CraftingAndExecuting Strategy Concepts and Cases_Case_namastesolar

CraftingAndExecuting Strategy Concepts and Cases_Case_namastesolar

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Unformatted text preview: Leeds case library for sustainable business Namasté Solar Table of Contents Overview The Start of Something New Namasté Solar’s Core Values Company Background 10 11 Company Background VIDEO 1 Co-Ownership Model, Philanthropy 12 The Founders 1 Collaboraive Decision-Making 13 Making a Business of Values VIDEO 2 Uniform Pay Structure 13 Making a Business of Values 2 “Frank, Open, and Honest” (FOH) 14 Amendment 37 3 Study Questions - Set 1 15 National Recognition VIDEO 4 Success Brings Struggles 16 National Recognition 4 Key Decision 17 Industry Awards 5 Study Questions - Set 2 18 Challenges 6 Namasté Solar Solution 19 “How Well Did It Work?” 21 Study Questions - Set 3 22 Industry Background Photovoltaics 7 Industry Growth 8 Making a Business of Values Values in Tension VIDEO 9 Values in Tension 9 Namasté Solar Table of Contents Redefining Management Redefining Management VIDEO 23 Redefining Management 23 Company Culture 24 Co-Ownership and Internal Trading Board 26 Detailed Decision-Making 27 Systematic Salary Structure 29 Non-Hierarchical Management Structure 30 Redefining The Management Structure 31 Study Questions - Set 4 32 Harnessing the Power of Solar Harnessing the Power of Solar VIDEO 33 Works Cited 43 Exhibits 44 Hailey Broderick, Dr. Stephanie Gripne, Heather Lowry, Nicholas Mooney, and Dr. Donna Sockell prepared this case study as the basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of an administrative situation. This work is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons, Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/the copyright holder, [email protected] for all other uses. Company Background The Founders Blake Jones, Wes Kennedy, and Ray Tuomey founded Namasté Solar in late 2004. Their first foray into the public eye occurred at the annual Boulder Creek Festival in May 2005 amidst local dance troupes, microbrewery tents, and Coloradoan artisans. When potential customers visited Namasté Solar’s tent, they were captivated by the company’s unique humanitarian core values and forward-thinking business processes. Namasté Solar found its perfect home in Boulder, Colorado. These three founders, also the company’s first employees, contributed diverse business backgrounds to Namasté Solar. Jones’s background was in international oil at Halliburton, Kennedy had been a solar panel technician at Gaiam, Inc., and Tuomey had worked for years in production management and promotion. Together the team had a diverse set of skills and a depth of credibility in the renewable energy sector. Jones’s experience was a particularly valuable asset as it involved working for both traditional oil corporations in the Middle East and serving in Asia as the Engineering and Service Manager for Lotus Energy, a Nepal-based renewable energy company. Blake Jones •Co-Owner/Co-Founder •President & Chief Executive Officer Play Company Background Video Company Background Making a Business of Values Jones, Kennedy, and Tuomey sought to build a business that reflected their core values and a unique structure that instilled responsibility and pride in the employees. Establishing a business in renewable energy was not enough; the partners wanted to avoid the problems they had experienced in previous firms by creating a company built upon a co-ownership model, nonhierarchical employee positions, and a meticulous decisionmaking model. Besides creating a better business model, they also sought to create strong ties to the Colorado community through generous grant programs. Making a Business of Values Video “We were on the same page for what kind of company we wanted to start…wanting it to be employee-owned, to share everything as much as possible, and to have a really flat hierarchy. . . to just do something different.” -Blake Jones Company Background Amendment 37 When Colorado’s Amendment 37 passed on November 3, 2004, it positioned solar power as a necessary energy resource (see Exhibit 1). The law came into effect on December 1, 2004 requiring the largest utilities in the state to obtain 3% of their electricity from renewable energy by 2010 and 10% by 2015. Of the renewable energy sourced, the Amendment mandated that 4% be from solar power (Broehl, 2004). This landmark legislation created a unique market opportunity for Namasté Solar. “Having worked for nonprofits (and that somewhat hand to mouth existence that a lot of non-profits find themselves in) our goal was to be profitable and to work at a profitable company, but to be able to give back the way nonprofits do (maybe even more so), to play a positive role in the community, and to be leaders in charitable giving and philanthropy.” –Ray Tuomey Company Background National Recognition On February 17, 2009, Namasté Solar gained national notoriety when the President of the United States, Barack Obama, signed the economic stimulus bill at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. As a symbol of his commitment to the emerging green economy, the President chose Blake Jones to introduce him on this historic occasion and all 55 employees of Namasté Solar joined the President on stage. The firm had recently installed a 100-kilowatt (kW) solar array at the museum. Blake gave the Vice President and President a tour of the array and passionately advocated solar energy. The day of the event, Namasté Solar was flooded with phone calls, sales inquiries, and requests to interview Jones. The company also experienced an enormous increase in sales leads. Though sales conversion rates did not immediately increase, the event gave the company enhanced credibility. National Recognition Video Company Background Industry Awards By 2010, Namasté Solar had won numerous awards for its commitment to renewable energy and its unique business model, including: the EcoCycle Outstanding Recycling Program Award, Innovations Award from the National Center for Employee Ownership, and the Eagle Award from SunPower Corporation. In 2009, Inc. magazine named Namasté Solar the 56th fastest growing company. Its accomplishments were confirmed with a market share upwards of 20% in Colorado. Since the company’s inception, more than 1,500 PV systems have been installed, together exceeding 10 megawatts (MW). Though this high market share was not difficult to obtain given the relatively few solar panel companies in the U.S., it further supported Namasté Solar’s seemingly instantaneous success. While Namasté Solar’s leaders saw the company as competing with other solar integrators, they considered energy sources like coal and natural gas as their fiercest competitors. As Jones stated in a bi-weekly company meeting, “Our competitors who are also installing solar panels are competitors on a micro level. On a macro level, we’re all on the same team, trying to compete against the conventional alternatives like fossil fuel.” Company Background Challenges An onslaught of new government legislation and increased consumer interest inspired new solar companies and strengthened direct Colorado