The cost of installing a home solar energy system has fallen rapidly over the past few years, and prices continue to decline. If you’re thinking about going solar, there’s no better time than during the design process for your new home. Learn from the best in the industry. To share the key insights Livio invites Dan Jenkin, Director of Business Development & Customer Success, Simmitri Solar.

Livio and Simmitri Solar hosting webinar to help you build your custom home


Dan Jenkin


Rob Dowling: Nice little triangulation of the Bay Area here. It sounds like Joe between Dan, me, and you. We got Redwood City, Santa Cruz, San Francisco all right at the center. We'll jump into it here and let people trickle in. First of all, if this is your first time joining one of our webinars, I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy days to help us out and to join in. We hope that this is informative for you to learn all about solar. And there's a lot to it, so we're certainly not going to get to everything. But hopefully, this gives everybody attending a good overview of exactly all the technology that's out there, some of the really cool stuff that Simmitri is doing that's maybe different than some of the other competitors that are out there. And talk about also some of the requirements that are out there for California as well and the importance of some of the topics that we're going to discuss today. So, really looking forward to it. We've got a great partner here joining us that we're going to talk in more detail about here in a second.

Just to remind everybody who is attending, you have two different options for Q&A. If there's a question that comes to you during the presentation, there's always the box up top where you can type your question. If you're like me and forget your questions throughout the presentation, that's a great way to make sure that everything's logged and taken care of. Or alternatively, when we get to the Q&A section at the end of the presentation, which will hold about the last 10 minutes or so, you at that point have the ability to virtually raise your hand and I can pass you the mic so to speak and you can ask the question directly to a panelist. And you can direct it to any one of us and we can go from there. But certainly, the Q&A box at the top is a great way to do it and if there are questions that are pertinent that I can ask Dan or Joe during the presentation, I will. But otherwise, we'll hold everything to the end. But yeah, thank you everybody again for joining us. We hope this is a helpful and informative webinar.

For today's presentation. I'll quickly talk a little bit about Livio. I'll pass it off to Dan and he can talk a little bit about Simmitri, everything they offer and give a quick introduction there. We're going to spend about 10 minutes talking about solar panels. We're going to spend about five minutes or so talking about some of the roofing considerations that need to be made when considering a new solar system. We're going to talk about some of the cool auxiliaries and accessories that are out there for your solar system. We're going to talk about some smart home integration features, and we're going to talk about NEM 3.0, which is one of the many state laws that are going to affect solar and the industry. And we will do a brief overview of that for about five minutes before jumping into our Q&A.

Without further ado, again, for those of you who haven't joined us in the past, Livio, we're a general contractor. We differentiate ourselves in these offerings that we provide our customers by implementing the top of the line technology across the board, whether it's our own proprietary software or partnering with some of the best technology out there. Whether it's drone footage on a daily basis, whether it's 360 cameras on a daily basis to monitor your construction sites, live cameras, access to an owner dashboard. Ultimately, we're about providing transparency and the absolute best customer experience possible to the end consumer. And ultimately, it wouldn't happen without partnering with some of the best subcontractors in the Bay Area.

In this case, Simmitri can talk all about solar. But solar is becoming a more and more important topic through our process of selling general contracting services and a topic that comes up almost in everything single instance. So, a lot of considerations to make. It's a big topic and look forward to diving into it. Ultimately, our business model is a little bit unique to a lot of the competitors that are out there. By having a distributed workforce partially in India, partially here in Los Altos, we're able to provide a great value to our customers by offering a unique business model of vertical integration where we're able to design everything from architecture, engineering, structure, and really give you a turnkey experience as a consumer. And ultimately, I'm a small representation of the entire team. But obviously, it wouldn't happen without everybody working hard to make it happen. Without further ado, I will pass it off to Dan. Dan, if you wouldn't mind introducing yourself, Joe, I'd be great to hear something from you and also a quick introduction about Simmitri.

Dan Jenkin: Thanks, Rob. It's really a pleasure to be here. When we first came across Livio, we were incredibly impressed with the quality and the style of homes that of your workmanship. We're really happy to be in partnership with you now to really enhance your offering and make every home that you put out on the market solarized, energy efficient, and really the most resilient possible. Simmitri is a 27-year-old company. We're family owned and operated. The parents of our current CEO Jonathan Garcia started the company as a very modest roofing company. Jonathan went off to college after growing up in the business and putting his first roof and solar project on a roof at 15, 16 years old. Got his environmental science degree and came back to start his own solar company, then they merged.

I think it's safe to say Simmitri is an energy as a service company now. We take a very strong sustainability approach to all the work that we do, which makes us even more excited to be working with Livio now. And every new home that comes out will not only be solarized but also, we have a smart home division now. So, the ability to manage your appliances through a Wi-Fi or an IoT connection. We have a load controller and a home EV charger that's our own, available to really enhance the productivity and the efficiency of every home that you produce. What that means, ultimately, is that the home as a living breathing, organism, will be as efficient, as productive, as resilient as possible. So, there's no waste, there's no inefficient HVAC or pull pump systems.

The other part of what we're doing is we're looking at the relationship with PG&E Southern California Edison, any of the large utility companies, because we do have a direct relationship with them through what you mentioned, Rob, the NEM or net energy metering. That means when we're producing solar energy in a home, there is an offset but there's also the aspect of an over production. So, if you do produce more than you're consuming, the net energy metering process and technology allows for a credit to be given back to the producer in the home. Frankly speaking, a home can be more than net neutral, it can be net positive and there can be financial gains at the end of every year in what's called a true-up. Happens once a year.

