NFIB California Podcast: Going Solar is About Controlling Your Own Destiny

Date: June 15, 2022

Duane Knickerbocker, an HVAC and solar expert, makes the case for everyone's energy independence

“We are in charge of our own destiny not just in the utility’s destiny. When you get solar, you’re locking in your rates for the next 20 years.”

That was the case made for going solar, not by someone just in that line of energy production, but also by one whose firm provides the traditional heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) products and services.

Duane Knickerbocker, president and co-owner of Brower Mechanical, a commercial and residential HVAC company based in Rocklin California, sat down with NFIB California State Director John Kabateck for a podcast that also provided a forewarning about big changes ahead in 2023.

The majority of people are now comfortable with solar technology, said Knickerbocker. What are forcing peoples’ hands to make the switch, according to him, are the utility companies, “because they are continually raising rates.”

Knickerbocker’s remarks included a range of related issues as well.

  • Water—In a state rapidly running dry of it, solar is needed more than ever. “To run the average hair dryer for an hour, it takes about 25 gallons of water to make that power.”

  • California’s Power Grid—Having a smart grid tied to a smart home would give us a “two-way communication all the way to the power district.” With that type of efficiency, according to Knickerbocker, “we won’t have to worry about brown-outs or power outages.”

  • Supply and Inflation—”The majority of the products they [manufacturers] make today, they will not be able to sell in January of 2023. So, they are already starting to scale back on what they are producing, because they know they’ve got to get ready for a new product. We’re seeing the biggest increase that we’re ever going to see come January of 2023. They’re already quoting us anywhere from 30% to 40% price increase.”

  • Regulations—”Our biggest challenge in that arena – hands down every time – is that the state or the fed, primarily the state, will come out with a new rebate program. They are either a huge success or they’re a huge failure. There is never a middle ground.”

Toward the end of the podcast, Kabateck asked Knickerbocker for any advice he would offer someone looking to pursue their dream of owning a small business. Knickerbocker responds by advising whom not to listen to.

Click the arrow below to listen to the podcast. Click here to listen to all prior podcasts.


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