competitors like Lighthouse Solar and SolSource. However, Namasté Solar remained strong as the industry standard for residential and small commercial solar installation. Its great reputation was primarily based on superior customer satisfaction (see Exhibit 2), collaborative relationships with their vendors, and highly skilled installation teams. And while competing solar companies relied on shipments to the site directly from vendors (which often lead to delayed installations), Namasté Solar stored panels and equipment at two warehouses, thereby securing equipment in time of silicon shortages and also avoiding equipment mishaps at the installation site. Namasté Solar sourced its panels from three main solar panel manufacturers: SunPower, Kyocera Solar, and Sharp Solar. Market dominance did not come easily, and changes within the firm threatened its viability. Namasté Solar continued to work with growing pains such as insufficient pay, inconsistent decision-making processes, and installation project backlogs. One the one hand, Namasté Solar was a Coloradoan favorite and relished in toadying press coverage, including support from the President. On the other hand, the firm struggled to hold to its core values, unusual managerial structure, and maverick attitude within an increasingly competitive industry. Industry Background The roots of solar photovoltaic energy grew out of experiments done by French physicist Antoine-Cesar Becquerel in 1839. He observed that he could produce an electric current by shining light on an electrolytic cell composed of an electrolyte and two electrodes. During the 1870s, the German scientist Heinrich Hertz and others observed the photovoltaic (PV) effect – the conversion of light into electricity – in solids. The first primitive PV cells were built in the 1800s, with about 1 to 2% efficiency. In 1954, U.S.-based Bell Labs introduced the first solar photovoltaic device that produced a useful amount of electricity. By the late 1950s solar cells were used in small-scale scientific and commercial applications, especially for the U.S. space program (States Advancing Solar, 2009). Photovoltaics Photovoltaic energy is a technology in which light is converted into electricity using photovoltaic modules that have no moving parts, operate quietly without emissions, and are capable of long-term use with minimal maintenance. Crystalline silicon, the same material commonly used by the semiconductor industry, is the material used in 94% of all PV modules today. PV modules generate direct current (DC) electricity. For residential use, the current is fed through an inverter to produce alternating current (AC) that can be used to power the home’s appliances. The main barrier to widespread use of this technology is the initial high equipment cost. Other barriers included few federal or state incentive programs and a limited availability of silicon (Wenzel, 2008). Industry Background Industry Growth PV technology had been advancing over the last few decades. In 1990, worldwide PV sales reached 48 MW including use in everything from pocket calculators to communications systems. In 2007, worldwide solar cell production reached a consolidated figure of 3,435 MW (States Advancing Solar, 2009). Due to national research and design programs and major capital investments in manufacturing, the price of solar PV dropped considerably, and in 2009 it cost one-tenth of what it had only 20 years prior. Public interest, media coverage, and federal incentives encouraged businesses and residences to explore renewable energy options. In Colorado, solar tax credits for solar installation projects increased to 30% in 2009 and the local utility company, Xcel, offered incentives through rebates that were as high as $4.50 per watt (DSIRE, 2009). Making a Business of Values Values in Tension One Wednesday morning in 2007 at an all-company meeting, Jones looked around, and realized the small conference room was no longer large enough for the company. Employees were sitting on the floor in the aisles and standing in the corners. They were meeting to face a difficult decision about Namasté Solar’s future. The unique vision on which Namasté Solar was founded led to so much success that in 2007 the very business model itself was becoming untenable. The employees needed to confront an issue that had been brewing in everyone’s mind. The rapid growth of the company had made many of their small business practices impractical, but those distinctive practices were also part of the company’s formative values and vision. The employees needed to decide which was more important: growth and expansion of the business, or the original vision of the company. Values in Tension Video Making a Business of Values The Start of Something New The original vision of the company grew out of the common goal that Jones, Tuomey, and Kennedy had to start a company that treated all stakeholders equally. They wanted a company that gave back to the environment, took care of its community and its employees, and still turned a profit. Many of these visions stemmed from bad experiences with prior employers, including lack of motivation, lack of personal growth or betterment, and lack of overall inspiration. They believed there was a better way to run a business. The founders discussed their beliefs about businesses’ responsibility to society, and they founded Namasté Solar using a unique business model based on these beliefs. These guiding beliefs were translated into the company’s core values: Making a Business of Values Namasté Solar’s Core Values • • • • • Care of the Earth: Leave the environment a better place than we found it. Care of our Customers: Provide the best products, services, and overall customer experience. Care of our Community: Be a good neighbor and actively engage with our community. Care of our Company: Cultivate a collaborative, equitable, and fun company culture. Care of Ourselves: Strive to live balanced, healthy, and fulfilling lives. Making a Business of Values Co-Ownership Model As payroll employees in previous companies, the founders had difficulties finding passion and creativity in their work. To change this, they allowed (and encouraged) all employees to invest in a percentage ownership of the company. According to Jones, “We wanted to share the complete experience of small business management, of being an entrepreneur.” In theory, with employees’ own funds on the line, they would have a greater incentive and passion to work hard and make Namasté Solar as successful as possible. They would also feel loyalty to their workplace because they saw their potential to make it grow. The founders believed this system would be much more fulfilling to each employee. Philanthropy The founders saw themselves as members of their communities, both locally and globally. As such, they believed it was important to further the well being of those communities. Since 2008, Namasté Solar contributed at least 1% of its annual revenue to local communities through its innovative Solar Grant program. The firm considered the global community through its environmental initiatives. It received a “Gold Level” commercial interior certification