Today we’d like to introduce you to Guy Koloko.
Guy is a native of Bonaberi in Cameroon, Central Africa, where he graduated at an early age from technical high school. During his education back then, he learned the basic manufacturing of metal parts for machinery. Coming to U.S in Georgia in 2004, he then worked as a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machinist for six years in Atlanta, GA where he manufactured high precision metal parts for fighter jets, military hardware and machine parts. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Mechatronics (Automation) Engineering from SPSU/Kennesaw State University in Marietta, Georgia. His diploma is a perfect combination of electrical, mechanical and computer science engineering. He has worked as a PLC /Automation Systems Engineer where he maintained and remotely operated over 250 automated truck washing stations nationwide. After moving to Houston, Guy worked with Anadarko Petroleum as a SCADA project engineer where he set up, controlled and operated remotely countless oil and gas facilities across the U.S. This consisted at developing a software for control room to report real time data from the field. His work in the petroleum industry motivated him to move in a completely opposite direction, the renewable energy industry. He then resigned from his career in the petroleum industry and dedicated his talent to solar energy. As project engineer, he founded KNS Solar with his wife Ornella to begin designing and installing residential and commercial systems for solar companies in Houston and Austin. Guy is a state licensed electrician and meets the qualifications required by all Texas utility companies. Guy is also NABCEP certified PV installer. After installing countless solar systems for other companies, KNS Solar has decided to grab a share of the market by offering both grid tied and off grid renewable system to bring the sun’s free energy to all of Texas.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There are countless speed bump along the way. One of the biggest is to educate the customer. Solar technology is still at its early stage. Many individuals are not aware of the potential money saver, environmental impact and more important affordability of a solar system. Then we need to offer a financing option to our client as a solar system can start as low as $9,000 to up to $65,000 on residential. It really makes sense once the end user understands the technology.
Looking for qualified solar installer is also a challenge. Many just wants to learn and start their own business the next day. Working on the roof can be very exhausting as we stand up on sloppy roof in either very hot in summer or very cold in winter.
Lack of local incentive is a big drawback as well. In Texas alone, you found utility incentive in San Antonio, Austin, Dallas where they offer 10-50% incentive in addition to the federal 30% Solar ITC. That is a minimum total of 40% reduction of the cost of system which is a great saving and shorter ROI.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about KNS Solar – what should we know?
KNS Solar is solar panel designer and installation based in Houston, TX. We serve almost all sector: residential, business, farmer/rancher, mobile home, anything that need electricity we make custom design power plant for it.
My business is centralized in energy efficiency improvement which mean not only we do solar, but we make home/business improvement by upgrading to more efficient and lower consumption electric equipment. For instance, we change incandescent light to LED, upgrade thermostat to smart thermostat, installing solar attic fan to keep attic cool during hot day and many more. My experience as mechatronics engineer gives me ability to research, select and integrate the best product in the market for a sustainable solution.
We are now getting more involve into battery storage as many power outage drive demand for it in Houston.
In my country of origin, they said “the customer has the power of a king in business”, so I take great care of all of them. I am proud of my work and my relationship with clients. They are my keys to success and thrive. Only to hear them say to me “Great jobs guys, I am happy with your work” makes me proud. The older the customer the better the relationship as we get to know each other with time. I have a tendency to meet all my client face to face if possible. I am proud of the quality of our installation, and the feedback from my client. Nonetheless, the client pays for the service. No one will pay for bad service.
What sets us apart from others, I can proudly say that we sell custom design system, and educate customer on what are doing. Most solar installer just design solar system to make big bucks, while we take the time to educate the customer on what and how we do things. Every system we install comes with a monitoring system where the client can access real time the solar production even from their cell phone. From there, homeowner can understand what is going on his roof and can have a further conversation with us.
One of our weapon is our standard 5 years performance guaranty. We will come back and remedy any issue free of charge for 5 years if our solar system doesn’t produce what we promise.
We offer a standard 10 years workmanship warranty as well.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Passion and determination. As a former engineer, I had no experience in entrepreneurship. Many time I got discouraged, I couldn’t find financial help to get business started and many people doesn’t even know what is solar technology thus ignoring the potential value in this business.
Confidence is one of the key factor here. I must be confident of my work. You can’t jump in water if you are not confident to swim. At every level in life, even marriage, confident drives everything.
This country is land of opportunity, just put determination with some passion to do what you want.
I always said to myself every morning when I wake up:” If I don’t get up and DO it, who will DO it for me?”
Electrical License #30842NABCEP pv installer #PV-042217-013669
- Address: 1001 S Dairy Ashford, Suite 100, Houston, TX, 77077
- Website: www.kns-solar.com
- Phone: 877-567-7788
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