One of the things that we're really focused on now is how to handle the relationship with PG&E and particularly all the California Public Utilities, as the Public Utilities Commission has put forward this bill to make it even less lucrative and more costly really for the solar producers to go solar. Again, we've spoken about this a lot and behind closed doors, but everybody I think is aware that now is truly the best time to go solar for so many different reasons, not just as an NEM threat, but also the rebates, the tax credits, and of course, just the environmental stewardship and sustainability aspect of what it represents.

Rob Dowling: Yeah, no, absolutely. Most of the projects, at least in the areas that we're in right now are already implementing kind of that 2020 initiative of not allowing any natural gas on the site. So ultimately, being able to offset some of those major loads from equipment standpoint is absolutely massive benefit that we're able to provide our customers by partnering with great folks over at Simmitri. So today, I really appreciate you being here and taking the time out of your busy schedule to inform us all.

Dan Jenkin: I'd also like to introduce Joe Henry. He's our commercial customer success manager. He specializes in customer care. It's really important to us the experience that our family has. Being a local family-owned business, we put a lot of extra effort into communication and keeping the customer incredibly well informed. Doing energy assessments and such. Joe's at the forefront of that customer success experience.

Joe Henry: Yeah, thanks for the intro, Dan, and thanks for having us here. Excited to talk with you all.

Rob Dowling: Awesome. Well, Joe, what's your secret to all these five-star reviews?

Joe Henry: I guess constant communication with the customers is something that even before I'd been here, Simmitri has prided itself on. From the initial call that I'll be taking to Vickie, who handles our customer success on the residential side. We just try to aim to always communicate with the customer. Unfortunately, in this industry, there is kind of a lack of that so we try to be on the other end of the spectrum there and almost over communicate. So, customers might start to get annoyed with how much we're calling. Yeah, that's where the good reviews come from and we're really proud of those.

Rob Dowling: Excellent. Yeah, I mean, there's tons of... transparency is one of the biggest things we harp on as well. And people would be surprised about how much coordination is required in getting a good partner identified early so that all of those small details that ultimately add up to big differences in a new custom single-family home are considered. The way we look at it is our customers are probably making the biggest investment of their life and we want to make sure that we partner with great folks who are able to provide the best experience possible. So yeah, thank you, Joe, Dan for the quick intro. Dan, one thing I wasn't able to throw on here but I know that your founder and CEO is recently named in the Forbes. I think you it was the top 1,000.

Dan Jenkin: The Forbes next 1,000. It's a list of young up and coming very experting entrepreneurs that are doing groundbreaking work in technology and sustainability, whatever it may be. Jonathan is only 43 and he's squarely one of the experts in our industry. He's done a lot of consulting work on the side for the likes of Tesla and SunPower. He's definitely pushing the envelope when it comes to helping solve net neutrality and carbon neutrality for California by 2045.

We're working with the California Energy Commission and other large providers, creating partnerships for mass rollouts of scaled ADUs that are solarized from manufacturing. They can be stackable, they can be horizontal, we're really looking at the affordable housing problem. And folks like us who can't afford their first house necessarily even though we're double income, you know, California, the Bay Area's so expensive. So, we're really attacking issues like that and water quality. We're looking now into water management, cleanliness, the ability to recycle and use gray water. We're really trying to create an incredibly sustainable, not just a home but really a homestead, an urban homestead, if you would like as well.

Rob Dowling: Awesome. Well, sounds like you guys are on a great path and it's great that Forbes was able to recognize all that hard work and innovation that's growing from your organization. That's awesome. Ultimately, this is going to be a big topic. And again, we're not going to be able to get to everything. But I figured we'd start the presentation with just 10 minutes talking about just the solar offering side of the business. And if on this slide, Dan, you wouldn't mind just talking to us a little bit about the solar offerings that Simmitri has and then I can jump in on the next slide and ask you some more particular questions about maybe some of the topics that might be on our audiences' mind.

Dan Jenkin: We're still seeing the first slide so not sure if you want to switch that or if it's stuck there.

Rob Dowling: Oh, I'm sorry. Is it better now or no?

Dan Jenkin: No, still seeing... there we go. Yeah.

Rob Dowling: Okay. Cool.

Dan Jenkin: I'm going to keep it really simple. Solar is something that every house can do. It's really flat roof, pitched roof. We have racking systems, we have flush mounts. We work with a roofing contractor, provider, rather supplier that has multiple ways to help us do this. We use mostly North American manufactured panels. This one that you're seeing in the sort of bottom left of the screen is called DecoTech. It looks like a skylight. It's very slick and flush with the roof. It removes that gap between a rack and the roof so there's flashing and it really helps with the water flow around it and keeps everything nice and tight and dry. All of our work is 30 plus years warrantied, guaranteed. The level of production and support from our providers is the highest in the industry. We don't work with anybody who has a questionable track record of quality of manufacturing. We work with the highest production levels of solar panels available on the market today, which means we're not necessarily the cheapest, but we do feel very strongly that we're the best.

