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November 03. 2013 11:41PM

Trulight founders aim to be top NH solar provider


Solar panels are installed on the roof of a building. Founders of Trulight Energy Group say the market is “primed” for a surge in using green energy. (Courtesy)

DEERFIELD — With the recent decrease in cost associated with solar power, two New Hampshire men have started a business they believe will crack open the New Hampshire market for cost-efficient green power.

Shane Carter and Andrew Kellar started the Trulight Energy Group in May, and already they have generated nearly $2 million in business despite having done no marketing.

"We are likely going to do a hard launch in January, and that is when we are really going to be able to show what we are capable of," Carter said.

An issue that Kellar said he has run into in the past, especially in New Hampshire, is cost.

"People appreciate solar, but it really comes down to economics," Kellar said. "Our solution is to provide green energy at or below what people are paying now. We think the market is primed."

Carter said part of what makes Trulight a potentially successful business is that it will go through the entire process with its customers of installing the solar panels, from design and construction, to helping apply for applicable tax credits.

"We are a full suite of in-house services. We manage the entire process from beginning to end. It is a fully integrated business model," Carter said.

Part of the reason the partners are so confident stems from their ability to implement a business model that allows customers to buy solar power from Trulight without having to buy the equipment. If a customer chooses not to buy the equipment, the company will incur the cost of installing and running the solar panels that generate that power, but the customer will pay Trulight for the power."The concept is very new to the region. It is being implemented around the country with tremendous success, and there is a value there," Carter said. "I will put solar panels on your roof, and you pay me less for power than you pay the power company. It is a win-win proposition. And we can charge less than power companies and still earn a profit."Kellar said the customer base of the business is potentially varied, from individual homes to businesses, schools and even entire municipalities.

"We have a robust pipeline of projects in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and we have a pretty lofty goal in that we anticipate doing about five megawatts of solar power every year, the equivalent of 25 acres of solar panels. And we want to continue to push New Hampshire in the right direction" when it comes to green power, Kellar said.

Carter said he and Kellar are in this business for the long haul.

"There is no getting rich quick on this. It is a long term plan and business model, but the goal is to be the No. 1 provider of solar power in New Hampshire, and we are taking an intelligent long-term look at to how to build a sustainable business model," Carter said.bklein@newstote.com