Perhaps you’ve seen HPE outdoor billboards or HPE trucks around town, or seen them at a community event, in the news, or at job sites installing solar panels to the ever-increasing enlightened who are producing energy instead of buying it.
As you may already know “HPE” is Hot Purple Energy, a Coachella Valley based business that helps homeowners and businesses convert to more sustainable, efficient energy systems.
Recently, HPE was honored as the 2014 Small Business of the Year in Sacramento. Assemblyman V. Manuel Pérez stated, “The work of Hot Purple Energy has brought tangible gains for energy efficiency to our desert communities, while raising awareness about energy conservation and the benefits of solar power.”
David Herrlinger, Hot Purple Energy VP, addressing the benefits of converting to solar energy, states, “First of all, it’s cheaper. If you look at the cost of solar per kilowatt-hour, it’s cheaper than even the least expensive tier of Edison power. Secondly, because you own the equipment, you’re protected regarding energy cost. So whether Edison rates increase or changes occur with the grid over time, you’re immune to that, because you basically have a guaranteed power plant for 25-plus years on your house. When you switch to solar, you’re self-reliant. You’re self-sufficient.”
CREATING YOUR OWN ELECTRICITY
David explained that traditional energy, whether it’s coming from the grid, a coal power plant or a hydroelectric plant – you have no idea where the energy coming down the line to your house is being generated, or what it’s being generated by. All you know is that you’re paying for it. “When you have your own power plant, you’re actually feeding the grid and not relying on the powers that be. You’re creating your own electricity. Talk about going organic, there aren’t many opportunities we have to produce our own anything. Energy is one of them,” he adds.
Now that solar energy use is more widely embraced, there are some myths that need busting. David shares, “Not all solar panels are the same. People need to be aware of the equipment they’re getting, and there’s the myth that all solar installations are the same. That’s not true. The type of panel you use, the type of wire you use, the way it looks, the way it’s oriented, how it’s integrated with your home. These all make a big difference. The quality of the installation really does matter. You’re talking about a power plant that’s going to last over 25 years. You don’t want to cut corners. People think they should just focus on the monthly payment and don’t need to pay attention to who’s doing the installation and the quality of the equipment. That’s a concern.”
OFF THE GRID FOR GOOD
“You never hear people ask to take solar off the roof. Once people have it, they don’t want to go back to the grid. Generally, they want more. Once you can produce your own power, you don’t say ‘Oh no, I’d rather go back to paying more for the grid energy’. People who have it love it,” said David.
Hot Purple Energy has experienced great growth in a short time. “We’re a general contractor. We’re not simply a solar company. So, we can build the house. We can deconstruct and reconstruct the entire house. That separates us from over 90% of the solar companies who just focus on the financial equation of getting an interest component off of you. We’re a contractor saying, how are we going to best lower your energy consumption and supplement it with a properly sized and integrated quality solar system? How are we going to get you the best value, longevity and increased value for your home, from today, going forward? Nobody does a system as well as we do. That separates us,” explains David.
Solar energy, being relatively new, is being offered by numerous companies and individuals with varying levels of experience, expertise and quality. “We see misleading sales practices in the marketplace. We’re known for being truth mongers and a company that looks out for our neighbors. People truly appreciate that. There are installations we see that have exposed conduits, junction boxes in odd places, cheap panels, plastic zip ties holding wires together. These installers are in and out as quickly as possible. HPE works hard to make it look like we were never there. We use the best equipment and have a 20-year warranty. We provide attention to detail that clients expect of us,” adds David.
PUTTING ENERGY INTO THE COMMUNITY
HPE is an engaged community partner that participates in scores of community events each year, as well as supporting local organizations, including the Desert Cancer Foundation, the Desert AIDS Project, Coachella Valley History Museum, the Living Desert, and the Humane Society of the Desert, among many others. HPE is also involved in educational efforts to help cultivate the next generation workforce through the Renewable Energy Academy of Learning at Desert Hot Springs High School and the Desert Energy Enterprise Center at College of the Desert.
David shares, “We had over 75 bikes donated to us in May for the Palm Springs Boys and Girls Club. It has nothing to do with solar. Nothing to do with us trying to deal with Southern California Edison rate increases. It has everything to do with sustainability, health, and getting bikes for kids so they can ride to school. At the Mizell Senior Center, we donate jazz bands to their events and their fundraisers, because it’s part of being a partner in the community. We want to help people lead healthier lives. We want to be part of the Coachella Valley’s evolution towards more sustainable living.”