In our way of doing business, the relationship begins after the sale and after the implementation of the solar system. There's a monitoring system included, inverters, micro inverters if you like, which are a little bit more efficient. We even have our own application or a mobile app with the ability to monitor live production on a minute to minute level. The way we implement our solars, we feel it's the best in the industry. Being local, small, family-owned and also having a customer success division after the sale, we really make sure that people are happy that things are working well. We come out and we'll do a cleaning in the first year. It's easy to do it on your own, but we really go above and beyond to deliver that fantastic experience. So, people tell their friends and their neighbors about it.

Rob Dowling: Absolutely. Yeah, word of mouth is the best advertising out there. Can you tell me a little bit more, Dan. You mentioned the Deco which is I would imagine really attractive for folks who maybe the solar panels are on the front facing of their roof, maybe curbside or something like that. But Dan, can you talk a little bit about specifically what solar offerings are like? Are there multiple product lines besides what we're looking at here? Do you guys have kind of the standard stanchion or mounted offerings as well? What are the different options that you're able to provide clients?

Dan Jenkin: Yeah, today and Joe can chime in a little bit more. He deals with a lot of the customers from inception all the way through to implementation. Racking systems with stanchions are the most common today. We feel that there is a future. It's a very innovative field. It's a very innovative area of technology. This DecoTech is something that's new. It removes the racking system and saves on cost there. It's a very aesthetically pleasing. I think for what we're doing here together with Livio, the area we're servicing, DecoTech is something that is fairly new and it should become very popular. Mostly because we're not just doing an energy offset, we're really capitalizing on the value of a home on the aesthetic curb appeal. They just look slick and tight and I dare say they look sexy. It makes the house look a lot more attractive from the outside. In our area, especially in the Bay Area, people look at that and understand immediately how powerful and resilient a house with a real full array of solar is. And Joe, if you want to chime in on anything here, feel free to talk a little bit deeper about that.

Joe Henry: Yeah, on top of the great DecoTech Dan mentioned, I'd say the majority of our residential installs right now are going to be through our partner Dan mentioned. Manufactured in North America it's Silfab and the watts on these panels that we primarily use is going to be 370. And with that, again, like 95% of the residential installs also have the Enphase IQ 7+ plus microinverter which is then connected to our app for monitoring, Enphase can monitor it as well. So, really seamless. If there is an issue with anything, really easy to diagnose and then we'll come out there and fix it. Again, the DecoTech as Dan said is a very sexy option. With that, the Silfab also looks pretty damn good on a roof. It's black on black, pretty similar looking, it's just going to be slightly raised compared to the DecoTech which are actually integrated into the roof. And pretty similar to the Tesla integrated solar roof is the DecoTech. It's just through our partner GAF who we have a long-standing relationship through which I'm sure we'll get into later.

Dan Jenkin: Yeah, thanks, Joe. That's actually worth mentioning right now. GAF is the oldest roofing company in the world. Almost 150 years old now. They are global. They invented the shingle. Timber line is the most popular shingle in the world still today. And they're intensively innovative. Very young CEOs, two CEOs actually and they are about Jonathan's age. They're in their young 40s. And I think people that are in this generation see the future differently than people maybe my age, over 50 because they're inheriting problems that, we've exploited. And I think the solutions are coming very fast and very elegantly. Frankly, you're looking at a future next year where GAF is coming out with a solar roofing tile. And by all accounts, it looks to be as productive, better cost effectiveness, and we feel the quality and the long-lasting nature of these tiles is going to put Tesla in a very competitive situation.

So, looking forward to 2022 when this comes out, it'll be another very sleek, very sexy option. But today, again, it's the best time to go solar. It may be a little bit different next year in terms of how the government federal tax credits and incentives go. But striking while the iron is hot is our recommendation, of course. You never know what's going to happen with the industry with the legislative side. And then of course, us in the technology side, we're constantly innovating. So we will, I think continue to make better battery storage, better quality, better functioning solar panels and now, rooftop tiles as well.

Rob Dowling: No, I mean, that's fantastic that you offer a variety of different products depending on the need and the utility and the use for the customer. Ultimately, it's a conversation we have with every single customer now that comes in is, hey, what solar option works best and makes sense for you as the end consumer and your use? So, it great you talked of those options.

Dan Jenkin: Yeah, that and more. I'm just quickly going to list off a couple of other things. Apart from solar and roofing, Simmitri does gutters, we do smart home technology, we do battery storage, you'll hear the term micro grid few times later in the session today. We also have ADUs that are manufactured solarized as well as EV charging for home load controllers to help reduce that demand cost, you know, the high demand hours in the afternoon PG&E will charge you a lot more for that. So, we help manage that through automation in our app. And then of course, we also have solar carports and canopies that are very quick pop up, easy to deploy in less than 24 hours.

So depending on your appetite, and for anybody who's looking at Livio to design and build a home for them, getting the conversation started early if you're going to have a pool, if you're going to have a hot tub, how many electric vehicles do you have? We do a full energy assessment and we can really talk about the offset and overproduction towards storage and credits through the net energy process. My recommendation is get with Rob's team early. We'll get involved and really help you analyze the need. We'll never try to just sell you something. As a group here, we're really going to dig in and try to extract what matters most to you and then really custom create a solution that matches your needs.

Rob Dowling: Perfect. Yeah, and I can't hone in on that enough, Dan. That point of having these conversations early, how beneficial it is to the project as a whole and making sure that we deliver really an awesome end product. I'll jump into some questions that may be on folks' his mind. But Dan, you mentioned quickly that some of this legislation may change, but currently, what are some of the energy rebates and incentives that are available to consumers?

