Built Well Solar started in 2001 when its founder, a 9/11 first responder concerned about our dependence on foreign oil realized solar energy was the perfect energy-saving, cost-cutting solution for Long Islanders.
Long Island’s original solar energy company, Built Well Solar celebrates its15th anniversary this year.
The Chamber of Commerce of the Bellmores will commemorate this milestone by sponsoring a special ribbon cutting at our office located at 2752 Grand Avenue in Bellmore on Friday, May 6 at 3:30 PM. All are welcome to attend the ceremony.
“It’s amazing how quickly 15 years have gone by,” said company founder & CEO Dan Sabia. “Since then we’ve welcomed thousands of happy customers to our Built Well Solar family, having changed their financial lives for the better. Some of them have paid for college tuitions, cars, boats, dream vacations, or expanded their businesses with the money they’ve saved switching to solar energy. It’s just fantastic.”
9/11 Responder’s Realization
When Built Well Solar began, it was also the start of the Solar Pioneer incentive program offered through the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA, later taken over by PSEG-Long Island).
“After serving as a first responder at 9/11, seeing that devastation, I realized we needed to do something to alleviate our dependence on foreign oil,” Mr. Sabia explained. Sabia is a retired U.S. Army National Guard officer, with the rank of Major, who was called to Ground Zero after the Twin Towers fell on 9/11 because of his expertise in nuclear/ biological and chemical weapons, and served as logistics officer/facilities engineer with the Army Corps of Engineers as commander of the 204th Engineers at Camp Smith in Peekskill, New York.
“When I read about the Solar Pioneer program on my LIPA bill in 2001, I jumped at the chance to participate,” Mr. Sabia said. “I founded Built Well Solar so that I could buy solar panels and the other equipment I needed because the only company I could find that sold the equipment would not sell to individuals.” Adding to his military logistic knowhow, construction/architecture college education and other professional expertise as a general contractor and school district facilities director, Sabia completed certification in photovoltaic design and installation of solar technology. The latter he traveled upstate and to Florida to obtain since that course of study was not available locally 15 years ago.
Installs First 10 kW Residential System on Long Island
Soon the company installed its first photovoltaics system on Mr. Sabia’s own home in North Bellmore. This turned out to be the first 10-kilowatt residential PV system on Long Island.
“That’s how I got into to the solar business,” Mr. Sabia said. “I started part-time (I was a full-time facilities director for a local school district at the time), starting with my house, then a friend’s house, then a neighbor’s house and so on, more friends, more neighbors. Before I knew it, I was in business.”
“When Built Well Solar opened, there wasn’t a solar panel in sight. It was like the Wild West back then,” Mr. Sabia explained. “Only two of us were providing solar energy on Long Island, just the two companies, our company in Nassau county for the most part and Go Solar, which has since folded, in Suffolk county for the most part.”
In its first year, Built Well Solar had three employees, Sabia included, and installed just four residential PV systems. Today, with dozens on staff, the company has since installed thousands of residential, commercial and non-profit solar energy systems, more than most other Long Island solar companies combined.
Our focus has always been on being straightforward with our customers,” Nancy HIler, Chief Operating Officer said. “It’s about explaining how solar energy works, dispelling the many myths out there so that customers understand just how affordable solar is, how the payback is usually 3-4 years, and how incentives such as federal and state tax credits come into play.” What also distinguishes the company from others, she said, is that they do no engage in high-pressure sales, cold calls or door-knocking, and have always advocated PV purchases rather than leasing’s rent-your-roof scheme, since purchases are undeniably much more beneficial financially to consumers.
A “Solar 500” Company
In addition to receiving many consumer-oriented accolades, including Better Business Bureau A+ rated and having been voted “Best of Long Island” for four consecutive years, the national magazine, Solar Power World, ranks Built Well Solar among the “SOLAR 500,” placing 293rd of the “2015 Top 500 Solar Contractors.”
“We’re very pleased and proud to celebrate 15 years of helping thousands of fellow Long Island homeowners and business owners to cut or eliminate their electric bills, just so many happy customers,” Mr. Sabia said. “We look forward as we add new customers every week, continuing to make a difference to our neighbors, their wallets, and the planet we all live on.”
As a special anniversary offer, Built Well Solar is taking $250 off its already highly competitive pricing for any homeowner who signs up with the company before September 1, 2016, not to be combined with any other discounts or offers. Commercial discounts will be greater, proportionate to their larger system sizes. Additionally, the company enhances its $50 per kW referral fee to $60 per kW to anyone who recommends a customer whose installation takes place prior to the end of 2016.
News item from Built Well Solar