from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for its main office in Boulder, and hired an employee dedicated to advocating new environmental legislation. When the company expanded into its Denver office, the founders purposefully chose a LEED certified office. Making a Business of Values Collaborative Decision-Making Along with the co-ownership model, the founders started Namasté Solar with a distinct decision-making model. The model aligned with the founders’ belief that collective minds are more creative and effective than individuals. Every Wednesday, employees gathered to discuss the direction of the company and make decisions together. All employees had equal say on decisions, regardless of experience or political clout within the company. This followed from the founders’ vision of a collaborative approach to business. Uniform Pay Structure The founders created a uniform pay structure in which every employee was paid exactly the same, regardless of position or title. Blake and his co-founders felt that in previous jobs they had struggled with the political implications of pay grades, position titles, and the distribution of power on the typical corporate ladder. They aimed for “a situation where nobody is looking over their shoulder and thinking ‘I wonder what he’s making.’” The uniform pay structure was created as an attempt to foster a harmonious culture where employees shared mutual appreciation and respect. Making a Business of Values “Frank, Open, and Honest” (FOH) As part of a culture of mutual appreciation and respect, “Frank, Open, and Honest” (FOH) communication was of particular importance to Tuomey. “What keeps me up at night is when people feel they’re not being communicated to, or that they are hearing things through a backdoor, rumors, or the standard classic water cooler gossip. It really challenges me when I hear FOH doesn’t work. It hurts, because it’s a concept I hold very near and dear.” Many companies have an open door policy, but the founders wanted to take that one step further. They created a culture where feedback was always given frankly, openly, and honestly. Employees were expected to give and receive constructive criticism with an amenable and respectful attitude. This helped to further blur the boundaries between hierarchies and inspire a collaborative and conscious culture unlike anything the founders had experienced in their prior employment. Making a Business of Values Study Questions Set 1: 1. How does Namasté Solar’s business model differ from a traditional business model built on maximizing shareholder wealth? 2. Would you seek to run a business built on these core values, why or why not? 3. Do you see any problems that could arise from a business built on these values? 4. What is the underlying view of the role of business in society/corporate social responsibility of the founders of Namasté Solar? Success Brings Struggles In 2007, after just two years of operating under the unique business model created by its founders, Namasté Solar had achieved tremendous success. But with this success came numerous struggles and the company had to resolve the tension between its unique culture and its burgeoning growth. With almost 30 employees, consensus decision-making had become lengthy and difficult. Employees were spending hours disputing one decision at a time. A new decision-making strategy had been proposed, but it involved decision tiers and limited the ability of employees to voice their concerns or objections. Some employees advocated decision tiers as being faster and potentially more efficient. Other employees felt the proposed system was unfair and believed they should have a say in everything that involved their own financial investments. After two years of receiving the same modest salaries, employees wanted to earn more. At this time, each employee earned $34,000 a year, which did not accommodate a comfortable lifestyle in Boulder. In addition, some employees felt they were doing significantly more work, bringing in more professional experience and expertise, or performing a more stressful type of work, than others. Some suggested a tiered pay scale where pay would be based on responsibilities and years with the company. This would help to curb the tension between employees about pay grades, but would also go against the founders’ initial vision of an equitable environment. Additionally, some employees expressed appreciation of Namasté Solar’s unique business model and wished to share in its ideals, but didn’t want to invest their own money in the company. They preferred to be hourly employees, instead of co-owners on salary. They wanted to work for a company they believed in, but didn’t want to share the stress of the potential failure of the business. This deviated from the founders’ original vision of entrepreneurial unity and posed problems for the collaborative decision-making structure; should hourly employees hold the same voting power as co-owners, or should their influence be diminished? Success Brings Struggles Key Decision The founders started Namasté Solar with a model based on their personal values and experiences. Their intentions were to treat all stakeholders fairly and foster a culture of collaboration and respect. They envisioned a company that eschewed traditional hierarchy in favor of entrepreneurial unity and holistic benefit. Namasté Solar cultivated a “Frank, Open, and Honest” attitude, gave employees equal voting rights, paid employees a uniform salary rate, donated to the local community, and helped preserve the global environment. However, Namasté Solar had seen so much growth that this distinctive business model was beginning to be untenable. As Jones looked around the crowded conference room, he knew they all had a difficult decision to make. Success Brings Struggles Study Questions Set 2: 1. To what extent would you encourage the company to deviate from its core values developed by the founders at the company’s inception? What guiding principles would you compromise and why? 2. How do your answers to the questions above reflect your view of the role of business in society or your definition of corporate social responsibility? 3. How does Namasté Solar’s business model differ from a traditional business model built on maximizing shareholder wealth? 