Dan Jenkin: Yeah, sure. Joe, you can jump in on any of this as well. Currently, it's 26% federal tax credit. At the beginning of the year, through the administration change, there was a little bit of doubt. It was meant to drop back five points to 21%. And it was kept at 26% as it was last year. For a couple of reasons, it was a COVID response, a more of a resiliency response to people working at home, understanding that bills are higher, more time spent in the house, kids at home. All that boosted energy consumption. So, that was a nice thing and then it was ratified into law, I think it was January, February, right around the change over to the new administration. So we're still at 26%. It's a powerful amount of money when you're talking about a large project.

The net energy metering on the legislation, there has been also a bill introduced earlier in the year to essentially remove the ability to do rooftop solar. So, we're constantly at risk. I think, looking at the legislation in the California Public Utilities, there's perpetually a dynamic between the two that will threaten solar in this country. It's not the same in other countries but there is a profit dichotomy here where a utility company needs to protect their interest in the market. We can't guarantee it's going to be the same next year. Net energy metering is going to boost the cost of these solar credits throughout the annual true-up period. There will be fees to just access the grid. It's going to go from about $12-$20 per month up to $78 per month. There are also large fees coming up just to invest in solar power and $950 monthly fee is being proposed right now. This decision should be made around August timeframe. And you know, worst of all schools, for example in Southern California Edison territory, they're going to have to pay an unavoidable fee of $3,400 a month.

A lot of these things are constantly present in the market and that again fortifies the positioning that everybody should be looking at right now that it is truly the best time to go solar. And whether it's the best time or not, it's always a good time to be in charge of your own energy and be independent, creating resiliency and frankly also, the ability to go net positive in how much you can produce. And also, the independence, we're looking at potential rolling blackouts, the constant threat of forest fires and an ageing infrastructure that is not necessarily dependable into the future. These are all considerations and other reasons why from finance, to legislation, to innovation, that is truly the best time to go solar right now.

Rob Dowling: Awesome. Well, it's great to hear that there's still some energy rebates out there and it sounds like it's a great time to pull the trigger if you're looking to exercise some of those. When it comes to working with Simmitri, what are some of the financing options that you're able to provide to consumers?

Dan Jenkin: Yeah, we have quite a few. Joe, why don't you speak to that a little bit. I think you're involved a little bit heavier on that side than I am. But just to set the table for Joe, Rob, we have many different options. We have ways to customize packages depending on people's goals and where they're at financially, how much they can afford to put down. If they're in a sort of disadvantaged position, there are ways to boost the medical aspect through resiliency, finance programs are also available. Joe, maybe you can add a little bit more color to that.

Joe Henry: Yeah. I know besides just the standard [inaudible 00:27:19], the two most, I think common financing deals on the residential side would be either through the PACE program or through the energy loan network [inaudible 00:27:28], those are the two that I've seen him deal with for the most part. On the commercial side, we have a couple other ones but I don't know if that would be applicable here. But yeah, I would say PACE and then energy loan network are the two main ones that we're using.

Rob Dowling: Excellent. Well, it's great to hear that you're able to provide a couple different options for folks in addition to cash.

Dan Jenkin: Yeah. Sorry, Rob, I just want to add, sorry to interject here. One important point is, most of the deployments that we'll do will be ROI 100% effective in usually six to seven years. So, you can own your own system outright through these financing programs if you don't do a cash payment in usually about six to seven years. There's also lease to own or lease programs which we generally don't recommend. Only because the concept of energy independence to us is synonymous with ownership. So, we try to find ways to empower our customers and hopefully yours too to own their systems outright, instead of just borrowing it, essentially.

Rob Dowling: Excellent. Yeah. No, I skipped over the lease portions, I'm glad you brought it up. It sounds like there's a very extensive analysis that goes into in the service that you provide, but when it comes to at a high level, sizing the solar system appropriately, how would a consumer go about understanding how many panels to put on their house? And what's the process for getting to that number?

Dan Jenkin: Yeah, I'll defer to Joe mostly here. Go ahead, Joe.

Joe Henry: Yeah, I can dive in on that. I see in the in the chat there someone actually asked about shading analysis. That is one aspect that goes into the sizing. Obviously, if you have a giant tree in the front of your house maybe blocking where the panels would be, that's something we would consider. And ideally, we would avoid the shade but also, as Dan mentioned, with the microinverter that we install on all of our residential projects, if a shading affects maybe one panel, it's not going to affect the rest of the system, which is different than a standard string inverter system where if one panel is getting shaded, then the rest of the panels are going to be affected at the same level. That's one way we kind of get around it.

But to answer more specifically, the size, usually we base it off of a customer's current consumption. It can be as simple as sending us over your PG&E bill, say, the electric portion is 200 a month, we'll tie that in and be like, "Okay, this is how many panels we need to give this person based on the shading. Again, the shading is key. With that said, if there's any planned future consumption increases, like maybe someone's buying an electric vehicle, I know everyone's seems to be buying those these days, we'll consider that as well. And what goes into that calculation is if they're planning on charging at the home, as you know, the economy reopens a little bit here, people are driving more back and forth to work, some people might just want to charge it at work. So, that's something we consider as well. Converting any heating or AC over to electric, any appliances from gas to electric, all this will go into the calculation. And then in our proposals, we'll give customers a couple different options. So, here's the amount of panels we based off of your current bill and here's another option showing the future consumption added. We'd like to give customers as many options as possible and then go over what would make sense based on the return on investment and their consumption habits.

