First Purple Heart Home in North Carolina Built with Solar

Renu Energy Solutions installing SunPower® solar on home built for disabled service member, who is thankful for low electric bills

DENVER, N.C., Nov. 20, 2018- Local disabled veteran, Angela Cherico and her family are the first recipients of a nearly complete home built by Purple Heart Homes in Denver, N.C. that will come equipped with a SunPower® solar system. Donated by SunPower and installed by Renu Energy Solutions, the system will provide Cherico with greater energy independence, lower electric bills, and added peace of mind.

“My daughter and I will have two of the most important things: stability and security,” said Cherico, whose service experience included two deployments to Iraq. She continues that while there, exposure to burn-pits may be responsible for her ongoing breathing problems, complicated further by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and back and neck pain.

Thanks to local solar energy company Renu Energy Solutions ( installing high quality SunPower solar panels on the home, Cherico and her family can enjoy lower electricity bills. By spending less on utility costs, the Chericos will have more freedom in their budget for other important things. Plus, they’re happy to have access to clean, renewable energy.

Reducing monthly energy costs is already a goal for Purple Heart Homes. Energy-efficient appliances and good insulation are standard for the organization. However, this project marks the first Purple Heart Home in North Carolina to go solar. Renu Energy Solutions company President Jay Radcliffe says of the partnership, “We’ve been installing solar since 2010 and have seen many satisfied customers. But being able to give back through Purple Heart Homes to someone who has made tremendous sacrifices is really special.”

Renu Energy Solutions, a Charlotte-based solar installation contractor, installed the SunPower-donated solar energy system at no cost to Angela Cherico, the future homeowner. A solar rebate from Duke Energy helped bring solar to this home. This solar incentive from the utility remains available throughout 2019 and has no income limits to qualify.

This Purple Heart Home now features solar for low electric costs

About Renu Energy Solutions

Founded in 2010, Renu Energy Solutions is a Charlotte, N.C.-based full service solar energy installer in the Carolinas, and developer of clean energy projects across the country. By analyzing the financial benefits of a project, Renu Energy’s experts help facilitate solar adoption.

About Purple Heart Homes

Purple Heart Homes is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded by Dale Beatty and John Gallina, two Iraq combat wounded veterans on a mission to provide housing solutions for Service Connected Disabled and Aging Veterans that are substantial in function, design, and quality. Purple Heart Homes has two programs: Veterans Aging in Place (VAIP), which encompasses the Operation Veterans Home Renovation Project (OVHR), and The Veterans Home Ownership Program (VHOP). From building a ramp for wheelchair-bound veterans to providing home ownership opportunities to veterans with physical as well as invisible injuries, Purple Heart Homes’ programs are designed out of necessity and fit the specific needs of veterans of all ages and from all eras, helping them to live and age in place, in their own safe, accessible and sustainable homes. For more information, visit ( Purple Heart Homes – Improving Veterans’ Lives One Home at a Time.

Renu commits to quality with NC solar Code of Conduct

The N.C. Sustainable Energy Association recently headed up the creation for the first ever code of professional conduct for solar installers who contract with residential and commercial clients for full-service solar projects.

As reported in the Charlotte Business Journal Duke Energy is running rebate program from 2018-2022 that’s offering savings on projects for eligible customers. Renu Energy Solutions joins with several other members of the organization of sustainable energy businesses to establish baseline professional codes for the industry.

Mike Davis, Director of membership for the Raleigh-based NCSEA, says: “A code of professional conduct is a good thing for any industry. But we have seen an influx of new players in the market (after Duke offered the rebates) and that gave us a sense of urgency.”

Who’s chasing the incentives?

When Duke Energy rolled out solar rebates this past spring — mandated by last year’s Competitive Energy Solutions for NC Act — North Carolina notably jumped back up into the top-tier market for residential and commercial solar.

