US Solar - September 2018

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R E B E L S W I T H A CAU S E MY INSPIRATION

When I first moved to Florida fromTexas, it wasn’t something that I wanted to do. I was happy living in Dallas, but I also wanted to be withmy dad, James Gates, as he battled cancer. So it was an easy choice tomake. I moved here to support him and to spend as much time

can be a beneficial factor, which all comes down to choosing what’s best for the customer. That’s the fun part. We don’t use just one specific type of equipment; we use what’s in the best interest of the customer. It’s all about customizing their solar systembased on electrical usage and how specifically solar can benefit them.

“I’M A FACT GUY. I ALWAYS WANT THE BEST, AND I CONTINUE TO ASK MYSELF, ‘HOW CAN I MAKE THINGS BETTER?’”

with him as I could.

I had to leave my job behind and was faced with finding a newway to support myself. I wanted to get involved with something that inspiredme, that I knew was good, and that I’d be proud of doing. I’ve always been an entrepreneur type, which urgedme to start a business that was worthwhile. There was one thought onmy mind—solar power. Years ago, I worked with several large companies in solar power, so I knewwhich direction I wanted to go. I’m a fact guy. I always want the best, and I continue to ask myself,“How can I make things better?”I knew solar power worked, and I knew that it could save the average homeowner from the steep bills of the electric companies. I saw that, in the Sunshine State, we should be maximizing what’s available to us and use it to our full advantage. Using the sun, homeowners will not only save potentially hundreds of dollars per month, but also the environment. When I was working with the big solar companies, it was hard to see how a small, local solar business could thrive in the market. I didn’t think that a small business could compete. Even so, I decided to openmy own local solar business in Florida that would focus on the community and the individual needs of each home. Since then, US Solar has come a long way, and it’s been a remarkable journey getting to where we are today. As my business grows, I continue to search for ways to have a positive impact on the community. I strive to provide the best technology available tomy customers, and it doesn’t stop there. Every home is unique in how solar power

US Solar is a rebel with a cause. That doesn’t mean we’ll go rioting through the streets, but we strive to break homeowners away from the power-hungry electric companies. We’re taking the money customers would have spent on high electric bills and giving it back to the homeowners. US Solar is all about choice— you have the freedom to choose the options available to you. It’s something all of us deserve and have a right to decide. Currently, I have a larger family here at US Solar than when I first started out. Our teamhas now reached 19, and they all have the same inspiration and determination as I do. As the business grows, there are more opportunities for them. I have a couple of leaders nowwho helpmake our experience better and better with each day. My people are stepping intomore roles and becoming a big part of what US Solar is doing. I wouldn’t have made it this far without the support of my team andmy dad through the years. While the business grew, my dad watched and supportedme through every step until he passed away a couple of months ago. I know that he was proud watching what we were accomplishing and how determined we were to bring the best we could to the community. He was beyond elated with every goal we met and customer we helped. Just knowing that he was there through it all means somuch tome. It was beautiful.

–Seann Gates

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HOW TO ACH I E V E A MOR E R E S T F U L N I G H T ’ S S L E E P A good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your mind and body. One study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research found that the quality of your sleep is much more important than the quantity — that is, if you want to feel rested. And we all want to feel rested. So, what can you do to improve the quality of your sleep and get the rest you need? Listen to your body. This, above all else, is crucial to a good night’s sleep. Your body knows when it’s time for bed. Generally, you want to go to bed when you feel tired, whether that’s at 8 p.m. or 1 a.m. Whenever your body tells you it needs rest, you should make a habit of going to bed then. The more consistent you are, the better your sleep will be. Wake up naturally. Jolting yourself awake with an alarm or radio isn’t doing your brain and body any favors (it can be stressful on the body and even elevate blood pressure, which is not good first thing in the morning). If you do need an alarm, consider a wake-up light. Wake-up lights mimic the sunrise, slowly brightening the room, waking your body in a natural, gentle way. Kick the screen habit. You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again: Looking at an electronic screen — a TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone — before bed is detrimental to sleep quality. Light from these devices is disruptive to your brain’s suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), which helps regulate your circadian rhythm, and screen time before bed can throw off normal SCN function. Put your excuses for staying up too late to bed. Say no to “one more episode.” And all those emails? They can wait until tomorrow. Not getting enough quality sleep is harmful to your mental and physical health. When you get into the habit of following these three tips, you’ll find yourself feeling rested and refreshed in no time.

I T ’ S A NO- BRA INER! “It’s kind of a no-brainer, especially if you live in Florida. The sun’s here all the time—we are the Sunshine State. See howmuch your power bill is every month, see howmuch your payment is for [the] system, and compare. And we found out that we can pay actually as much or even less per month to buy the system than we

would just paying our normal power bill from the utility company. Having solar on your roof has gotta be the wave of the future, and it’s going to keep your bills down. So,

for us, it was an easy decision.”

