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June Special Edition 2022

‘Much More to Accomplish’: Solar Optimum, a 15 YO Leading Solar Energy Company, Upholds a Culture of Quality, Continues to Lead From the Front

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“Our goal of being the best in the solar industry was recognized by the leading manufacturer of solar panels—Panasonic—and we are grateful for the honor.”

Solar Optimum is an award-winning solar energy company that provides renewable and solar energy solutions to residential and commercial sectors. It currently operates in California and Nevada.

As a vertically-integrated and technology-agnostic company for the residential and commercial sectors, Solar Optimum leverages the best and most reliable solutions, providing the greatest value to its clients.

The company was established in 2008.

The Silicon Review reached out to Solar Optimum’s Los Angeles headquarters and spoke with Arno Aghamalian, Founder, who serves as the company’s Chief Executive Officer. Here’s what he said.

Interview Highlights

Q. What inspired the creation of Solar Optimum? And how did the company continue to adapt over the years?

My inspiration to create Solar Optimum was based on an innate need to build a business that was good for the environment, helpful to families looking for energy independence, and, of course, one that would enable me to support my family. Family is very important to me and that is how we treat every Solar Optimum employee.

Adapting to the ever-changing landscape of solar throughout the last 15 years hasn't been easy. There have been numerous challenges at seemingly every turn. The one constant that has allowed us to successfully adapt has been the team of professionals I have surrounded myself with at the company, who come to work day in and day out with a passion for what they do. After all, we spend a majority of our day at work and our company culture has played a critical role in our evolution over the years.

Q. Solar Optimum was recognized as the ‘Panasonic National Solar Installer of the Year’ in 2020 and 2021 consecutively. What strategies did the company implement to achieve this rare feat?

It’s our commitment as a team—a cohesive unit—to provide quality products, quality work, and quality service at the highest level possible. When we focus on these things, quite frankly, the rest falls into place. Winning ‘Panasonic National Installer of the Year’ in 2020 and 2021 was hard-earned by every member of the Solar Optimum team. Our goal of being the best in the solar industry was recognized by the leading manufacturer of solar panels—Panasonic—and we are grateful for the honor. But we’re not done. There’s still much more ahead of us and much more to accomplish.

Q. As a vertically-integrated and technology-agnostic company for the residential and commercial sectors, how does Solar Optimum provide the greatest value to its clients?

To be honest, it boils down to what our mission statement conveys: To make homeowners and business owners 100% energy independent by educating, inspiring, and providing progressive, premium energy solutions with unmatched value.

Our countless awards and accolades—most recently being named ‘Panasonic Solar National Installer of the Year’ for two consecutive years—is what makes us different. We deliver on many levels including integrity, trustworthiness, customer satisfaction, warranties, expertise, and reliability. Additionally, Solar Power World (our industry media anchor) was named Solar Optimum the ‘#1 Residential Solar and Battery Storage Installer in California’ in 2020 and 2021 and ‘#2 Commercial Solar Contractor in California’ in 2019, 2022, and 2021.

Our mantra is simple: Energy Experts. Real Relationships. Honest Talk. Living by this mantra has been a key to our success. Each associate at Solar Optimum is an expert in their department with consistent, ongoing training and improvement. Our clients have appreciated the fact that we get to know them and build relationships with them. By building solid relationships, our customers happily refer their family members, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Lastly, there’s honest talk; we speak the truth to our customers. There’s no hiding behind what we offer. We are straight and honest and that’s been a huge part of our success story.

Q. How skilled is the Solar Optimum team of experts? And how do they bring value to the company?

Experts don’t become experts overnight. Every associate at Solar Optimum came to the company with a particular skill or expertise from a previous job experience. Building off of that expertise, we continue to offer additional training and support to our employees to help them grow professionally and personally. As a group, we have committed to being better than we were last week, last month, or last year. We hold each other accountable for improvement and love to promote from within.

Q. What strategies are in place to encourage innovation in your company?

Our partnerships with manufacturers play a big part in the course, as well as industry tradeshows. It’s always encouraging to hear from the manufacturers themselves to see what their visions are and the directions they plan to take. In many cases, we also look to other non-solar or non-energy-related verticals to see how their innovations move their particular industries.

In addition to this, keeping open communication within our company is important. Oftentimes, the best ideas are bred internally from our Solar Optimum associates.

Q. What do you think are the biggest challenges your industry will face in the next five years? And how do you plan to counter those challenges?

For every solar installer in California, Nevada, and the entire U.S., NEM 3.0 is the foremost challenge that we face. The uncertainty of when it will come into play and how much it will affect both the end-user and solar businesses is concerning and challenging.

Also, there’s a heavy amount of competition, especially in the west coast. It seems like there’s a solar installer on every corner and the consumer has a lot to choose from. However, if they do their research properly and thoroughly, they can easily scratch off unqualified companies; particularly those that do not have a long-standing track record (been in business for less than 10 years) and those that have consumer review ratings below 4-stars.

Arno Aghamalian | Founder & CEO

Arno Aghamalian began his industry-changing family business in 2008 and has transformed his vision into California’s premier solar company. Today, his business is now a dynamic, expert-driven enterprise with a knowledgeable workforce empowered to install customers throughout California and Nevada.

A natural-born innovator and visionary, Arno made his mark overseas as an entrepreneur and inventor. With early career successes establishing and managing manufacturing plants and distribution centers that grew into multi-million dollar businesses, he found his answer in solar energy.

Arno has passionately given back to the community, including through charitable activities. He leads Solar Optimum, a forward-thinking company, with old-world values that indeed have translated into a superior work ethic as well as a dedication to the well-being of the community.

“Our countless awards and accolades—most recently being named ‘Panasonic Solar National Installer of the Year’ for two consecutive years—is what makes us different.”