4. Would you seek to run a business built on these core values? Why or why not? Do you see any problems that could arise from a business built on these values? Afterword Namasté Solar’s Solution The company was caught in a painful conundrum: should it deviate from the core values upon which the company was founded in order to adapt to business realities? Or should it hold steadfast to its guiding principles, irrespective of those realities? Given the democratic decision-making structure of the firm, the employees would have to make the final decision. What would happen if the employees of Namasté Solar decided to alter the egalitarian management structure embedded in the company’s culture? The employees of Namasté Solar recognized the difficulty of the decision they had to make. Not only were they determining the economic future of the company, they were, in effect, choosing between their needs as individuals and their level of commitment to the corporate culture of Namasté Solar. They bore the weight of all the groups who would be affected by their decision: “We have an equal responsibility to all our stakeholders instead of a disproportionate responsibility to one,” said Blake Jones. “When we do things, we want to benefit all of them instead of any one at the expense of others.” Namasté Solar’s growth forced employees to consider whether that ideal was achievable, and whether certain values must be compromised for the sake of upholding others. After long discussions, Namasté Solar’s employees resolved to create a class of temporary or hourly employees. These hourly employees did not participate in big picture company decisions, but did enjoy the benefits of working for a progressive company. This approach was designed to preserve the collaborative decision-making ideal, but still created a potentially divisive distinction between classes of employees. As well, the new employee class potentially harmed entrepreneurial unity, as its members would not be company owners. Afterword Potentially the most controversial and politically heated response to Namasté Solar’s growth was the development of pay scales. In response to employee disagreements about their unequal time commitments and responsibilities, the company’s employees agreed to a pay structure that reflected job duties, workload, and seniority. Pay scales were divided into tiers based on job responsibilities and time with the company. In an attempt to preserve some level of unity, however, no employee would be allowed to make twice that of any other employee. The consensus-based decision-making approach was also reorganized into a detailed decision tree. In the new process, problems would be brought to a peer for advice, and then moved upwards to a committee for deliberation. The committee then would present the problem and the committee’s suggestion at an all-company meeting. The goal was to preserve the company-wide decision-making approach, but economize on time by dividing discussions into smaller groups. Afterword “How well did it work?” When asked what kept him up at night, Jones said he still lost sleep over abandoning the uniform pay structure. He believed that it would seriously change the egalitarian culture of Namasté Solar. “I fought tooth and nail, kicking and screaming. But, I got outvoted,” he said. Blake’s commitment to his core founding values meant he would let the employees make the decision, but he suffered great angst over doing so. The Director of Operations, Max Christian, believed it was inevitable and necessary if Namasté Solar wished to keep growing. However, after the change he missed something intangible about the old structure: “[Pay scales] turned the focus back inward and created some of that friction that’s unavoidable with stratified salaries. For the amount of administrative burden and cultural impact, I’d rather go back.” When asked what kept him up at night, Tuomey noted that it did not feel as if the Namasté environment was characterized as much by the Frank, Open, and Honest ideal as it once was. “[FOH] goes back to bad situations with former employers where they were saying one thing and doing another,” said Tuomey. He wanted to prevent that from happening in Namasté. On the other hand, Tuomey said he is proud that through all the struggles, their philanthropy has never been an issue. “I’m very proud of our charitable giving program,” and “the warm fuzzies of donations,” he said. Afterword Study Questions Set 3: 1. Why did Blake Jones allow employees to make the decision about Namasté Solar’s future? What would you have done in his shoes, and why? And what does this tell you about your values and your view of Corporate Social Responsibility? 2. What do you think of the decisions made by Namasté Solar employees, and the compromises they made with founding ideals and core values? 3. What challenges do your foresee Namasté Solar experiencing in the long run? 4. What else might the firm have done to preserve the culture upon which the company was founded? 5. Namasté Solar was founded as an unconventional business that was not based on traditional business values. Do you still see Namasté Solar in this way? Why or why not? How have the company’s values changed, if at all? Has the company’s view of CSR changed? Why or why not? 6. Do you think it was inevitable that the Namasté Solar’s business model would run into problems in the face of rapid growth? In other words, is their original business model scalable? Redefining Management Redefining Management One morning in early June, the bell rang in the Namasté Solar office in Boulder, Colorado. This signaled yet another sale for this unassuming, but market-leading, solar panel installation company. The ring always sparked applause and high-fives throughout the 75-person office, but today Max Christian was worried. As Operations Director, Christian had helped oversee structural changes to the company. New jobs already faced at least a six-month wait time, and he was struggling to deal with the daunting backlog. Namasté Solar’s unique management structure and decisionmaking model had set it apart from other companies in the renewable energy sector and helped it thrive. But now, as demand for its product grew, so did the size of the company. These growing pains were proving stressful for this small company built on strong core values, including a non-hierarchical management structure and an entrepreneurial spirit. Christian and his colleagues needed to decide whether - or how - the company culture could be preserved in the face of increased business expansion. Redefining Management Video Redefining Management Company Culture At the inception of Namasté Solar, Jones, Kennedy, and Tuomey insisted that they build a company with core values that affected the daily lives of employees, rather than ones that were tucked away in a dusty Human Resources filing cabinet (see Exhibit 3). They wanted these values to empower employees to see their workplace as a reflection of their own core beliefs, and to be a compelling reason to work at Namasté Solar. The firm had much more than just a plaque stating its core values. Christian and other long-time employees had instilled an entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to a unique management structure in all new employees. Upon hire, employees were encouraged to forget their previous work rules and structure, and instead to adopt Namasté Solar’s transformative management model. The resulting sense of ownership and pride was evident throughout the company and infused in its culture of “Frank, Open, and Honest” (FOH) communication. This acronym was used in all aspects of inter-office communication as a way to maintain equanimity and fairness. Instead of a hierarchical structure, employees were called upon to mediate their own communications by showing – and receiving – FOH exchanges. In instances where individuals were unable to resolve issues, a Harmony committee was brought together. This group consisted of five co-owners who had been trained in interpersonal mediation and worked to give voice to both