But evidently, a lot of installers who were not in North Carolina previously are getting on the scene now because of local incentives provided through the utility. Installers native to the area are looking to be vigilant and make sure that newcomers can be held accountable for practices that consumers don’t like and shouldn’t have to deal with, which according to the Charlotte Business Journal’s reporting include “high-pressure sales, over-promising on incentives that don’t come through, overselling potential savings and, in some cases, doing shoddy workmanship.”

Ensuring integrity and quality, together

From this point on, NCSEA will not accept new members or retain existing members who do not adhere to the professional conduct described in the code. “We want to be able to assure the public that our members are upholding the highest standards in the industry,” he says. Renu Energy Solutions and other signatories pledge to refrain from deceptive or misleading advertising, never refer to renewable energy as “free” when it isn’t, or to inflate the impact of future rate increases by utilities to solar seem more attractive.

At Renu Energy Solutions in Charlotte, which has grown in recent years to employ 30 people at our Charlotte and Jamestown offices, we’ve by and large heard few reports of solar companies preying on customers’ lack of knowledge. The solar ecosystem here is filled with high-quality firms. But in light of the 60 cents per watt rebate for residential solar, perhaps this code of conduct is overdue or at least well-timed. These incentives can lure all kinds of solar players and we hope to consumers can feel confident choosing someone who’s a part of this code of conduct. We know that any time one person or company has a bad experience with a solar installer, it’s a detriment to all of us.

The right standards for solar in NC

Where did these standards come from? NCSEA and its members reviewed codes of conduct from other states, including in particular South Carolina and California, to develop some initial proposals. Through meetings and conversations with its 27 solar installation and financing members, the group made refinements until the companies finally adopted it. Look at it for yourself and learn what it means to abide by the NC solar installers’ code.

Furniture wholesale business goes green, owner goes solar

Mark Phillips has installed a rooftop electric system at home and greened his warehouse

Phillips Solar Install

Phillips Collection Solar Install

Spring 2020- HIGH POINT, NC – The signature wood and stone furnishings and sculptures from Phillips Collection stand out in any room. Owner Mark Phillips has recently received attention for a different distinction: He’s completed major energy efficiency retrofits to his 166,000-square-foot headquarters to demonstrate environmental responsibility. At an electric cooperative conference in Asheville where he was invited to speak, he explained the many energy-saving changes they’ve made, including:

  • Removing all halogen bulbs from track lighting and replacing with articulated LED fixtures newly invented for this purpose that make use of existing track (in collaboration with ERD of Kernersville) eliminating the need for expensive rewiring, and reducing cooling needs and lighting cost. They even acquired a specialized bulb disposal machine for the job.

  • Right-sized the incoming power transformers with help from ElectriCITIES, modifying the facility’s demand

  • Put in 3 electric vehicle charging spaces outside offering free power for customers who can plug in

  • Implementing a solar installation for the business

Furniture design has long been a part of High Point’s culture and Mark’s company specializes in designing organic pieces that embrace natural materials. From mango and acacia tree roots to reclaimed teak, Phillips Collection sources sustainable materials and transforms them into prized conversation pieces. Mark acknowledges that his business depends largely on natural ecology and travels to Thailand to ensure that the next generation of arborists and carpenters are ready to continue a steady relationship with him and his team. On a recent visit he rallied a group of 400 — comprised of local students, teachers, factory workers, villagers and local officials — and together they planted 6,000 trees in a single day.

using less power, storing and showcasing the same great furniture designs

Phillips went solar at his home this month, and the business installation is scheduled for October. Renu Energy Solutions is providing both the residential and commercial installations. Combined they add up to 45 kiloWatts in total size, estimated to produce over 63,000 kiloWatt hours of solar power in its first year.

About his choice to go solar, he says: “My father always said the big decisions in life are obvious. This was one of those.” For Mark, addressing energy sustainability expresses his values, and at the same time he notes that he’s likely to come out ahead by betting that the cost of electricity isn’t going down. He says he committed to energy efficiency and solar at his business and home to save money and because, “it’s the right thing to do.”

Phillips Collection Owner Mark Phillips will be available to talk about his experience pursuing energy efficiency and green standards before and during this upcoming event.