Rob Dowling: Excellent. I mean, one thing as a part of the building approval process, certainly, we'll also do the Title 24 process for any consumers that are running and will work closely with the solar, in this case, Simmitri really closely during that whole process to make sure that we're looking at not just the solar, but also things like insulation, items like heating and cooling systems, water heating, etc., that we can talk about a little bit more when we get there.

One really also cool thing that I'll mention is we actually have the ability to also, when we create our BIM model, we're actually able to show any of the folks who are listening right now, we're actually able to show where the panels are going to be located after we have a conversation with Joe and Dan so that you can in a 3D environment kind of see what the visual impacts, if any, might be to your home. I think that can also provide a big benefit. I mean, it sounds like you have some excellent partners, but as far as a warranty goes for the solar, what could consumer expect?

Joe Henry: Yeah, so that's another reason that besides the manufactured in North America aspect of Silfab, we like them, because they actually have a 30-year warranty with their panels. And that's usually five years higher than pretty much anyone else, which is main reason why we use them as Dan spoke. We like their solar systems and I see it, as another bolt in point here to ideally last for 30 years. You know, and that's maintaining high efficiency with the panel. That's why Lonnie, who's our head of sales and then also Jonathan, have flash tested panels and came up with, you know, Silfab is the one that Jonathan, again, our CEO has on his own home. With that said, we do offer other panels as well, but Silfab is the main one we use and mainly because of that 30-year warranty.

Rob Dowling: Excellent. That's fantastic. What about from, I know, we're going to talk about this a little bit, but the question as to should I invest in a solar monitoring system if putting in solar and a new construction? Then I imagine that's a resounding yes.

Dan Jenkin: Absolutely. I mean, we hear stories so often about a monitoring system not working or not being in place days, weeks, sometimes months can go by without energy production and people don't even know it. With the Simmitri app, we have the monitoring built into the app. It's a click of a button and you can see. We also notify automatically if something goes a little bit off or it shuts down for whatever reason. The troubleshooting side of that and the automatic notifications are indispensable. That's a pretty simple answer right there.

The other thing I wanted to mention, Rob, there's a little bit of a difference between how we're working with existing homes and how we might work with a Livio home that's being built off a plan or customized to the liking of a customer of yours. Joe's analysis of that is spot on in that we can take sort of a family's historical usage and understand their patterns, what sort of appliances, electric vehicles, hot tubs, sauna, pools, things like that are being used in the past, if you will be incorporating those into the new Livio home and we will conduct a full energy analysis, historical and also future planned usage. How many kids are there? I have teenage daughters, they take half an hour 45-minute shower sometimes. So, those types of behaviors are really important to factor in.

And we conduct a one year after the implementation, customer success call. Frankly, it's mind blowing. Jonathan, our CEO has been within $1-5 of projected usage costs almost every time. And his accuracy on that based on the analysis of the home and the ability to extract the past data on usage, we really try to offset at whatever level people want. We can offset at 100%, which is kind of the existing house paradigm that we use. For a new house, it's up to the customer. I would suggest these days battery systems and that micro grid concept. Energy independence outside of the infrastructure of a utility company's grid is going to become more and more applicable, especially in California. And you may choose to overproduce dramatically and store in your house that extra energy. The way we look at it, solar energy, electricity, it's a currency.

We're moving into the concept of a shared micro grid community distributed energy resources. It could be that you have a Livio development in a neighborhood and they have a shared shed with a battery storage area. Everybody feeds into that. They can trade sell, donate. Somebody's who's having a hard time, you can give them energy. We're working toward that and it's something that is deployable if a community development comes up that chooses that. On the note of some of the questions that are coming in, yes, solar water heating is certainly an easy option. Shadow analysis, absolutely, the way we do things these days with the COVID situation, I think we've mastered Zoom. We're doing satellite analysis, Joe's doing design work live on the first call sometimes. We're looking at the different aspects of the roof. Of course, south and west are your most favorable. We work with tree cutting companies, if necessary to cut a branch or two down. You know, we're all over that. It's really easy. So, great questions. And I hope those answered the majority of the three questions that have come in thus far.

Rob Dowling: Yeah, no, thank you. And I'm going to skip one slide. I think some of this, Dan, you were just touching on. But ultimately, when we're designing a new house with a client, of course, a lot of architectural considerations are made when looking at, hey, what's the roofing material that we're going to be using? What's the pitch orientation? And all of those things are a really important piece to defining the architecture of the structure and ultimately, they have a really strong interplay with the solar production ultimately. So, Joe, I don't know if you want to take on a few of these and how when designing a new single-family house, how these different considerations are factored in?

Joe Henry: Yeah, definitely. I can definitely jump on these. For the most part, the material, I would say the simplest material to work solar with would be composition shingle, and that's the most common that we install probably around, you know, 95%. That'd be the material I recommend. With that said, that's usually with pitched roof. We also do if it's more of a flat roof situation, we can install on TPO. And pretty much honestly, any roofing material with our 26 years of roofing experience has not been an issue with us. But I would say the ideal material with that said would be composition shingle, especially because it's going to have another plywood underneath it, which is ideal for weight management and all that.

