Monday, July 29, 2013

Free classes at Cuyamaca College on selling solar panel systems

For those with a knack for sales interested in joining the emerging green workforce, Cuyamaca College is offering a free course on selling solar energy systems.
The 36-hour course is provided through the San Diego/Imperial County Environmental Training Center based at Cuyamaca College and will give students a working knowledge of one of the fastest-growing segments of the green-collar industry.
The class will meet from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 5, 6, 7 and 9 and from 1-5 p.m. Aug. 8 at Cuyamaca College and will provide the skills and knowledge to sell solar photovoltaic energy systems, including information on the latest financing and incentive programs.
Additionally, students will gain the basic technical know-how to design residential and small commercial systems to best advise potential clients. They will also become familiar with industry tools for performing calculations on return on investment, cost analysis and sales proposals.
Jonathan Kropp, the Environmental Training Center director, said the class is funded by a federal Department of Energy grant, and follows up classes in solar installation funded by an economic and workforce development grant from the state community college chancellor’s office.
With the number of rebates and incentives, including property tax incentives and the California Solar Initiative rebate provided by utilities, as well as a drop in the cost of solar panel installation, both the commercial and residential market for photovoltaic energy systems is expanding. An industry research survey of utilities, state agencies, installers and manufacturers across nearly 30 states ranked California first above New Jersey and Hawaii in photovoltaic installation in the first quarter of 2013.
Further, the recent closing the San Onofre nuclear power plant due to a faulty reactor opens up the market to expanded use of renewable energy sources.
“According to SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association), California is still the country’s leading solar market both in cumulative solar capacity as well as new installations,” Kropp said in explaining the region’s growth of that particular segment of the green energy industry.
Potential students must be 18 years old and can register by going to and clicking on “Web Advisor” at the bottom of the page and then, “Continuing Education,” on the right. Under the yellow “registration” button on the right, click on “Register and Pay for Continuing Education Classes” and type the keyword “Solar Sales” to find the class.
For more information on the solar sales classes, contact Julie Tamura, ETC project assistant, at (619) 660-4017 or at

The Environmental Training Center at Cuyamaca College is one of four throughout the state sponsored through the Economic and Workforce Development program of the California Community College System, and serves more than 1,000 students each year, providing low-cost environmental health and safety training programs for San Diego and Imperial counties.

Cuyamaca College is at 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway in the community of Rancho San Diego. For more information on Cuyamaca and Grossmont classes, including registering for fall semester classes starting Aug. 19, go to