parties involved. The process was high-structured and lengthy, but rarely failed. The disputing parties voiced their concerns to each other with the support of one Harmony committee mediator until reaching a place of healthy resolution. As the process progressed, employees could support or oppose either party. Sometimes this method lasted for hours and used a significant amount of employee time. Redefining Management In addition to strong core values and FOH practices, Namasté Solar “walked its talk” by supporting a healthy lifestyle and company environment. Both brick and mortar locations were built according to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification criteria; the Boulder office even received a LEED Gold certification. The firm provided an EcoPass for public transportation, dual-flush toilets, low-flow showers, lockers, and flexible work hours to encourage human-powered transportation and lunchtime exercise. Looking beyond the company walls, Namasté Solar also granted 1% of its revenue, regardless of bottom line health, to community nonprofits in the form of solar installations. By June 2010, more than 30 donated solar arrays had been installed throughout Colorado, totaling more than 100kW. Entrepreneurial Spirit Co-Ownership and Internal Trading Board Full-time employees at Namasté Solar were encouraged to help fund the company with personal capital in order to maintain a 100% internally financed organization. This also served to bestow onto employees the vital role of entrepreneur. There was only one class of stock available for purchase by co-owners or founders. Shares of common stock could be purchased succeeding the hire date and could be sold through an internal trading board. The internal board served two purposes: it proved an opportunity to buy or sell stock during times with the executive board was not issuing additional shares and it was a medium of liquidity for employees who would not otherwise get the opportunity to use the invested funds until leaving the company. Transactions within the internal trading board were anonymous and the firm had no visibility to who was trading. Although the trading board ebbed and flowed according to co-owners’ needs, the digital platform was available anytime that new stock was not being issued. As of June 2010, 50 of the 52 eligible employees owned stock in the company, and none possessed a majority of shares. This unique structure empowered employees and allowed them to experience the risks and rewards associated with financing a business. The obstacles in this structure lay with valuing the stock and disparities in ownership. When stocks were first issued, they cost considerably less than the price per share in 2010. This reduced co-owners’ willingness to buy and sell and sometimes left the internal trading board stagnant. Entrepreneurial Spirit Detailed Decision-Making The decision-making tree was one of the most unique management features at Namasté Solar. It was also the most confusing process to understand as an outsider or new hire. There were five levels of the decision-making tree, only three of which appeared on the firm’s official chart (see Exhibit 3). The Peer Review and Committee paths did not appear, as they were less formal processes. All five processes involved obtaining fellow employees’ opinions and suggestions before the employee could be empowered to decide on the correct action. particularly passionate. However, it did help to streamline the voting process. While this power was not fully undermined by the new decision-making tree, employees had less power to appeal decisions. Regardless of the new structure each co-owner still retained the same power of every other co-owner - the power to place one vote1. The evolution of the decision tree was almost as important as the tree itself. When the company began, all decisions had to be unanimous as every employee had to vote “thumbs-up” in order for a motion to pass. Decisions ranged from a new office location to company retreat content. When the company reached approximately 30 employees, this unanimous process proved too cumbersome, and employees were given the option to abstain from a vote in order for a motion to pass or a committee was given power to make decisions without the knowledge of other co-owners. This new practice was in conflict with a key reason to invest in the company as a co-owner, namely, the power to halt proposals about which an employee felt 1 In the instance of a legal situation like a company buy-out, all co-owners would split votes according to how much of the company they individually owned. Decisions within the company were not held to these strict legal rules, but instead the company’s internal policies. Entrepreneurial Spirit The transition from unanimous votes on every company topic to a multi-path decision-making process had been stressful for the firm. Seasoned employees felt as though their influence on important decisions had shrunk and that they would not be included in relevant changes within the company. Christian wondered if the increasing number of employees and ever-expanding list of company concerns would threaten the viability of this fundamental management tool and negatively impact even more employees. Unlike top-down corporations that excluded some stakeholders in key decisions, Namasté Solar felt that involving co-owners contributed a more effective and invested workforce. However, incorporating some of the employees into the important decision-making processes sometimes proved to be an inefficient use of time. Christian estimated that including the installation crew co-owners into the bi-weekly company meetings represented a 10% productivity loss. He was worried that in order to complete the backlog of solar installations, he would have to hire more crew or exclude the installation crew stockholders from having a say in company initiatives. Neither of these options seemed appealing. Entrepreneurial Spirit Systematic Salary Structure When Jones and his partners founded the company, there was a single wage for all employees, regardless of time worked, experience, or job title. This flat structure was meant to stay constant as the company grew, but Christian and his strategy team soon found that a tiered salary system was vital to retaining experienced industry professionals. The team crafted the first tiered system in 2009 to include 10 salary levels through which full-time employees ascended based on seniority and previous experience. In February 2010, the company further stratified the pay structure to better represent the diverse experience and responsibilities of the firm’s employees. Some positions required more time in the office than others, and Christian felt that employees needed to be appropriately compensated. Starting at a base level of $32,500 to $35,000, individual salaries were calculated using a formula based on industry experience, years at the company, and job title. Still, no employee, including the CEO, made more than twice the lowest paid full-time employee, and the salary information was open to any employee who wished to research it. The evolution from one flat pay structure to a tiered scale, and