In terms of the pitch, again, the pitch, it's easier if it's your standard pitch. So, anything from like 412, 612, 812, 712, kind of just your standard. Standard range of pitches there is the ideal situation. Again, though, but with the flat roof, no issues. Even those real steep pitched roofs we've installed. We've done a lot of churches on the commercial side, which you know traditionally have kind of a steep-pitched roof. There is some more work that goes into that, but at the end of the day, we sell something that we're able to use. But for a single-family home, I wouldn't see the pitch being that much of an issue. We could definitely work with a customer and work around it.

Ideally, the shape is going to be something that can fit as many solar panels as possible. Again, that kind of goes hand in hand with the pitch. Orientation, ideally, it'll be south-facing, so the largest portion that we would want to install the panels would be south-facing. If it's going to be south east, even east or west, it's still something that we will consider and put the panels on. Again, that goes into the next bullet point and something we hit on in the last slide. The shading can potentially override the importance of the orientation in a sense. So, the south facing roof is completely covered by shade. Obviously, the east-facing roof would make more sense in that case. So it really depends on the individual basis of the roof. So yeah, that's the touch on those.

Another thing to consider when constructing custom single-family home would be the fire codes, which isn't on here. I forgot to mention that earlier. And that's just something you're going to obviously want to hit. One side, it's going to be three feet and then from the ridgeline it's going to be three feet. That's the range that has to fall with the fire code.

Rob Dowling: Excellent. Yeah, I know those are all really important topics to cover. Yeah, when it comes to, I would say on a new single-family home, especially, the material and the pitch are all critical architectural decisions. One thing that we've found more and more is that we've been doing more and more flat roofs in modern architecture. And the fact that we're able to still do solar on those and with marginal tilt on those without having it negatively affect the aesthetics is great.

Dan Jenkin: More importantly than aesthetics in the flat roof case, Rob, is the integrity of the roof. It's really difficult to install solar correctly on a flat roof. There's just a lot more risk of water pooling. Any minor penetration is going to cause problems into the future. So, that's the advantage of I think what we do and how we do it being a roofing company in our DNA, adding solar on top of that in our later years and really mastering that is incredibly important. If anybody out there is considering doing solar on an existing home, it's absolutely critical to make sure that the roofer and the solar provider are unified. If they're not the same company, immediately that introduces a risk. And that's the greatest challenge when installing solar and why so many companies out there fail at it.

Because we're human beings, there are communication issues, there is coordination problems, logistics to consider. And it's just a failure point for so many implementations these days and another contributing factor to why we have such great reviews and customer satisfaction and zero complaints to the Better Business Bureau in 27 years almost. So that's a really important aspect to consider particularly with a flat roof.

Rob Dowling: Excellent. As we get into and as we move forward, this slide might look a lot different in let's say five years from now. But right now, there's a lot of different auxiliary options for solar. Would you mind taking this one, Dan and informing us all about...?

Dan Jenkin: Yeah, sure. Absolutely. We've talked a little bit about battery storage. Our opinion today is that the technology and the ethical practices of sourcing the battery materials are not as good as they could be. We don't push them as a result extremely hard yet. We feel that the competitive nature of the market is driving the price down and driving the quality up. In particular, the sourcing in many African countries is by child labor. It's been well documented. I won't name the companies but the biggest ones have traditionally sourced these materials in a way that doesn't fit our moral code. As a company we're really avoiding the batteries that are not 100% or sustainable or ethical. But batteries are incredibly important and powerful for the future.

We love the concept of micro grid. And when you take that to the higher levels and it's not just an individual home but a community or development, leveraging that micro grid concept together to share power, to sell, trade. We're working on ways to monetize that through blockchain. So, it's really simple and powerful to become more independent. That's something we can talk about, and of course, outfit new Livio homes with the right technology at the right time. Simmitri also has our own EV chargers for home. It's one of the lightest weight and fastest charging. Costs $500, pretty low cost. In the future, we're working towards battery systems for cars that reverse engineer the charging capability, so it's really a mobile battery. At the end of the day, if you're charged up, you can come home, plug it in, and power your home with it. These are all forward-thinking concepts.

We also have our own load controller. The load controller allows you to automate and leverage more efficiency for your home, HVAC, lighting, alarm, any appliance systems through our app as well to reduce the demand charges. So, your efficiency rates mostly through planned and timed usage, it's going to be incredibly powerful and financially really a top contributor to reducing your bills and consumption. Apart from that, I mentioned the ADUs, you know, if people want to put a granny flat in the back, we're going to be manufacturing them with a partner. It's coming soon, solarized. They look about the size of a container. So, one of those in your backyard or anywhere on the property is another really great option moving forward. Apart from that, Joe, I'm probably leaving something out. We're really working hard to diversify and empower Livio to offer this whole menu of items to anybody who's looking to build a brand new home with you.

Rob Dowling: Excellent. I mean, there's a lot out there that, ultimately, you touched on some of these already, but it comes to Smart Home integrations and all the new construction that we're doing these days, it seems like this is definitely a buzzword that keeps coming up over and over again. I know that the water heating conversation came up, but ultimately, the technology for both HVAC and water heating, we did another webinar session just on the electrification of those appliances and what it means to consumers. So, anybody who's kind of curious about either one of those topics, I definitely encourage you to go back and watch that webinar series. But ultimately, with the transition of all electric for California, inevitably, manufacturers of HAVC and equipment are having to rethink their power source and there are a lot of good options out there.