– Spencer Briggs

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SWI TCH ING TO SOLAR WI LL SAVE YOU HUNDREDS! The rate at which Florida uses electrical energy is 14.95 percent greater than the overall average across the United States. Every month, a Florida resident is expected PAYING THE UT I L I T I ES

including additional fees and taxes that are tacked on to the bill. For instance, if you take the time to look through your electrical statement, you’ll spot a delivery fee — they charge the consumer for the transportation of electricity. This fee covers the cost of the equipment the electrical company uses to bring power into the house. Most industries don’t do this, as equipment is part of the cost of doing business, so the responsibility doesn’t get passed to the consumer. Then the homeowner gets taxed on the electrical service, which can be as high as 19 percent. It boils down to a simple equation— the more electricity you use, the higher the bills, fees, and taxes you’ll have to pay each month. Breaking away from the crushing cost the electrical companies put on you isn’t impossible, and the choice is entirely up to you. Owning a solar energy systemwill change your energy costs, and you’ll be in control. Instead of seeing a $150-plus charge on your electrical statement, you can expect $10.

to consume around 1,081 kilowatts of electricity, which equals about 1,500 horsepower. This is 19.7 percent higher than the national monthly average across the country. In 2015, nearly 87 percent of the natural gas delivered to Florida for consumers was used to generate electricity. The Energy Information Association states that residential electricity rates have increased by 20 percent in the last 10 years, and Florida was the third largest consumer. How is this happening? You might’ve already guessed —we’re the Sunshine State! The natural resource that brightens our days is also our downfall. Air conditioners work harder to keep residents at a comfortable temperature, and

homeowners are rewarded with high electric bills. Instead of fighting the sun and the electrical companies, you can use this resource to power your home. You don’t have to rely on them anymore — you’ll have control.

If you’re tired of fighting the electrical company and eager to cut back your costs, give US Solar a call! Let the sun lower your electric bill.

The average Florida homeowner pays around $123 every month, not

INS IDE-OUT GRI LLED HAM AND CHEESE

This recipe calls for cheese both inside and outside the sandwich, adding a crispy crunch to the grilled cheese experience. The whole family will love it!

INGREDI ENTS

8 slices of bread (Pullman works best) 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

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8 ounces ham, thinly sliced 1/2 pound Swiss cheese, sliced 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/4 cup apricot preserves

1. Butter each slice of bread on the outsides and sprinkle with Parmesan. 2. Layer ham and cheese evenly on top of 4 slices of bread. 3. Spread apricot preserves and mustard across the other 4 slices. Press sandwiches together. 4. In a cast iron skillet or large sauté pan over medium heat, grill sandwiches until golden, about 3 minutes per side. 5. Cut in half and serve. INSTRUCT IONS

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PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411

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SUPPORT THROUGH THE YEARS 1 I N S I D E SLEEP BETTER AND FEEL GREAT SEE WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING 2 MAKING THE SWITCH INSIDE-OUT GRILLED HAM AND CHEESE 3 TIPS TO HELP ORGANIZE YOUR CRAZY LIFE 4

NEED A PERSONAL ASSISTANT TO MANAGE YOUR KIDS’ CRAZY SCHEDULES? TRY THESE 3 TIPS INSTEAD

THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE JOB Technology makes organization easier and more accessible than ever. By using a tool like a shared calendar, you can coordinate the entire family’s schedule so you never miss a beat. And apps like Mealime and MealBoard give you the ability to whip up food that is cost-effective and delicious. TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK While you’re busy trying to rally the troops at soccer practice, the scene at home resembles a horror movie. Laundry is piling up, food is spoiling in the fridge, and the dust bunnies around the house now have names. Housecleaning is a part-time job in its own right. The only way to stay on top of duties around the house is to work together. A chore chart with clear responsibilities is a great place to start. Whether you have one child or eight, everyone is capable of pitching in. You can have all the organizational abilities in the world, but the best way to manage life’s madness isn’t by directing day-to day tasks; it’s by managing stress. Instead of using these tools to control life, look at them as a way to free up time so you can decompress and enjoy the things you love.

School has started. Youth sports are in full swing. Work is crazy. Food has become more about necessity than enjoyment. All of this can only mean one thing: Fall has begun. The crazy schedules this time of year can make it tough for

parents to keep their heads on straight; making it through the insanity sometimes feels more like survival than life. But there are tactics you can employ to turn the tide and find more time for yourself.

TAG TEAM There’s no reason to try to do everything on your own. The phrase “It takes a village to raise a child” exists because managing

the stressors of life requires help. A great place to start is by establishing car pools with a parent group you trust. You can alternate drivers weekly, which provides the opportunity for you to focus your attention on other priorities — or if you’re lucky, have some freedom.

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