Solar Array on Emerson Street House. Installed by A&R Array.

Community Impact Leader: An Interview with A&R Solar

I am introducing a series on the blog called Community Impact Leaders. These are people in the community who are creating change for the better, rather than just their pocketbooks. I hope you enjoy meeting these leaders and feel inspired by their work. If you know of someone you feel would make a great Community Impact Leader, please reach out to me. 

Meet Dave Kozin of A&R Solar

Dave Kozin of A&R Solar

Dave Kozin of A&R Solar

Introducing A&R Solar

A&R Solar is a certified B-Corporation that focuses on residential and commercial solar installations in Washington and Oregon. They were recently named the top solar installer in the state of Washington for the second year in a row.

Why Is Your Work Important?

Well, for one thing, we work in an industry that is trying to create a more sustainable planet and society. We do our best to take care of our employees and customers. We also try to give back to the communities where we work and live, in ways big and small.

Why Did You Start This Endeavor?

Andy Yatteau and Reeves Clippard, founders of A&R, wanted to start a company that aligned with their values. The ideas of doing right by the planet and our people has resonated ever since and plays into everything we do. It helps that A&R is an employee-owned company. After three years of employment, workers – both in the field and in the office – are offered ownership stakes. Getting a voice in the vision and strategy of the company makes for passionate, involved employees. By the end of 2016, we’ll have 13 employee-owners. Out of approximately 40 workers, that’s a pretty good ratio.
Installed panels on Emerson Street House. Installed by A&R Solar.

Installed panels on Emerson Street House. Installed by A&R Solar.

Why Are You Passionate About Your Work?

We believe solar plays a key role in solving many of our environmental and economic issues. Clean energy will not only benefit the environment (and of course, we are big on the environment here in the Pacific Northwest), but the growth of solar will bring a significant amount of job creation along with it. Those new jobs will be in several areas–from new green collar jobs in the field and office, to engineering and technology startups that will grow innovation to make this form of energy more efficient, widely adoptable, and ultimately, affordable for all.

How Do You Help Everyday People on Main Street?

We remember where we came from. We have donated solar PV systems to nonprofits and our employee-owners are given a certain amount of the company’s profits each year to donate to a charity of their choice. Our employees volunteer and are frequent speakers for organizations focusing on the environment.

Why Should Others Care?

It goes back to people and planet. The more widely solar is adopted now, the more innovation that will happen and the faster that costs are driven down. It will put solar within reach for everyone, whether it be solar on their own home or owning a piece of a larger project. We hope at some point, solar is just part of the deal when a new home or building is being built. It won’t be considered an add-on but rather as essential as appliances. If we are going to change the trajectory of the environmental damage that humans have done to the planet, we can’t keep doing things the way they’ve always been done. We need some major disruption in the energy industry, and we need it to happen now.
Solar Array on Emerson Street House. Installed by A&R Array.

Solar Array on Emerson Street House. Installed by A&R Array.

What Motivates You?

The opportunities that are before us in this industry and the good that capitalizing on those opportunities will mean for not just A&R, but for everyone. Solar has the potential to transform people’s lives and it is exciting to be a part of that change.

Call to Action

Be a solar advocate. Talk to your neighbors and friends about solar. And please, get involved politically. Put pressure on your representatives at all levels but especially your state legislators. They have tremendous influence on the future of this industry, and they need to hear from you–loudly and often.

More Information on A&R Solar:

Address: 2444 1st Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98134
Phone: +1 206-707-9937
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