Image from New York Times' Coronavirus Worker Risk interactive infographic showing solar installers

UPDATE: Insource's COVID-19 Response

March 16, 2020

With the country in the midst of a COVID-19 outbreak, we at Insource Renewables - like many of our neighbors - have been closely watching the responses and implementing approaches to minimize the risk to public health posed by this virus. As a company, we are committed to the health of our clients, our workers, and our communities and are taking measures to minimize risks associated with COVID-19. To date, none of our staff has exhibited symptoms associated with coronavirus. That said, we are well aware of the risk of seemingly healthy individuals acting as carriers of the virus and infecting at-risk populations. We are taking the following precautions to limit exposure of our staff, families, clients, and communities:

  1. Our administrative team is continuing to work - though a bit differently - during this period of uncertainty. We are utilizing technology to reduce the impacts this disruption will have on our sales activities and customer service while also supporting employee health. A majority of our administrative staff is working remotely, and there are two remaining staff in our office spaces that are working in separate, detached locations to minimize risk. We have also been in contact with neighboring companies in our office building to support strong hygienic practices in the common spaces. We are generally closer to our refrigerators, which has its downside, and the kids may make themselves known during phone calls. Otherwise, we're available to chat by phone or email.
  2. We are continuing our sales activities and postponing site visits for several weeks. In recent years, we have moved a significant portion of our sales processes to phone consultations and preliminary proposals. Through this approach we commonly provide estimates prior to visiting the site that are within a few hundred dollars of the final contract price and that include estimates that are typically within 5% of our final estimates after measuring shading on-site. None of this work will be affected by our efforts to reduce exposure. The one aspect of our sales process that does increase exposure risk is our site visits. In order to finalize a quote, we need to be on-site to gather information about various aspects of a project. We have decided to postpone site visits until - tentatively - the first full week of April to minimize risks to our prospective clients and our staff.
  3. We are strategically continuing our solar installation work - outside. Much of our work is performed outside in the elements, which generally presents a low risk of exposure to disease. Our risk is in the proximity to one another during work, traveling to job sites, working around surfaces inside homes and businesses, and interaction with clients. We have spoken with individual installation staff to assess their risk of hosting the virus and the risk that they could carry COVID-19 back home and infect others with compromised immune systems or other health risks. Those individuals that present anything other than a low risk are working on special projects in isolation, which include administrative tasks and technical training. Workers with low risk are being considered for work at selected sites. We have adjusted our crew structure to reduce exposure, have informed staff to minimize community activity outside of work, and are scheduling installation tasks that do not involve working in areas that could create exposure risks for our employees or occupants. We are continuing to monitor activity and public health recommendations and will act quickly if anything additional is needed to protect public health. 
  4. We have suspended installation of mini-split heat pumps indefinitely. Our work on the installation of mini-split heat pumps requires interior work and presents unnecessary risk at this time. As a result, we are suspending our heat pump installation work for at least 4 weeks. It's better to be safe than sorry amidst the current uncertainty.
  5. We are being sensitive to people's needs. We are in contact with our sales leads and current clients to ensure they know where we are and to understand their needs and preferences. We are also working closely with our staff to ensure they're well taken care of during this time of uncertainty. Our employees have paid leave available to them should they become symptomatic, and we are committed to ensuring that we act responsibly in balancing the physical and financial health of our employees.

We recognize that 2020 is a big year for solar. Our schedule is as packed as it has ever been, and we have clients who are very aware of the scheduled step down of the federal tax credit at the end of this year. For prospective buyers concerned about their place on our installation schedule and want us to come out for a site visit, we hope you appreciate the steps we are taking. If the only thing between you and a contract is your site visit, our Solar Ready Buyer program will allow you to get an official place in line.

More information is available in your preliminary proposal or by contacting us at (207) 659-1054.

We appreciate everyone's understanding as we work with our neighbors to protect the health of our lovely state and its people. If there is anything we can do to be of assistance during this time, please don't hesitate to let us know.

(Image from New York Times' Coronavirus Worker Risk interactive infographic)