then to the formula-based method, was not easy. Unlike the rest of Namasté Solar’s culture that centered around teamwork, this initiative focused on individuals. Employees now needed to advocate for themselves to receive higher pay. In addition to an increasingly complex wage model, job descriptions were carefully tailored to fit the new stratified salary structure. The painful process of detailing job descriptions and fine-tuning the pay structure took a full year. To allay the anxieties about different salaries, the company held fast to its commitment to equal paid time off (PTO) and health benefits for all co-owners. Entrepreneurial Spirit Non-Hierarchical Management Structure Few, if any, of the firm’s practices followed a traditional business model, including Human Resources practices. Besides titles on business cards, there was little top-down management at Namasté Solar. Jones was the acting CEO for media relations and acted as a sort of enthusiastic ringleader. Job titles were primarily used to set functional parameters rather than to create management hierarchies. Namasté Solar employees truly worked as a team, both in the office and on the field. While committees and “jefes” (installation crew leaders) were assigned as leaders in various instances, employees at Namasté Solar did not directly report to a manager. Even the firing process was somewhat democratic with a five-step “Yellow Card” process of warnings and amends2. “Our main responsibility as a company is to do top-quality solar installations. This is what we do and we do it to the best of our abilities. Our secondary responsibility is to show that we can profitably run a company and still be true to our core values and treat our employees with respect. This is something that any Wall Street exec or MBA graduate can say -- that ‘these guys are still doing it right and making a buck on it.’” - Max Christian 2 This firing process was not used in issues of safety, specifically at the installation sites. Entrepreneurial Spirit Redefining The Management Structure Namasté Solar’s structure was designed to enable co-owners to take ownership of company initiatives, to spend time working through interpersonal work disputes, and to build a competitive business through an intimate team model. However, the turning point seemed to be approaching quickly, and the non-hierarchical structure appeared destined for change at the urging of the employees themselves. Keeping up new solar projects was vital to maintaining the business, especially since the founders held to their commitment that the company would be internally financed. But expanding the workforce in order to reach new business beyond Colorado and continue the superior customer service would threaten the management structure that Namasté Solar had carefully cultivated. How would Namasté Solar maintain a non-hierarchical, “Frank, Open, and Honest” management structure with company processes that were based on a complex decision-making model? As the bell rang to signify another solar panel installation sale, Christian begin researching viable management structures that would honor Namasté Solar’s unique core values, not comprise the harmonious environment the founders had fought so hard to create, and allow the company to grow and expand. Entrepreneurial Spirit Study Questions Set 4: 1. What traditional business models could Christian blend into Namasté Solar’s management structure to help mitigate the current growing pains? 2. How will this co-ownership and management structure work if the firm doubles in size to 150 employees? What about 500 or 1,000? What challenges or tradeoffs would the company face if it decided not to expand beyond its current size? 3. What problems do you see with the co-ownership and stock-trading programs? 4. Are there any pieces of the structure that are not worth retaining? Why or why not? Harnessing the Power of Solar Play Harnessing the Power of Solar Video Works Cited Broehl, Jesse. “Colorado Voters Pass Renewable Energy Standard.” Renewable Energy World.com, November 3, 2004. Web. September 2010. Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (CoSEIA). N.p., n.d. Web. October 2010. Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Energy Efficiency (DSIRE). North Carolina University, under NREL, n.d. Web. December 2009. “Inc. Top 5,000 Companies.” Inc.com, n.d. Web. July 2010. Kammen, Daniel M. “The Rise of Renewable Energy.” Scientific American, September 2006: 84-93. Print. Mitchell, Karen. “A Slice of the Sun: Namasté Solar Electric Takes Employees Ownership to the Limit.” Entrepreneur, September 2007. Print. Namasté Solar. Namaste Solar, n.d. Web. August 2010. States Advancing Solar. Clean Energy Group, 2010. Web. December 2009. Wenzel, Elsa. “Barriers to Solar Energy’s Blockbuster Promise”. Cnet.com. CBS Interactive, May 9, 2008. Web. October 2010. Exhibits Exhibit 1 Amendment 37 Exhibit 2 Customer Satisfaction Surveys Exhibit 3 Our Story Excerpts Amendment 37: Renewable Energy Requirement AMENDMENT 37 RENEWABLE ENERGY REQUIREMENT 1 2 SECTION 2. Article 2 of title 40, Colorado Revised Statutes, is amended BY THE ADDITION OF THE FOLLOWING NEW SECTIONS to read: 3 4 ARTICLE 2 Renewable Energy Standard 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 40-2-124. Renewable Energy Standard. (1) EACH PROVIDER OF RETAIL ELECTRIC SERVICE IN THE STATE OF COLORADO THAT SERVES OVER 40,000 C USTOMERS SHALL BE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Ballot Title: An amendment to the Colorado revised statutes concerning renewable energy standards for large providers of retail electric service, and, in connection therewith, defining eligible renewable energy resources to include solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, small hydroelectricity, and hydrogen fuel cells; requiring that a percentage of retail electricity sales be derived from renewable sources, beginning with 3% in the year 2007 and increasing to 10% by 2015; requiring utilities to offer customers a rebate of $2.00 per watt and other incentives for solar electric generation; providing incentives for utilities to invest in renewable energy resources that provide net economic benefits to customers; limiting the retail rate impact of renewable energy resources to 50 cents per month for residential customers; requiring public utilities commission rules to establish major aspects of the measure; prohibiting utilities from using condemnation or eminent domain to acquire land for generating facilities used to meet the standards; requiring utilities with requirements contracts to address shortfalls from the standards; and specifying election procedures by which the customers of a utility may opt out of the requirements of this amendment. 16 Text of Proposal: 17 Be it enacted by the People of the State of Colorado: 18 SECTION 1. Legislative declaration of intent: 19 20 21 22 Energy is critically important to Colorado's welfare and development, and its use has a profound impact on the economy and environment. Growth of the state's population and economic base will continue to create a need for new energy resources, and Colorado's renewable energy resources are currently underutilized. 