With more than 30 years in the roofing business, Citadel Roofing & Solar has also established a niche in the Northern California region for careful solar installations. Since the company is so experienced in roofing and has relationships with home builders, Citadel expects to capitalize on California’s mandate that all new homes be equipped with solar arrays.
In this Contractor’s Corner podcast Solar Power World editor-in-chief Kelly Pickerel talks with Aaron Nitzkin, Citadel’s executive VP, about the company’s reputation in the roofing and solar industries.
A portion of the interview is below, but be sure to listen to the full podcast for even more insight, including more about the company’s relationship with service provider and product distributor Solar Roof Dynamics, how storage is being incorporated into the California solar mandate and how the mandate might contribute to a labor shortage. Find the Contractor’s Corner podcast on your favorite podcast app.
How intertwined are the roofing and solar sides of the business?
Aaron: They are very intertwined. One of the main reasons we got into solar was our dismay upon seeing roof after roof getting damaged during solar installations. We saw many solar installers, while they might have a lot of knowledge and expertise in solar, they struggle sometimes on how to evaluate roofs, let alone follow best roofing practices as it relates to roof penetrations. We have over 30 years of experience in roofing. That brings our solar installation quality up very high, and we evaluate every roof prior to installing solar to ensure that the roof is in good enough condition and has enough life left that you maximize the solar return on investment.
How is Citadel working on the California mandate?
Aaron: Citadel already works with over 80 home builders throughout the state so the transition will be relatively smooth for us. We provide home builders the full suite of offerings tailored specifically to new construction and including special financing, system sizing and design, homebuyer sales consultations, customer support. It’s just a different beast selling solar to a home builder than it is to a consumer, but we’ve been preparing for this mandate for over a year now, expanding our staff and really gearing up for what we believe will be a large increase in project value.
As the California solar market becomes more saturated, what reasons are customers going solar today?
Aaron: I think the answer has changed over time. Today I believe that California consumers are losing trust in our utilities. They’re tired of rate increases, they’re concerned about utility financials and they feel very disenfranchised by the recent forced power outages. Another reason obviously that many Californians are going solar is the desire to fight climate change. Combined, I believe we will see solar and energy storage adoption rates continue to rise at a very healthy pace over the next few years.