Arizona installer transforms negative personal experience into better solar service

When life handed Val Berechet the biggest lemon, he turned it into a thriving lemonade business. After an awful personal experience trying to go solar in 2014, Berechet was inspired to fill a void and formed a successful solar sales company in Arizona.

“Originally I wanted solar on my house, but whatever I get into, I get really into,” said Berechet, president of Sunsolar Solutions (No. 124 on the 2022 Top Solar Contractors list).

His journey with solar started eight years ago when he decided to invest in a 12.4-kW system for his roof. Berechet received quotes from several companies and got positive referrals for the installer he ultimately chose. But the company’s flaws started showing right away. Permits took too long to be pulled, and then inspections failed several times.

During the eight-month process, Berechet reviewed the solar plans, studied NEC requirements, found that the conduit size was incorrect and mounts completely missed trusses, leaving holes visible from the attic. He fired the installation company and tore everything off the roof himself.

Over the next two weeks, he reinstalled the solar array with a friend using the knowledge he gained through the disastrous first go-around. Berechet’s installation passed inspection and is still running strong today.

He said the experience conjured two emotions: irritation and motivation.

“I was angry that a contractor would disrespect a customer and their home this way, hacking up the roof and leaving holes,” Berechet said. “[I also had this] feeling of motivation that this can be done better. From there, I set out to start a solar company.”

Since 2015, Sunsolar Solutions has helped over 8,000 customers go solar by providing honest quotes, educating communities and only working with respected installers. Sunsolar Solutions was a big partner in Arizona with major residential contractor Titan Solar Power before Sunsolar took installations in-house in 2021.

“We were finally able to combine everything we had learned from years of doing sales and customer experience management with the actual installation to guarantee the customer is getting the best experience possible, from how solar is explained and sold, to how the project is managed, to how the installation is done,” Berechet said. “Our company has long been a proponent of selling solar with truth and transparency. We believe you can have massive growth and success while doing it with integrity.”

The company has grown in a short time to over 100 employees, and Berechet said that with Sunsolar’s honest approach to solar, there’s no limit to the growth that’s possible.

“We preach about doing something the right way, even if the customer doesn’t know about it. The customer might not even appreciate the work that you’re doing, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it,” he said. “There are some companies out there that are ‘ABC Solar’ for a couple years and then they’re ‘XYZ Solar,’ always changing their names because they’re running away from their problems. We’ve been around seven years and we want to be around for another 25. And the only way you can do that is by doing things the right way.”

This story was featured exclusively in our 2022 Top Solar Contractors issue. See the issue and full list of top US solar installers here.

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