The Brothers Hoffman: Solarizing the Texas Hill Country One County at a Time

从他们十几岁开始, Derrick 和 埃里克•霍夫曼 have been in the electrical services business, 从他们的父亲那里学习基本知识, 汤姆. As their apprenticeships evolved from part-time to journeyman to master electrician, the brothers Hoffman knew there was more they wanted to do in their trade. We caught up with Derrick to learn how he 和 brother Eric diversified their traditional business to include solar+storage.

云顶集团网站: You 和 brother Eric came from a traditional electrician training, 和你父亲一起工作,向他学习. 是什么 啊哈 moment – that sudden realization when you 和 brother Eric decided to add solar+storage  skills 和 services to Hoffman Electric 和 become 他的太阳?



DH: We grew up with a traditional exposure to the electrical trade with our dad. As we became older, it became a full-time gig. We grew up in the country outside of Austin, spending summers in Colorado 和 Utah. I think it’s fair to say we became tree-huggers due to the l和scape of our upbringing. We became journeymen 和 master electricians as we earned a Bachelors’s Degree in Construction Technology at Texas State, loving the classes around sustainability. We installed solar on our houses 和 I became NABCEP-certified in 2011. That’s when we started 他的太阳, the inspiration to do something that would make a difference.


DH: 他所做的! 他是个非常有价值的资源. 随着对电池的需求越来越大, there’s nothing more essential than an experienced electrician. 我们很幸运有他和我们一起工作.

云顶集团网站: 我们来谈谈你的工作量吧. uri云顶集团4008手机版app后比平时忙? 对太阳能+存储的需求增加?

DH: 是的,是的. 我们每天工作很长时间才能跟上进度. Before Uri, potential customers really weren’t interested in batteries. But now, storage is definitely part of the solar conversation. We don’t push folks to go solar but we want our customers to know more about the technologies. Current turnaround time for systems is anywhere from one 和 one-half to three months.

云顶集团网站: Would you say consumers are better informed about solar 和 storage? 你的库存? 你能得到产品吗??

DH: 是的,消费者得到了更好的信息. 他们问的问题很好. We work closely with our distributors so we can forecast supply properly. 我们使用 RECα松下 面板. We’ve found these produce better in warmer climates like ours here in Central Texas.

云顶集团网站: With increased consumer dem和, how’s your staffing? What kinds of skills are you looking for?

DE: This may sound flip but if they show up for a job interview, that’s a plus. 认真, 我们正在积极寻求帮助, for those with a strong commitment to safety 和 doing the job right. 人们很容易走捷径, but when you’re on a roof with a tight slope, 捷径是你最不想要的. Whenever I interview potential employees, I emphasize the excellent career path opportunities, from apprenticeship to sitting for licensing exams. Dem和 for electricians has never been greater. And to have solar+storage experience is only going to stay on the rise.

云顶集团网站: 听起来像是工作保障. Let’s talk a little bit about what’s happening with solar 和 the Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC). You live 和 work in PEC’s service territory. The PEC board has recently proposed a series of anti-solar policies 和 fees that, 如果采用, 太阳能真的会靠边站吗, affecting your business 和 PEC owners who are already solar customers or who want to go solar.

DH: We live 和 work in PEC’s service territory. These proposed solar rate increases 和 other punitive solar policies would definitely affect us, 我们的生意和我们的客户. Coops discourage customers from excess generation when they should be encouraging customer-sited generation to help with grid resiliency. 我们也在巴斯多普为客户提供服务, 布达, 凯尔, 滴水泉, 温布, 约翰逊市, 峡谷湖, 圣马科斯和新布朗费尔斯. Our average system size is 8-9kW which offsets between 70-90% of a customer’s load.


云顶集团网站: With Uri still in our collective memories, 你会认为合作社, 哪些是由其成员拥有的, would be aggressive about implementing policies that promote grid resiliency 和 clean energy. Apart from fighting PEC’s regressive solar policies, what’s your biggest challenge?

DH:  The technologies constantly morph which is a good thing for efficiency. But it also means that when you service systems, you’ve got to have lots of different supplies on h和. And the National Electric Code (NEC) changes every three years. We’d love a 100% success rate, but we need to fine-tune each system every five years. Also finding 和 keeping employees who have a strong commitment to quality workmanship 和 respect for safety is always a challenge.

云顶集团网站: What’s surprised you the most with this work?

DH: Couple of things have surprised us: 1) how much we’ve learned about local areas. It was really a smooth transition for us as we moved into the residential solar space. Central Texas has become a lot smaller for us; 和 2) as dem和 has grown, we’ve made friends 和 built strong relationships with our customers.

云顶集团网站: 不奇怪. 继续表现出色,德里克. 保持安全.