ENERGY SOLUTIONS

Jamaica 2019 | GREEN ECONOMY | INTERVIEW

Solar Buzz is looking at getting solar panels installed in Jamaican homes and offices from the very beginning to reap the most benefits.

Jason Robinson
BIOGRAPHY
Jason Robinson is CEO and co-founder of Solar Buzz Jamaica. He has lead Solar Buzz to become one of the leading EPC renewable energy companies in Jamaica. As an Executive Board Member of Jamaica Solar Energy Association, he spends a lot of his time helping to shape energy policy for the island. Currently, he is working on educating clients about the importance of adding battery storage to homes to create resilient power for emergency preparedness.

What is the significance of the award you received for environmentally friendly exhibit product during Expo Jamaica 2018?

Solar Buzz felt extremely proud of this achievement. We enjoy being a part of the Jamaica Manufacturer and Exporters Association's expo because its members are the largest users of energy on the island, so we work with many of them to help reduce energy costs. Being nominated and subsequently winning that award at the expo was a great achievement because it put us on the map with other manufacturers. We truly want to have an impact, not only on solar energy, but also on a company's bottom line to help them—and thus Jamaica—be more competitive in the region and worldwide.

Are there any partners that help the company achieve these international standards?

When we started out, I formed a strategic partnership with a company in Florida, which played a great role in guiding us early on, especially with training. I would lean on it for design advice on some of our initial larger jobs, and it would come down and train our staff two to three times a year. It was extremely important to have a larger company that was willing to come and do projects with us, and still does. It introduced us to technology, skills, and real expertise that we may not have necessarily learned so early on. I am never afraid to ask for advice and partner with other companies to make sure our clients are satisfied. The better our reputation, the better the range of clients we are able to work with in the future. We don't seek to rush and grow the company; instead, we execute each job properly from start to finish in line with international and local regulations, so our reputation has grown through word of mouth.

Do you have any other strategies to increase the market share?

We have partnerships that will increase our sales. We are in talks with more developers, which are now becoming attracted to the idea of including solar when they build. We want to get them to the point where they not only design a roof that is solar friendly but also install solar in the project from the beginning. This way, clients can buy a house with pre-installed solar energy solutions.

How would you assess the performance of solar energy companies in Jamaica so far?

There are a few companies that have done well. The majority does not focus on high quality. It is always more expensive, and the culture here is such that people always seek to pay less for something. In order to stand out, we have produced a high-quality product and let people know that they are putting in a system that is guaranteed for 25 years. Therefore, it is usually not worth the risk to just choose your solar company on cheapest price. The focus needs to be that you are guaranteed to recover your investment in the time frame promised, which means having a system that works.