Michael Chagala

Michael Chagala

Director of Information Technology, SEO and Conversion Architect

San Diego Business Journal IT Excecutive of the Year, 2013 Finalist

NABCEP - The Gold Standard in Solar Technical Certification

Michael Chagala


We have always strived to have a well-trained workforce at Sullivan Solar Power, far beyond that of our peers in the industry.  This translates into high-quality solar electric systems, a safer work environment, enriched employees, continual talent building, and employee retention.  For example, our electricians and installation crews must have at least 5,000 hours of training before being allowed on your roof.  Our Sullivan University gives everyone at the company the opportunity to learn anything from the sales and proposal process, to electrical design, to putting panels on a roof.  We also pay for college and vocational courses to help people become the best version of themselves possible.  

Most companies do not invest in training at this level.  The reason is simple; it's expensive, time consuming, and the return on investment is not immediate.  Smaller companies cannot afford to pull employees out of their workflow for even a day of training without literally running into cash problems at the end of the month.  This is a very real problem without an easy answer.  Large companies fail to train their staff adequately for other reasons; executives are accountable to stakeholders who want quantifiable returns.  It's difficult to find a quantifiable return on training, unless you know where to look.  

We recently took a giant leap forward.  We did something unprecedented in the solar industry, not just in Southern California, but anywhere in the United States.  We sent basically our entire staff to get NABCEP certified.  Let me explain what that is, and why it's so significant.

NABCEP stands for North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners.  NABCEP is the gold standard for training and certification in the solar industry.  It is not easy, or cheap, to get certified.  I recently spent a week in Murrieta, California, taking a course preparing for the certification exam.  The course was tough.  The exam tougher.

Why are we the first to do this?  We know how to quantify return on training investment.  You can see it in our craftsmanship.  You can hear it speaking to our employees.  We set the standards then exceed them.  NABCEP certification is generally reserved for a few top people in a solar power company.  Not at Sullivan Solar Power - everyone from our webmaster to our marketing team now holds a NABCEP certificate.  

Expect to see the rest of the industry follow in a year or two.

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  • Our experience was wonderful. They made sure we were well informed and were never pushy for the sale.

    - C Paulsen
  • Very professional, nonintrusive to my home. Worked around my schedule, EASY to work with, no misleading information.

    - D Acosta
  • With no money out of pocket, we now have become part of the solution to our country's energy problem.

    - P Gable
  • Sullivan took my $700 SDG&E bill to 29 cents! I think that says it all.

    - J Hemmi
  • If I knew it was going to be so simple and painless I would have gone solar years ago.

    - D Bajek
  • Everyone worked on my home as if it was their own.

    - D Navarro
  • Sullivan, by far, provided the best system value and the best long term opportunity to save money through solar power.

    - K Hord
  • This is a no-brainer in sunny San Diego. Very easy process. I helped the environment, fixed my electric bills and saved money too!

    - C Young
  • First rate.

    - A Wilson
  • I love watching my electric meter go backwards. Thank you Sullivan!

    - J Sanders
  • Outstanding.

    - B Maxon
  • There are so many options in the growing solar market and if we had to do it all over again, we would choose Sullivan Solar Power.

    - C Minegar
  • Sullivan was the best priced of four different contractors and was the most professional and prepared.

    - K Allin
  • Sullivan Solar Power is the one solar installer I trusted to do the job properly the first time.

    - J Conlin
  • All I can say is - excellent work delivered by a professional team.

    - L McJannet
  • We are totally happy to be doing our part to save the planet and save money.

    - A Gilleran
  • We recieved quotes from 4 companies and Sullivan was by far the most professional in their proposals and also most accurate in their production estimated by far.

    - M Rupe
  • Sullivan Solar Power proved to be an excellent choice after researching solar contractors; they were knowledgeable, professional, courteous, and accurate with their estimate.

    - J Coppola
  • The planning of our system by Sullivan, dealing with the city on approvals, installation and time to energy production was perfect. All expectations were exceeded.

    - V Lauderdale
  • The sales was professional and installation was professional. I loved the products, other companies wanted to use Chinese parts, not you. Thank you so much.

    - D Brown
  • From the beginning to end your team did an outstanding job. Thank you and God bless you all.

    - L Eddingfield
  • This has been one of the best purchasing (leasing) experiences I have had in years. The system is top grade and so were the people. Customer service was unparalleled.

    - Q Yates
  • Any chance of getting the system to generate power at night? Just kidding! It’s a hoot to watch the meter spin backwards :)

    - R Oepicks
  • Delivered what they promised, on time.

    - M Wahl
  • From the moment I called their offices to after the installation follow up has been a pleasure having Sullivan move me into the Solar age!

    - S Dabiri
  • I've been a contractor for 37 years and I know when a company is doing it right. Sullivan did it right.

    - G Smith
  • Pushing a little bit of our beautiful, plentiful San Diego sun into the grid should be as easy as going to the beach, and it was with Sullivan Solar.

    - H Richter
  • Excellent! Provides 110% customer satisfaction. Thank you for going above and beyond to accomidate our needs; very appreciated.

    - A Rorstad
  • The team was the most knowledgeable and professional of the companies we interviewed.

    - J Albarella
  • Absolutely outstanding!!!

    - F Fair
  • There is a reason why they are the leader- seamless installation and integration. All my questions were answered.

    - L Wilton
  • We would highly recommend Sullivan to our friends as they did an amazing and professional job.

    - J Jul
  • Sullivan Solar made our experience in going solar worry free.

    - J Barcellona