SimpliPhi IQ Installer Spotlight: West Coast Sustainables
Having lived off grid on solar+storage for 5 years now, Jason Andrade, the owner of West Coast Sustainables, walks the walk. This has enabled him to understand the true unique needs of fully off grid residents and those looking for reliable backup power to cope with common utility power outages in California. A mostly one-man, one stop shop, Jason has been in the renewable energy industry for 14 years and has been licensed in California for 7 years as a C-46 solar contractor.
Before he founded West Coast Sustainables in 2010, there were very few installers equipped to help people go off grid. Today, West Coast Sustainables has become one of the top solar integrators and installers in California, providing consistently thorough, custom, high quality solar+storage installations across the state. In fact, former California Governor Jerry Brown recognized Jason’s talent and selected him to install his off grid solar + SimpliPhi energy storage system at his Northern California ranch.
Ultimately, Jason’s larger goal for West Coast Sustainables is to help people become self-sufficient — both residents who want to take back their power and live off grid or those that never want to face a utility power outage again. In addition, Jason is intent on facilitating solar+storage installers who want to follow Jason’s lead in building a lasting, renewable energy business. Notably, Jason has successfully leveraged his YouTube channel and larger social media presence to educate and empower residents and businesses alike in pursuit of this mission.
Recently, we talked to Jason to learn more about West Coast Sustainables, the vision he has for the company, and the challenges he has overcome along the way:
What do you love most about your job?
“I get to be as creative as I want to, within reason. Also, some of my closest friends and supporters are customers.”
What motivates you?
“I love tools. This job lets me buy quite a few of them. Also, I just really enjoy building, designing and making things better.”
What is the most challenging part of your job?
“Well, doing everything myself, from sales to design to permitting to installation to support, is pretty challenging, but handling all phases has given me an amazing grasp of the industry and made me extremely versatile.”
“SimpliPhi helped me get into the LiFePo4 [lithium iron phosphate] market and provided me with some great education. They also have an industry track record that shows proven reliability and dependability. Also, they always answer my calls, even the CEO.”
Where do you think the future of solar + storage in California is headed?
“Being a preparedness kind of guy that lives off the grid, I would love to see more people be somewhat independent. Unfortunately, our current governing body is considering approving regulation that will hinder the growth and ability for DIY storage in this state. I think we will see more storage because of the utility shutdowns and changes in NEM, but I feel that it’s heading into a price increase.”
What do you see driving the growth of energy storage in the future?
“Rising utility costs and shutdowns. People want reliable power and now realize it’s only getting better every year.”
Who’s your favorite musician and why?
“Merle Haggard, not because I listened to his music a lot, but I designed and installed his solar array and got to know him. He was a super cool guy and loved solar. He’d call me up and say ‘hey my man, can we make this solar?’”
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?
“Somewhere that stays 70-80 degrees, no humidity, with a beach off the grid. I am done with the heat and look forward to living by the water.”
If you had your own late night talk show, who would you invite as your first guest?
“Dead: President Reagan. Alive: Joe Rogan”
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? / What’s the most important advice you can give to people?
“Because of social media I receive all kinds of cool messages, mostly other installers wanting to jump out and do the work that gives the ability to go home satisfied with what they did. My main advice is to read every manual you can. They are online and free. Find a mentor that has already learned the business ropes. Most importantly, have an exit strategy. What’s the endgame for you?”
What would your superpower be and why?
“To slow down time. Have you ever noticed there never seems to be enough?”
What’s your favorite pastime?
“Building furniture and art in my off grid workshop!!! I LOVE TOOLS.”
Despite regulation challenges, Jason continues to lead West Coast Sustainables to success year after year. Just as his business grows, so too does Jason’s social media following, as he’s not only able to accomplish top notch solar+storage install after install, but also fulfill his larger mission to educate and empower residents and businesses globally to become more self-sufficient through renewable energy and energy storage.
Congratulations, West Coast Sustainables, on becoming SimpliPhi IQ Certified! We look forward to continuing to work with you to deliver more of your high quality installations!