solar team to keep up-to-date in an ever-changing industry. They shorten the learning curve of solar installations by providing experts to assist in every aspect of a project—all while ensuring integrity and craftmanship. DNS holds factory-direct relationships on all major solar components, allowing contractors to realize larger volumes of profitable projects. Maximizing financial incentives, coupled with the latest products, differentiates contractors from the competition.
Solar energy is here to stay
With the Biden administration’s focus on infrastructure, over $100 billion is slated to modernize the electrical grid and invest in clean energy. Solar is expected to be a key component.
Eaton has experienced the industry's ups and downs, maintaining that, "Day & Night Solar has stayed the course by utilizing national industry experts, continuing to educate contractors, while collaborating as a trusted partner.”
The distributed generation solar market is reaching full stride in the United States. Attractive incentives, rising power costs and maturity in the institutional financial markets combine to make going green financially advantageous. Day & Night Solar is poised and ready, providing a profitable turnkey solution to equip contractors with the tools needed to integrate solar into their businesses with ease and confidence.