Dan Jenkin: Yeah. That's a great point, Rob. Well, let's start with what's here today. The 2045 carbon neutralization goals that California has, they're pretty aggressive. We're in 2021, that's only 24 years away. The biggest impact that is being identified right now is through fleet management, transport, electric vehicles. So, there are very healthy incentives and rebates to adding electrification to the vehicle and the fleet management side of personal home. And especially large businesses, that's already here today. My feeling, and again, I'm not the greatest expert, but I think Jonathan might agree, our CEO, that these components that you see on the screen, the appliances, there will be more rebates coming to achieve those carbon neutralization efforts across the entire home. And one of the attendees very astutely pointed out the solar hot water. That's an easy win right there. And a lot of these manufacturers will see these incentives coming and they should be ahead of it already their R&D for future releases of the appliances and other products. I'm very confident that smart homes are here to stay and the incentives financially will become readily available, hopefully in the next few years to really offset that further.

Rob Dowling: Excellent. One question that came that I would love to hit on as well is, Dan, if you wouldn't mind addressing it. With your monitoring system, with the electrification of let's say HVAC system is going all electric, at that point, will I have the ability to monitor, let's say, the consumption from a particular circuit that might be powering a system in my house?

Dan Jenkin: Yes.

Rob Dowling: Excellent. Excellent. I mean, that's huge. Especially, when you consider that everything in your home will be powered by electricity and being able to monitor that usage is a huge benefit.

Dan Jenkin: Yeah, we're talking to some incredible innovators right now. There's one gentleman who was the original team of application designers for Apple. He's struck off on his own to create a new smart home technology. It's very early stages, but he's already working on a microbe and bacterial viral killer through LED light strings. That's going to become incredibly important in the future. But also, really monitoring and automating a lot of these systems that you have listed on the screen right now. Coming in through thermostats right now is pretty popular. The security aspect of smart homes is kind of leading the way with thermostats, you know, Nest and other alarm.com type of operations.

But coming in from an energy perspective is, it's the Wild West out there. We're really trying to push the envelope there for the home energy appliance-based type of management system. And frankly, that's where the money is. The consumer is going to get the greatest benefit not through their security system or a thermostat, but through the entire HVAC and home appliance network. So that's where we're trying to solve the greatest problem. It's a way out, it's a big problem to tackle. But chipping away at it little by little is kind of what we're doing right now. And we hope that Livio's homes will be fully enabled with these in the future. Again, if you look at it like a restaurant, you come in and you have a menu of choices that Livio and Simmitri can offer, and you can really create your perfect meal with our different technologies working together.

Rob Dowling: Yeah, no, absolutely. Smart homes probably in and off itself could be a webinar topic. There is a lot to cover there.

Dan Jenkin: A good idea.

Rob Dowling: But it'd be great maybe just in two minutes or so if you could summarize, Dan, to the best of your ability NEM 3.0 and what it would mean for anybody in our audience who's considering building a custom single-family home. And then we can jump into some Q&A.

Dan Jenkin: Sure. Last year in August, 2020, the California Public Utilities Commission started a motion to change California's net energy metering program, for the second time in four years. Okay, so this is not new. They're calling it NEM 3.0 for a reason. Right now, there are no new rules to report, but changes are expected to be approved this year. It could be as early as August. Again, nobody really knows for sure, but what's going on is there is a process at the California Public Utilities Commission level to update and change this. And really, the reason for it is that PG&E, Southern California Edison, these large utility providers are in it to protect their interests as well.

There is a benefit to it, let's not make it a one-sided discussion. Net energy metering does benefit solar customers in many ways. Efficiency, the excess energy produced by your solar system won't go to waste. It benefits everybody on the grid. We know we're dealing with an ageing infrastructure, an ageing grid, so anything we can do to help the power companies deal with that as energy needs grow, it's really helpful for everybody. There's also a reduced energy loss. What's happening is that as the utility companies receive their solar energy through home solar systems, they reduce the loss of energy associated with the long-distance electricity transmission. We're looking at lines, substations, the way power is transported, it really reduces the energy loss over distance and time. So, that's a great benefit of net energy metering as well.

And of course, the major benefit to the consumer is the carryover credits. The annual true-up, the day your solar goes live, a clock starts ticking and 12 months later, you get a true-up bill or maybe a credit depending on how well you do. But the reality is that there are hard costs associated with this new NEM 3.0 change. Again, the solar fees are going to go up. If you're 100% solar right now, your monthly bill will be simply to access the grid and the minimum, it's about $12. So even if you're 100% energy independent right now, you still do pay a very minor fee just to access the grid and be tied into it. If you're completely off grid, this will not affect you. But that'll go up to an average of about $78 per month, just to have access to solar. Okay.

And there are also now new larger fees for non-residential customers. So, anybody commercial, schools, businesses, they would pay an unavoidable $950 monthly fee to invest in solar. And schools in Southern California in specific, they're already looking at a 3$3,400 per month unavoidable fee, which to me is unthinkable. When you look at public services in schools in particular, it's unconscionable to me. I'm going to just let my personal opinion out there on this one. We should all be moving towards something that's more sustainable, better for the environment, better for the consumer. But PG&E, Southern California Edison, they have businesses to run and this is a clear effort to protect their interests.

Rob Dowling: Sure. Well, I think the need for batteries, one question that came, which would be great if you could touch on. It sounds like batteries are going to be even more important in the future going forward. Can you talk a little bit about, first of all, how many circuits approximately can a standard battery backup and for what extended period of time? And also, what's the additional potential cost to a consumer if going the battery route?