24 25 URBAN W OOD W ASTE, M ILL RESIDUE, S LASH, O R BRUSH; 26 (II) ANIMA L WASTES AND PRODUCTS OF ANIMAL WA STES; O R 23 24 25 26 27 28 Therefore, in order to save consumers and businesses money, attract new businesses and jobs, promote development of rural economies, minimize water use for electricity generation, diversify Colorado's energy resources, reduce the impact of volatile fuel prices, and improve the natural environment of the state, it is in the best interests of the citizens of Colorado to develop and utilize renewable energy resources to the maximum practicable extent. 27 28 OF WASTEWATER RESID UALS. 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 –1– CONSIDERED A QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY AND SHALL BE SUBJECT TO THE RULES ESTABLISHED UNDER THIS ARTICLE BY THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF THE STATE COLORADO ( CO M M ISSION ). NO ADDITIONAL REGULATORY AUTHORITY OF THE COM MISSION OTHER THAN THAT SPECIFICALLY CONTAINED HEREIN IS PROVIDED OR IMPLIED. IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARTICLE 4 O F TITLE 24, C.R.S., O N OR BEFORE APRIL 1, 2005, THE COMMISSION SHALL INITIATE ONE OR MORE RU LEMAKING PROCESSES TO ESTABLISH THE FOLLOWING: OF (A ) DEFINITIONS OF ELIGIBLE RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES THAT CAN BE USED TO MEET THE STANDARDS. ELIGIBLE RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES ARE SOLAR, W IND, 10 MEGAWATTS OR LESS. THE COMM ISSION SHALL DETERMINE, F OLLOWING AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING, T HE EXTENT THAT SUCH ELECTRIC GENERATION TECHNOLOGIES GEOTHERMAL, B IOMASS , AND HYDROELECTRIC ITY W ITH A NAMEPLATE RATIN G OF UTILIZED IN AN OPTIO NA L PRICING PROGRAM MAY BE USED TO COMPLY WITH THIS STANDARD . A FUEL CELL USING HYDROGEN DERIVED FROM THESE ELIGIBLE RESOURCES FOSSIL AND NUCLEAR FUELS AND THEIR DERIVA TIVES ARE NOT ELIGIBLE RESOURCES . FURTHER , "BIOMASS " SHALL BE DEFINED TO MEAN : IS ALSO AN ELIGIBLE ELECTRIC GENERATION TECHNOLOGY . (I) NONTOXIC PLANT MATTER THAT IS THE BYPRODUCT OF AGRICULTURAL CRO PS, (III) M ETHANE PRODUCED AT LANDFILLS OR AS A BY -PRODUCT OF THE TREATMENT (B) STANDA RDS FOR THE DESIGN , P LACEMENT AND MANAGEMENT OF ELECTRIC GENERATION TECHNOLOGIES THAT U SE ELIGIBLE RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES TO ENSURE THAT THE ENVIRON MENTAL IMPACTS OF SUCH FACILITIES ARE MINIMIZED . (C ) (I) ELECTRIC RESOURCE STANDAR DS FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES . THE ELECTRIC RESOURCE STANDARD SHALL REQUIRE EACH QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY TO GENERATE , O R CA USE TO BE GENERATED , ELECTRIC ITY FROM ELIGIBLE RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES IN THE FO LLOW ING MINIMUM AM OUNTS : –2– Amendment 37: Renewable Energy Requirement 1 2 (A) 3% OF ITS 2010; RETAIL ELECTRIC ITY SALES IN COLORADO FOR THE YEARS THROUGH 2007 3 4 (B) 6% OF ITS THROUGH 2014; RETAIL ELECTRICITY SALES IN COLORADO FOR THE YEARS 2011 5 6 (C) 10% O F ITS RETAIL ELECTRICITY SALES IN COLORA DO FOR THE YEARS 2015 A ND THEREAFTER. (II) OF 7 8 9 10 4% S HALL BE DERIVED FROM SOLAR ELECTRIC GENERATION TECHNOLOGIES. AT LEAST ONE-HALF OF THIS 4% SHALL BE DERIVED FROM SOLAR ELECTRIC TECHNOLOGIES LOCATED ON-SITE AT CUSTOMERS’ FACILITIES. 11 12 13 SHALL BE COUNTED AS 1.25 KILOWATT -HOURS FOR THE PURPOSES OF COMPLIANCE WITH 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 THE AMOUNTS IN SUBPART (C )(I), AT LEA ST (III) EACH KILOWATT -HOUR OF RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY GENERATED IN COLORADO THIS STANDARD . (IV) TO THE EXTENT THAT THE ABILITY OF A QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY TO ACQUIRE ELIGIBLE RENEWA BLE ELECTRIC GENER ATION IS LIMITED BY A REQUIREMENTS CONTRACT WITH A WHOLESALE ELECTRIC SUPPLIER , THE QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY SHALL ACQUIRE THE MAXIMUM AMOUN T ALLOWED BY THE CONTRACT. FOR ANY SHORTFALLS TO THE AMO UNTS ESTABLISHED BY THE COMMISSION PURSUANT TO PART (C )(I), THE QUALIFYING EITHER (I) R ENEWABLE RETAIL UTILITY SHALL ACQUIRE AN EQUIVALENT AMOUNT OF ENERGY CREDITS , (II) DOCUMENTED AND VERIFIED ENERGY SAVINGS THROUGH ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CONSERVATION PROGRAMS, O R COMBINATION OF BOTH. ANY (III) A CONTRACT ENTERED INTO BY A QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS ARTICLE SHALL NOT CONFLICT WITH THIS ARTICLE . (D ) A SYSTEM OF TRADABLE RENEWABLE ENERGY CREDITS THAT MAY BE USED BY A QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY TO COMPLY WITH THIS STANDARD . THE COMMISSION SHALL ALSO ANALYZE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF UTILIZING ANY REGIONAL SYSTEM OF RENEWABLE ENERGY CREDITS IN EXISTENCE AT THE TIME OF ITS RULEMAKING PROCESS AND DETERMINE IF THE SYSTEM IS GOVERNED BY RULES THAT ARE CONSISTENT WITH THE RULES ESTABLISHED FOR THIS ARTIC LE. (E) A S TANDARD REBATE OFFER PROGRAM . EACH QUALIFYIN G RETAIL UTILITY SHALL MAKE AVAILABLE TO ITS RETAIL ELECTRIC ITY CUSTOMERS A STANDARD REBATE OFFER OF A MINIMUM OF $2.00 P ER WATT FOR THE INSTALLATION OF ELIGIBLE SOLAR ELECTRIC GENERATION ON CUSTOMERS' P REM ISES UP TO A MAXIMUM OF ONE-HUNDRED KILOWATTS PER INSTALLATION . SUCH OFFER SHALL ALLOW CUSTOMER 'S RETAIL ELECTRIC ITY CONSUMPTION TO BE OFFSET BY THE SOLAR ELECTRICITY GENERATED . THE EXTENT THAT SOLAR ELECTRICITY GENERATION EXCEEDS THE TO CUSTOMER 'S CONSUMPTION DURIN G A BILLING MONTH, S UCH EXCESS ELECTRICITY SHALL BE CARR IED –3– 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 FORWARD AS A CREDIT TO THE FO LLOW ING MONTH'S CONSUMPTION . TO THE EXTENT THAT SOLAR ELECTRICITY GENERATION EXCEEDS THE CUSTOMER 'S CONSUMPTION DURING A CALENDAR YEAR , T HE CUSTOMER SHALL BE REIMBUR SED BY THE QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY AT ITS AVERAGE HOURLY INCREMENTAL COST OF ELECTRICITY SUPPLY OVER THE PRIOR TWELVE MONTH PERIOD. AP PLY UNREASONABLY BURDENSOME THE QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY SHALL NOT INTERCONNECTION CONNECTION WITH THIS STANDA RD REBATE OFFER. ELECTRICITY REQUIREM ENTS IN GENERA TED UND ER THIS PROGRAM SHALL BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY 'S COMPLIANCE WITH THIS ARTICLE . (F) POLICIES FOR THE RECOVERY OF COSTS INCURRED WITH RESPECT TO THESE STANDARDS FOR QUALIFYIN G RETAIL UTILITIES THAT ARE SUBJECT TO RATE REGULATION BY THE COMMISSION . SUCH POLICIES SHALL INCLUDE: (I) ALLOWING QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITIES TO EARN AN EXTRA PROFIT ON THEIR INVE STM ENT IN RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES IF THESE INVESTMENTS PROVIDE NET ECONOMIC BENEFITS TO CUSTOMERS AS DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSION . THE ALLOWABLE EXTRA PROFIT IN ANY YEAR SHALL BE THE QUALIFYIN G RETAIL UTILITY 'S MOST RECENT CO MM ISSION AUTHORIZED RATE OF RETURN PLUS A BONUS LIMITED TO 50% OF THE NET ECONOMIC BENEFIT. (II) ALLOWING QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITIES TO EARN THEIR MOST RECENT COMMISSION AUTHORIZED RATE OF RETURN, B UT NO BONUS, O N INVESTMENTS IN RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES IF THESE INVESTMENTS DO NOT PROVIDE A NET