This is the first installment of our new Web series, "Get to Know an Installer." We’re going to introduce you to the people who really make the solar industry tick. We also hope to show you how, exactly, our partner installers work with customers to help them meet their energy goals. So without further ado, here's a profile of Paul Fleury and Greg White, two hard-working guys who are trying to bring affordable sustainable energy to greater Charleston, South Carolina.
Spend about a minute on the phone with Paul Fleury, and you'll realize you're speaking with someone who loves what he does for a living. The affable Maryland native left his previous job in the automobile industry to co-found Sustainable Energy Solutions, a Charleston, South Carolina-based company that specializes in installing solar thermal systems. Now Fleury and his partner, Greg White, spend their days helping homeowners understand the benefits of using the sun to heat their domestic water.
When asked what they enjoy most about their new jobs, Fleury chuckled. "No longer having a boss." He then went on, " We enjoy contributing to the community in a way that really helps people. We're trying to help move Charleston forward to becoming a sustainable city. We want people to know that they can reduce their energy use and save money without giving up their lifestyle."
Fleury and White, who both attended the University of Georgia, met in 2004, several years after they graduated. In the interim, White had gained considerable experience with structural wiring and smart monitors for residential applications.
Following some preliminary conversations, the two decided to get serious about starting their own company. They spent four months putting together a business plan. The decision to install solar thermal systems was "a natural choice," according to Fleury. He noted that such systems are relatively affordable compared to solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, and offer a solid return on investment. "We saw solar thermal as one of the best ways to help homeowners save money and energy, right off the bat," Fleury noted.