Dan Jenkin: Yeah, Joe, you want to take this one?

Joe Henry: Sure, yeah. In terms of the cost of the battery, it kind of ranges on the overall size of the battery that you as you want to get. For the most part, we sell 10 kWh batteries through Enphase. And to answer the other part of the question, that can usually and it does vary quite a bit depending on how sunny the area is going to be that you're at, because the solar is continuing to power the battery even when the power is out. But I would say on average, just maintaining the necessary lights, your refrigerator, those kind of lows and just like real essential to day-to-day operations but nothing too wild, usually lasts anywhere from three to four days if the power's out with the 10 kWh battery. Of course, we do sell the 20 kWh battery as well, which can kind of obviously give you double that. But of course, it does range quite a bit depending on the sun. So, say that the power goes out maybe in winter, where if you're in San Francisco where I live, where there is no sun, the battery won't last this long. So, all things to consider, in terms of the circuit, I think that'll kind of depend depending on the panel size. So, kind of a situation by situation. But we can definitely, you know, if the person that asked the question wants to dive into it more offline, we could definitely help them out.

Dan Jenkin: Yeah, and also, we have entered into a new partnership, Rob with a supplier that does mobile, lightweight batteries equivalent to what a generator might look like. We have low cost, low output batteries starting from about $500, $600 all the way up to a few thousand that really tie in elegantly to any system. And there's a lower barrier of entry cost wise now, thanks to this new partnership. We can talk about all those options offline, with any of your customers too.

Rob Dowling: Sure. One last one, which is a tough one that we get. Just like how folks who are choosing us likely will go out and shop multiple general contractor bids, how could somebody go about if they are getting multiple quotes? How could they go about in an educated fashion of evaluating and comparing a quotation? And are kind of from your perspective some of the most important questions to ask?

Dan Jenkin: Yeah, that is the question, right? If you're shopping by price, you probably don't want to talk to us. That doesn't mean we're expensive or the most expensive, we're going to be somewhere in the middle. It's really a personal question. It's how do you perceive value? Is value in a number? Is it in a post-sale experience for support? Are you going to call an 0800 number and be dealt with by an offshore call center? We're a family company, we're very rooted in our community. We deliver value on experience, on confidence, on workmanship, on quality.

So, when you're looking at any quote and you're comparing quotes, my best advice is to go with a feeling. What's your gut feeling of having dealt with a human being in a sales environment? What the promptness that a company is going to respond to your tough questions with? How do they react in a situation where it's adverse, something goes wrong? And this is a construction business, trucks show up late, they hit branches, they leave a nail in the driveway. Those little things count for so much. And if you read reviews online, you'll see the types of complaints people have and how a company deals with that. If they're apologetic and they learn from it and they grow from it. That's what we do constantly. I don't want to make this about us, but we really value that level of communication and trust that you build with a customer so it does become a lifetime journey.

I would also look at a company and judge their ability to last, which is incredibly important these days. So many solar businesses have very low margin. They really leverage the tax credits, income tax rebates, things like that to the point where a business will go out pretty fast. So, look at the longevity of a business, look at how they treat the customer, how they speak to you, how prompt they are in their response, how complete they are in their answers, how much they own their mistakes or own a shortcoming. And I would not base it entirely on price because value is communicated in many different ways and ultimately, it's how you feel about the relationship you're building with somebody and can it be a lifetime relationship?

With us, we start with gutters and roofs, we have solar, we move into smart homes, electric vehicle charging, ADUs, water management in the future. How resilient is a company and how focused are they on solving the global problem? And I don't mean global as in the entire Earth, but the entire problem or challenges that a home has to be as resilient and as productive as possible.

Rob Dowling: Sure. No, that's huge. Joe, did you have anything to add to that? I know it's a tough one.

Joe Henry: Yeah, definitely. I think Dan really hit everything I was going to hit. But I did want to add, is there anyone out there, any future people that you run into want to compare quotes and compare companies, we would love to set up a quick Zoom chat, both myself and then our sales specialist Lonnie. Experience what we do all day, just going over comparing values of different companies and where it's really laid back and mostly just informative and just telling you what you're going to get in our experience. Especially, Lonnie has been doing it for 20 years. He's worked with a couple different solar companies. He found a home with us and he'll love to compare things with anyone out there.

Rob Dowling: Excellent.

Dan Jenkin: Yeah, whether it's a new or old home, Rob it'll be really an honor to work with anybody directly with you and your team and create this custom experience and deliver something that is beyond expectation. That's really our goal always.

Rob Dowling: Yeah, no doubt. Enough can't be said for both Joe, Dan. Both of you taking the time today. There are probably some questions that we haven't gotten to yet. But certainly, anybody who has any questions, we have our contact information here. Feel free to reach out. We'll make sure to get any questions over your way and hopefully get you introduced to the experts here so that you guys will be in good hands and make the most informed decision possible when choosing solar for your new custom single-family home. Thank you again for taking the time and look forward to working with you guys in the future and hopefully some of the audience members here listening also being future customers of both of us. So, thank you both.

Dan Jenkin: Thank you. Thank you, Robert. It was great.

Joe Henry: It's an honor.

Rob Dowling: All right. Well, thanks so much. Talk soon.

Dan Jenkin: Take care.