ECONOMIC BENEFIT TO CUSTOMERS. (III) IF THE COMMISSION APPROVES THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF A RENEWABLE ENERGY CONTRACT BETWEEN THE QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY AND ANOTHER PARTY , THE RENEWABLE ENERGY CONTRACT AND ITS TERMS AND CONDITIONS SHALL BE DEEMED TO BE A PRUDENT INVESTMENT, A ND THE COMMISSION SHALL APPR OV E RETAIL RATES SUFFICIENT TO RECOVER ALL JUST AND REASONABLE COSTS ASSOCIATED W ITH THE CONTRACT. ALL CONTRACTS FOR ACQ UISITION OF ELIGIBLE RENEWABLE ELECTRIC ITY ALL CONTRACTS FOR THE ACQUISITION OF SHALL HAVE A MINIMUM TERM OF 20 Y EARS. RENEWABLE ENERGY CREDITS FROM SOLAR ELECTRIC TECHNOLOGIES LOCATED ON SITE AT CUSTOMER FACILITIES SHALL ALSO HAVE A MINIMUM TERM OF TWENTY YEARS. (IV) A R EQUIREMENT THAT QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITIES CONSIDER PRO POSALS OFFERED BY THIRD PARTIES FOR THE SALE OF RENEW ABLE ENERGY AND /OR RENEWABLE ENERGY CREDITS . THE COM MISSION MAY DEVELOP STANDARD TERMS FOR THE SUBMISSION OF SUCH PROPOSALS . (G) RETAIL RATE IMPACT RULE . THE COM MISSION SHALL ANNUALLY ESTABLISH A MAXIMUM RETAIL RATE IMPACT FOR THIS SECTION OF 50 C ENTS ($0.50) P ER MONTH FOR THE AVERAGE RESID ENTIAL CUSTOM ER OF A QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY . THE RETAIL RATE IMPACT SHALL BE DETERMINED NET OF NEW NON -RENEW ABLE ALTERNA TIVE –4– Amendment 37: Renewable Energy Requirement 1 2 SOURC ES OF ELECTRICITY SUPPLY REASONABLY AVAILABLE AT THE TIME OF THE 3 4 5 6 7 (H) ANNUAL 8 9 10 11 12 13 DETERMINATION. REPORTS . EACH QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY SHALL SUBMIT TO THE COMMISSION AN ANNUAL REPORT THA T PROVIDES INFORM ATION RELATING TO THE ACTIONS TAKEN TO COMPLY WITH THIS ARTICLE INCLUDING THE COSTS AND BENEFITS OF EXPEND ITURES FOR RENEW ABLE ENERGY . THE REPORT SHALL BE WITHIN PRESCRIBED AND IN A FORMAT APPROVED BY THE COMMISSION . (I) RULES THE TIME NECESSARY FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF THIS ARTICLE INCLUDING ENFORCEMENT MECHANISMS NECESSARY TO ENSURE THAT EAC H QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY COMPLIES WITH THIS STANDARD ; A ND PROVISIONS GOVERNING THE IMPOSITION OF ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTIES ASSESSED AFTER A HEARING HELD BY THE COMMISSION PURSUANT TO SECTION 40-6-109. UNDER N O CIRCU MSTANCES SHALL THE COSTS OF ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTIES BE RECOVERED FROM COLORADO RETAIL CUSTOMERS. 14 15 (2) THE COM MISSION SHALL ESTABLISH ALL RULES THROUGH (G) O F THIS SECTION BY MARC H 31, 2006. 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 (B) THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF EACH MUNICIPALLY OWNED ELECTRIC UTILITY OR RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE NOT SUBJECT TO SECTION 40-2-124 M AY , A T ITS OPTION, SUBM IT THE QUESTION OF ITS INCLUSION IN SECTION 40-2-124 CRS, TO ITS CONSUMERS ON A ONE M ETER EQUALS ONE VOTE BASIS . APPROVAL BY A MAJORITY OF THOSE VOTING IN THE ELECTION SHALL BE REQUIRED FOR SUCH INCLUSION , P ROVID ING THAT A MINIMU M OF 25% O F ELIGIBLE CONSUMERS PARTICIPATES IN THE ELECTION. 40-2-125 Eminent Domain Restrictions. A Q UALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY ANY REAL ESTATE, RIGHT-OF-WAY , E ASEMENT, O R OTHER RIGHT PURSUANT TO SECTION 38-2-101, C.R.S., T O SITE THE GENERATION FACILITIES OF A RE NE WABLE ENERGY SYSTEM USED IN WHOLE OR IN PART TO MEET THE ELECTRIC RESOURCE STANDARDS SET FORTH IN SECTION 40-2-124. SECTION 3. This article shall be effective on December 1, 2004. (4) PROCEDURE FOR EXEMPTION AND INCLUSION - E LECTION. 34 35 36 37 38 39 CALLED FOR IN SUBSECTIONS (A ) IMPLEM ENTS A RENEWABLE ENERGY STANDARD SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR TO THIS SECTION 40-2-124, T HEN THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE MUNICIPALLY OWN ED ELECTRIC UTILITY OR RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE MAY SELF -CERTIFY ITS RENEWABLE ENERGY STANDARD AND UPON SELF -CERTIFICATION WILL HAVE NO OBLIGATION S UNDER THIS AR TICLE . THE M UNICIPALLY OWNED UTILITY OR COOPERATIVE SHALL SUBMIT A STATEMENT TO THE COMMISSION THAT DEMONSTRATES SUCH UTILITY OR COOPERATIVE HAS A SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR RENEWABLE ENERGY STANDARD . IN ORDER FOR SUCH UTILITY OR COOPERATIVE TO SELF -CERTIFY , S UCH R ENEWABLE ENERGY STANDARD SHALL, A T A MINIMUM , MEET THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA : (A ) THE ELIGIBLE RENEWABLE ENERGY R ESOURC ES MUST BE LIMITED TO THOSE (B) THE PERCENTAGE REQUIR EMENTS MUST BE EQUAL TO OR GREATER IN THE SAME IDENTIFIED IN SUBSECTION 40-2-124(1)(A ), YEARS THAN THOSE IDENTIFIED IN SUBSECTION 40-2-124(1)(C)(I), A ND (C ) THE UTILITY MUST HAVE AN OPTIONAL PRICING PROGRAM IN EFFECT THAT ALLOWS RETAIL CUSTOMERS THE OPTION TO SUPPORT THROUGH UTILITY RATES EMERGING RENEW ABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES. (A ) THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF EACH QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY SUBJEC T TO SECTION 40-2-124 M AY , A T ITS OPTION, SUBMIT THE QUESTION OF ITS EXEMPTION FROM SECTION 40-2-124 CRS, T O ITS CONSUMERS ON A ONE METER EQUALS ONE VOTE BASIS . APPROVAL BY A MAJORITY OF THOSE VOTING IN THE ELECTION SHALL BE REQUIRED FOR SUCH EXEMPTION , PROV IDING THAT A MINIMU M OF 25% O F ELIGIBLE CONSUMERS PARTICIPATES IN THE ELECTION. –5– SHALL NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO CONDEMN OR EXERCISE THE POWER OF EMINENT DOMAIN OVER (3) IF A M UNICIPALLY OWNED ELECTRIC UTILITY OR A RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE 33 1 2 3 4 5 6 –6– Customer Satisfaction Surveys What
factors
influenced
your
decision
to
purchase
a
solar
PV
system?
 350
 Set
posi/ve
example
in
community
 300
 Use
environmentally
friendly
electricity
 Save
money
on
u/lity
bills
 250
 Occurrence
of
Ra,ng
 Make
low‐risk,
long‐term
investment
 200
 Decrease
na/ons
dependence
on
fossil
 fuels
 Protec/on
against
rising
energy
prices
 150
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property
value
of
home
 100
 Other
 50
 0
 1
 2
 3
 Ra,ng
 4
 5
 Customer Satisfaction Surveys What
factors
influenced
your
decision
to
choose
Namaste
Solar?
 250
 Locally
owned
vs.
na/onal
 Knowledge,
experience
and/or
technical
 exper/se
 Brand
of
PV
products
carried
 200
 Company
has
similar
values
to
mine
 Occurrence
of
Ra,ng
 Quality
of
customer
service
 150
 Price
compe//veness
vs.
other
installers
 Sunsurance
 SunRun
 100
 Ability
to
explain
solar
PV
systems
and
 benefits
 Proposed
PV
System
Design
 Financing
Op/ons
 Employee‐owned
company
 50
 0
 1
 2
 3
 Ra,ng
 4
 5
 Customer Satisfaction Surveys How
well
did
we
do?
 350
 Overall
design
of
PV
system
 300
 Promptness
and
responsiveness
 Explaining
how
system
works
 250
 Occurrence
of
Ra,ng
 Explaining
benefits
of
system
 Explaining
Xcel
rebate
program
 200
 Explaining
process
for
implemen/ng
project
 150
 Professionalism
of
sales
and
office
team
 Professionalism
of
installa/on
team
 100
 Turn‐around
/me
for
installa/on
 Ability
to
be
flexible
and
open
to
design
 changes
 50
 Other
 0
 1
 2
 3
 Ra,ng
 4
 5
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