Josh Powell, Colin Yost, Eric Carlson, Revolusun
Despite endless sunshine and near-unanimous public support for replacing oil with renewable energy, the solar industry on O‘ahu has been struggling ever since Hawaiian Electric abruptly changed its residential PV approval policy in September 2013. Many solar companies went out of business and hundreds of Hawai‘i jobs were lost. RevoluSun, one of Hawai‘i’s largest solar providers, swiftly adapted its business model to stay afloat.
The first order of business was a changing of the guards in leadership.
Two of RevoluSun’s founding partners, Eric Carlson and Josh Powell, as well as its former General Counsel Colin Yost, were tapped to navigate the company through the impending changes in Hawai‘i’s dynamic solar industry.
Josh Powell now leads operations and acts as the responsible managing employee for all of RevoluSun’s business as the company’s chief executive officer. By effectively managing the operations teams and developing innovative processes and technologies, Josh successfully scaled the company in response to unprecedented market growth and then again in the face of utility challenges. The former naval civil engineer corps officer, licensed Hawai‘i architect and A, B and C-60 licensed contractor brings a wealth of building and design knowledge to the team.
As Josh focuses on operations and growth, Chief Innovation Officer Eric Carlson seeks out and vets new products and services. With a decade of field experience in Hawai‘i’s building industry under his belt, he brings a holistic approach to renewableenergy integration that considers the overall efficiency and livability of a dwelling. His main focus is piloting the company’s solar and smart-home markets into the next stage of their evolution.
“Working in the solar industry often feels like running an obstacle course and that’s not going to change anytime soon.” —Colin Yost
Colin Yost made the jump from counsel to chief operating officer and is responsible for implementing company initiatives, managing customer service, overseeing human resources and directing media relations. Colin emerged as the company’s go-to source for navigating the complex issues involving Hawaiian Electric and the Public Utilities Commission and was instrumental in steering the company through Hawai‘i’s rapidly changing energy policy over the past two years. His leadership helped establish RevoluSun as one of the nation’s leading residential photovoltaic installers.
The new leadership team saw the challenges that sank many Hawai‘i solar companies as an opportunity to diversify their services and open up a new market—residential energy efficiency. Solar installation remains their prime service, but they added a new division of advanced sustainable home technology for homeowners, architects and residential home developers. RevoluSun Smart Home is a curated collection of energyefficiency and lifestyle-improvement products that make homes more economical, healthy and comfortable. The industry-leading products include a PV hot water system, whole-house fans, home automation and security systems, skylights, sun tunnels, variable-speed pool pumps and even EV charge stations. To showcase its new niche products and services, RevoluSun built an interactive Smart Home showroom on Ward Avenue that’s open to contractors, architects and the public. The team holds monthly seminars as part of a larger agenda of community outreach.
“While RevoluSun continues to help clients navigate ongoing changes to HECO policies and Public Utility Commission regulations, we are always looking at the big picture with renewable energy,” Eric says. “It’s time to help Hawai‘i achieve a multitude of solutions for energy efficiency at home.
We have a careful selection of the highest-quality products and a community-oriented philosophy that we will continue to build on so that there are always more options to make homes sustainable.” RevoluSun is preparing for a very busy year. “Only homeowners who complete the installation of their solar systems before the end of 2016 will be eligible for the 30 percent federal credit, so it is extremely important to submit an application for interconnection to HECO as soon as possible,” Colin explains.
“Working in the solar industry often feels like running an obstacle course and that’s not going to change anytime soon,” he continues.
“Thankfully, the demand for rooftop solar keeps growing and this gives us the momentum to overcome everything in our path. It’s now easy to envision a more beautiful and resilient Hawai‘i with far fewer utility poles and lines, micro-grids serving individual neighborhoods and much more renewable energy for everyone.”
During its six years in business serving 5,500 Hawai‘i customers, RevoluSun has been able to truly champion its values in the marketplace.
“Our business culture strives for the greatest customer value and experience while making a meaningful contribution to improving the world around us,” Josh says. “This doesn’t stop with clean energy. It’s how we take responsibility in our community and knowing at the end of the day that our work is valued and our team is one of the very best in Honolulu.”