Roof Tech Helps Border States Capture Momentum in a Growing Market
- on May 17, 2020
- Categories: Roof Tech
As product manager for clean energy products for Border State’s southeast region, Jim Woods is the appointed champion for growing the company’s solar business. During his 17 years with Shealy Electrical Wholesalers before its 2016 merger with Border States, Woods had gained considerable experience working with residential and commercial solar customers. In fact, he spent his last six years at Shealy as director of clean energy. “My job at Border States is to support our existing sales force in the field,” explained Woods. “About half of our business is with residential customers, with the remaining market split between utility and commercial clients.”
An early adopter of Roof Tech products carries on the tradition.
Woods explained that he first learned about Roof Tech in 2015 from Jamie Brown, founder and installer with South Carolina-based Brown Electric. “Jamie and I have very strong relationship,” he said. “Jamie recommended that I look into Roof Tech products, and Shealy subsequently became one of Roof Tech’s first distributors.” Woods now oversees a staff of three who focus solely on growing Border State’s solar market.
Discovering the advantages of RT E Mount AIR®.
As is the case with so many solar distributors, Border States had previously sold mostly railed mounting systems to their solar installers. But since discovering the benefits of rail-less systems, Woods has eagerly introduced his customers to RT E Mount AIR®. “With Roof Tech, it’s so much easier to transport the parts to our installers because they’re so compact. It’s not easy to get 20’ rails down the road on a truck!” he said. “We get the product delivered faster, and the speed of installation is a huge benefit. We focus on the quality of our customers’ experience, and if we can save them time, it makes us the heroes.”
Changing minds from the old way to a better way.
Woods noted that even the old timers who used to insist on “railed systems or nothing” are taking another look at the benefits of rail-less mounting solutions. “At first they claim that it’s never going to work,” he said. “But once they see how much faster and easier a job goes with RT E Mount AIR®, they understand that rail-less systems can really save them time and trouble.” Woods added that RT E Mount AIR® now makes up about 50 percent of Border States’ mounting system sales.
Choosing Roof Tech for his own home as the solar market takes off.
Woods recently turned to his longtime colleague Jamie Brown to handle electrical and solar on his own home, which is currently in the construction phase. “The home will have an 8.7kW system with 30 solar modules, all mounted with RT E Mount AIR®,” said Woods. “This will be the first time I’ll have solar on my own home, and I’m looking forward to completion.” He went on to explain that since Act 236, the Distributed Energy Resources Program Act, was signed into South Carolina law in 2014, it has put his region on the fast track for market growth. This landmark legislation is expected to spur upwards of 200MW of renewable energy capacity in the state by 2020, the majority being in solar photovoltaic technology.
About Border States
Border States was founded in 1952 with a primary focus on the electric utility industry. Headquartered in Fargo, North Dakota, the company currently supplies products and services to a wide range of construction, industrial, and utility customers. Border States also distributes solar inverters, panels, modules, and accessories for all phases of renewable energy projects. Today, Border States is one of the nation’s largest employee-owned companies, with more than 2,200 employee-owners and 97 branches in 18 states. In August 2016, Border States acquired Shealy Electrical Wholesalers, expanding its reach to include 17 additional branches across North and South Carolina.