A prominent name in solar energy, Clean Energy Solutions is offering tailored solar solutions with the most competitive rates and financing options. It is the brainchild of an American business leader and influencer, David Gomez- CEO & Founder. Known as the agent of change, David Gomez is deeply passionate about Solar and Sustainable Energy. And, CES is the culmination of his lifelong passion for bringing new ideas to fruition.
Born in Sweden, David Gomez moved to Los Angeles at the age of 10 where he was raised by his single mother. She instilled in David her strong work ethic, which he applied to his first job – selling car insurance. This early exposure helped him hone his sales skills, allowing him to transition to the mortgage industry. He eventually founded his own lending company, which became one of the fastest-growing mortgage firms in the industry at that time.
“The 2008 economic crisis hit the mortgage industry hard, forcing me to explore other avenues. When a friend walked me through the ins and outs of solar power, I immediately realized that this was the future. And with the right approach, I could build a thriving business helping homeowners save money (while simultaneously saving the planet). That’s when I launched Clean Energy Solutions“, shared Mr David.
CLEAN ENERGY SOLUTIONS: HARNESSING THE POWER OF SOLAR
Clean Energy Solutions is a California-based solar firm with an international office in Mexico. Although it offersa range of renewable energy solutions, the core product is solar service agreement – a type of power purchase agreement (PPA) that allows homeowners to go solar with $0 down.
Instead of a homeowner buying a solar system outright, the company installs a system on client’s home with zero money out of pocket, and the customer only pays for the electricity generated by the solar system every month. They end up paying drastically less for solar energy than they would to their utility company.
The sun shines everywhere. And their PPAs provide access to those who might otherwise sit on the sidelines of the solar revolution. These agreements make the technology far more affordable, allowing more people to reap (and share) the benefits of clean energy.
THE KEY FACTOR BEHIND THE INITIATIVE
It’s hard to pinpoint any single factor. But several inflection points stand out, including:
Selling car insurance. Being on the phone all day long selling policies gave David a strong sales foundation. It was a lot of work, but he loved it. It was also the first time he started making some decent money.
The 2008 economic crisis. Although David and his team kept going for several years, it effectively was the beginning of the end of their days in the mortgage industry. But without that kick in the pants, he never would have launched CES.
Landing the first big solar finance partner, Sunnova. David drove out to Las Vegas for an industry conference, simply hoping to make a connection with a finance partner that could open the door for them. By the time he drove home 12 hours later, through sheer luck and determination, he had gotten a commitment from Sunnova to be a finance partner. It was the day that changed everything early.
CLIENTS AND UNBREAKABLE FAITH
The clientele includes homeowners who want to save money on electricity and help the world transition to cleaner and more sustainable forms of energy. This is a large and growing market, which is why the CES team has expanded their operations beyond their original service area of California. They now have a presence in Texas, with plans to become licensed in 20+ states before the end of the year. And they also recently established a bilingual office in Mexico.
Building trust in the underregulated solar market hasn’t been easy. Anyone can start an installation company. And there are very few laws preventing the types of hype and distortions you often see in solar marketing materials.
“I think what clients appreciate most is our transparency. We never over promise anything. And in fact, we’re very upfront about what solar can and cannot do. This honesty sometimes loses us the sale. But those who decide to move forward knowing exactly what they’re getting. And with our solar service agreements, we make the process incredibly affordable“, David proudly said while highlighting the factors behind his strong client relationships.
SURMOUNTING ENTREPRENEURIAL HICCUPS
Solar is a technology that sells itself. As such, the industry attracts a lot of competition. So, the core focus of the CES team has been on streamlining the sales process and differentiating their offerings in a sea of competing offers.
The first pivot came from the realization that using traditional appointments was logistically impractical. There are only so many homes you can canvas per hour. And they all have to be within driving distance. So, they opened a call center dedicated to solar outreach. This strategy proved wildly successful since they could connect with far more homeowners for a fraction of the cost.
Even still, call centers are hard to scale – especially if you want to maintain quality. That’s why they eventually moved past traditional telemarketing in favour of digital marketing. This transition has allowed the company to continue delivering a consistent message – while enjoying one of the lowest costs per acquisition (CPAs) in the entire industry.
“I wish I could chalk everything to my blood, sweat, and tears. Every entrepreneur wants an origin story like that. But the relationships I’ve cultivated along the way were arguably more important than anything else. They amplified my hard work and unlocked opportunities I never would have found on my own. In fact, many of the best ideas I’ve had come from friends and business associates (including the idea for Clean Energy Solutions)”, David apprised.
You’ll go farther in life and business if you cultivate the right relationships and avoid burning bridges.
A DAY IN DAVID GOMEZ’S LIFE
While talking about daily routine David said, “My morning starts at 6 am, when I eat breakfast and read non-fiction for at least 30 minutes. Thereafter, I meditate for 10 minutes (with the Calm app). Several times a week, I also go to the gym for 40 minutes of intense weightlifting.”
“In the office by 8, I start planning and prioritizing for the day. Most mornings are devoted to meetings, calls, and loose ends. In the afternoon, I work on big picture tasks like developing new markets and expanding our reach.”
“Around 5:30, I go home for the evening to spend quality time with my family. A lot of entrepreneurs overlook the importance of family time. And in my early days, I was guilty of this too. But balance keeps you sane and motivated. I honestly work better when I have regular social contact with loved ones.”
“My hobbies include college football, boxing, golf, and travel. 2020 was a brutal year in which to cultivate these specific interests. But the pandemic gave me more time to invest with friends and family. So, I can’t complain”, he further added.
“I just finished “Kings of Crypto,” which is about the launch of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency exchange – Coinbase. It’s always fun to go behind the scenes of a fast-growing company. And it’s impossible to not get inspired”, shared David on asked about his recent favourite book.
David focuses on expanding the business across the nation. By the end of 2021, the company hopes to be licensed in 20+ states – with all sales coming from their call center and digital outreach efforts. Both of these marketing strategies are still in their early days. But they plan on launching a truly national outreach campaign by the end of this year. This type of growth is both exciting and terrifying.
ACHIEVEMENTS & MILESTONES
Clean Energy Solutions has grown over 6,500% in the past seven years, is expanding into Texas and Florida, and has been on Inc Magazine’s Inc 500 and Inc 5000 list multiple times.It is the first solar company to do all sales digitally and by phone. Besides, it is one of the first US solar providers to go international (with bilingual offices in Mexico).
Another great achievement of David and his team is that they handle all their marketing and sales in-house choosing not to work with sales dealers. Cutting out the middleman allows them to deliver a more consistent product, and they enjoy some of the highest margins in the industry
A PIECE OF ADVICE FOR ENTREPRENEURS
Most entrepreneurs want to bypass the corporate world and do their own thing. And who can blame them? Becoming your own boss is the ultimate goal after all.
However, David Gomez strongly recommends getting as much experience as you can before starting a business. And this means working with a company that specializes in whatever field you want to pursue. It’s not glamorous. And the corporate world doesn’t offer the same job security it once did. But you’ll save a lot of time and money by mastering the ropes before setting off on your own.
“Everyone has a plan until they get hit in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson.