WE NEED YOUR HELP — Support your hometown newspaper by making a donation.

Built Well Solar marks 20 years

Posted

Built Well Solar, a pioneer of solar energy on Long Island with its roots in Bellmore, is celebrating 20 years in business.

The company provides solar panels and installation services for homes and businesses. Since it opened, it has helped transform the look of Long Island, with more than 5,000 installations.

Two decades ago, seeing a solar panel atop a Long Island home was rare. The first of its kind on the Island was installed by Built Well owner Dan Sabia on his home in North Bellmore. The home was the first on Long Island to join the Solar Pioneer incentive program offered by the Long Island Power Authority, which was later taken over by PSEG Long Island.

“I started the business in 2001, and it wasn’t something I planned on doing,” Sabia, a Bellmore native, said. “I had a passion for solar energy, and I put solar energy on my own house     . . . I helped put it on friends’ houses over weekends. I opened up a corporation to buy the materials wholesale, and after about a year, I said, I guess I’m in business.

“From there,” he added, “the rest is history.”

Today, Built Well’s work stretches from Elmont to Montauk, with solar panels on homes, stores, schools and libraries. The industry has faced many ups and downs, Sabia said, but Built Well has made it 20 years thanks to a unique, buyer-focused ap-proach. What sets the company apart from similar businesses is who ends up owning the solar panels. Many companies lease them to homeowners, leaving new solar panel users with less financial benefit — as well as the potential headaches that can come with not fully owning a piece of your roof. Built Well, however, encourages buyers to take full ownership of their panels.

After three to five years, the solar panels supply 25 years of free electricity — which can mean more than $100,000 in savings, Sabia said. A solar loan from the state can help homeowners fund a solar panel purchase, and “you pay it off with the same money you’re paying now to PSEG,” he explained. “It pays for itself, and it makes you money for another 30 years.”

On Long Island, the potential for solar energy is “tremendous,” Sabia said. The area has the some of the highest electrical rates in the country, and solar panels can provide substantial relief. Long Island also has one of the longest essentially straight south-facing coasts in the world, noted Nancy Hiler, Built Well’s vice president of marketing and operations, with an abundance of sunlight.

Electrical use is also steadily increasing. Most industries, Sabia said, aren’t cutting back enough — “More computers are being sold than ever,” he said — and the continuing reliance on fossil fuels harms the environment. “The use of power is only going to continue,” he said.

Sabia and Hiler envision the future of Long Island as one with solar panels on every home — to them, it’s the only thing that makes sense. As more homes are built, more energy is required to power them all. Solar panels can be a vital offset to the need for that extra power.

“We’ve been in Bellmore for over 20 years,” Sabia said. “One of our goals is to do as many houses as possible right here in our own community, because we can give the best pricing on it, it’s local and we’re very visible where we are.”

On top of many other accolades, Built Well Solar boasts a ranking in the national Top Solar Contractors in the United States for nine years in a row, which Sabia attributes to the business’s transparency, honesty and integrity. Built Well also offers discounts to veterans and first responders.

For more information on solar energy or to schedule a free evaluation of your home or business, call Built Well Solar at (516) 695-1000 or e-mail info@builtwellsolar.com.