Despite the implementation of new tariffs on imported solar panels, Simmitri Inc Affordable Roofing and Solar is using innovation to ensure that the sun will not set on a budding industry.
Simmitri Inc Affordable Roofing and Solar started in 1995 strictly as a roofing company. When Pamela and Richard’s son Jonathan Garcia graduated from San Jose State in 2003 with degrees in Environmental Studies and Alternative Energy he brought the idea of branching into solar energy to the family business.
“Solar revolutionized our company in a big way,” Simmitri President Pamela Garcia said.
“Simmitri is energy solutions based company that focuses on bringing a balanced and comprehensive approach to the market. Jonathan, Simmitri’s Chief Technology Officer, said. “We work with commercial customers, agriculture, non-profits and private homes. We not only bring a leading and balanced approach to solar, but we are also developing innovative solutions for our customers and the market.”
Simmitri prides itself on being a company that works individually with their customers to find solutions to their energy problems that precisely fit what they need.
“Sometimes when we work with a customer their solutions may not be solar panels, but rather a focus on energy efficiency,” Jonathan said. “For businesses, they may want to install EV charging stations for their customers. They may also need lightweight-flexible solar panels, rather than regular solar panels installed on their roof.”
Despite the announcement of increased tariffs on imported solar panels, customers are still able to claim a 30 percent federal tax credit on the cost of solar installation. With the tax credit and the energy-producing potential of solar panels, customers can make their new roofs work for them to save long-term money.
“We look at the power quality of a building to see how we can make buildings run more efficiently,” Jonathan said. “We look at LED lighting, heating, and air conditioning, refrigeration and solar to see how we can optimize the energy usage of a building. That’s what we have accomplished for the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce.”
Simmitri also offers no money down financing to assist non-profit organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce and St. Clare’s Retreat Center in Soquel. Recently Simmitri installed solar panels at the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce Office, giving the city a first-hand experience with their work.
“It is expensive equipment, but one of the most expensive things for a contractor is managing the customer’s experience after the solar is installed,” Jonathan said. “We need to make sure the panels are producing the power that the customer needs and a lot of companies aren’t able to do that effectively.”
Simmitri is no stranger to innovation, and to help streamline the company’s customer service, they have developed a cell phone app which other solar companies will pay a subscription fee to use.
“Sometimes it’s a big logistical nightmare to take care of your customers, and that’s where we shine,” Jonathan said. “We decided that instead of spending more money on employees and overtime, we should invest in technology instead, so we developed the Simmitri app. We’ve been working on the app for a couple of years, and we’re close to releasing it for use by other companies.”
One of the newer examples of solar technology utilized by Simmitri, Roofing & Solar is the thin-film solar panels manufactured by MiaSolé, a Sunnyvale based company currently owed by Hanergy America. The innovative solar cell is based on the highest efficiency thin film technology available today according to Simmitri, and its flexible cell architecture makes it ideal for a wide variety of solutions ranging from commercial roofing solar panels to mobile devices.
Since Hanergy does not use silicon solar cells for their thin-film solar panels and because the panels are manufactured in the US, they are not subject to the new tariff.
“The solar industry at large is not thrilled with this decision as they predict this will drive the cost of solar panels to the end user by at least 10 percent,” Garcia said. “My hope is that this goal of encouraging more U.S. based production will bring American manufacturing back to our States and we will continue to see new technologies emerge, and America can lead the way into the future of renewable energy.