Clean Energy USA: Building a sustainable solar future

Solar Energy


Most people have become more aware of the need to adopt renewable energy resources instead of traditional coal powered plants. However the stigma persists regarding the accessibility and cost of employing such resources. For instance, many of us still believe that installing a solar array at our homes is a significant financial burden.

Rick Kotowski, the President of Clean Energy USA, the largest solar installer in the state of Delaware and a wholly own subsidiary of Schell Brother’s LLC exclaims, “Our real work continues to be as advocators and educators helping our future customers understand the value of solar.”

The adoption of solar power is definitely improving but maybe not at the pace it should. The solar industry has seen 15% growth in the last decade, which is okay but is it enough? Luckily, there is one company that has been constantly outperforming this average over the years. 

When Clean Energy USA was founded in 2007, they installed one system a month but in 2020 they grew to a volume of at least 1 system installed per day. It is a commendable contribution that they have been making towards building a safer, healthier, and sustainable ecosystem. 

The inspiration behind Clean Energy USA came from Chris Schell, the owner of Schell Brother’s LLC who was looking for a way to enhance the Home Building Division and the science incorporated behind it. According to him, solar power should be part of the building process and is an easy way to make homeowners’ lives better, because it would save them money and create a healthier space to live, work, and play. Hence, Clean Energy USA was figuratively on the leading edge of the solar energy revolution when it was first established and it has come a long way from there. 

Kotowski says, “We take pride in helping our customers realize that solar, which was previously thought of as unattainable, is in fact attainable, valuable, and creates a sense of pride in helping the planet.”

“Our current tagline ‘Solar Made Easy’ is an ever-evolving statement as we explore new product lines and continue to evolve as a company. We continue to strive to provide the best experience for our customers and pulls from our parent’s companies mission of creating a culture of happiness.”

Leading the Solar Movement with a passionate team

Keith Modzelewski, the Director of Marketing at Clean Energy USA, has been involved in every aspect of the solar industry starting from the polymer science for solar cell creation to manufacturing, sales, and marketing for the past decade. He says “It has been fascinating to watch the growth in awareness and adoption of solar. What is amazing is sitting down with a homeowner or business owner and being able to explain complex technology and show how it truly will improve their lives.”

Charles Davidson, the Director of Business Development at Clean Energy USA, joined six years ago following his deep passion for solar as it does not just benefit the customer but because it adds long-term value to the sustainability of our planet. He was lucky to find a business that did both and has never been more content with what he does. 

Though a recent addition to the team, Kotowski, the President of Clean Energy USA strives to listen and adopt ideas and strategies from the entire team. His expertise in operational efficiency combined with his excitement to improve the process and challenge the team to look for bigger opportunities will certainly take the company on a whole new level in the years to come.

Kotowski reflects, one of the things that truly impressed me joining the Clean Energy USA team was our field operations team. Many teams blindly follow plans, our team constantly works to make sure the systems are installed to be the most aesthetically pleasing and collaborates with the homeowners to insure the best h

He shares, “Our current tagline ‘Solar Made Easy’ is an ever-evolving statement as we explore new product lines and continue to evolve as a company. We continue to strive to provide the best experience for our customers and pulls from our parent’s companies mission of creating a culture of happiness.

How it’s Done

Based in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, and entering its 15th year of business, Clean Energy USA primarily designs solar electric arrays for residential, commercial, and institutional applications. They were listed as one of the top 100 residential solar installers in the country based on the volume for their remarkable input. In addition, they also provided non-solar services such as the installation of electric vehicle chargers for homes and businesses.

Coming back to their main objective, Clean Energy USA offers a free home solar assessment and virtual consultations before the actual installation process. Once initiated, they handle the entire incentives process. Their team of installers collectively holds 75 plus years of experience and continuously receives praise for their efficiency and work ethic from our customers. After installation, their full-service maintenance department provides life of system monitoring.  As pointed above, backed by a dedicated team of professionals, every part of their process is controlled by their in-house staff which boasts a collective 100 plus years of services. 

Speaking of the loyal client base they have built over the years, Kotowski shares, “We view our services as a long-term relationship with our customers and are fortunate enough to have built such trusted relationships that customers come back to us for repeat business with each new home. Some of our largest clients include St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church, Beach Babies, Artesian Water Company, Atlantic Liquors, and Sussex Academy.”

Gearing up for the future

To this day, Clean Energy USA has installed 18,000kW of solar power and in the future, they are aiming a lot higher. Thanks to media intervention to provide increased awareness on the subject and continued reduction of system costs, this technology is becoming more attainable, and not to forget the promising return on investment and financial benefits definitely make the deal a lot sweeter. 

Having matured as a business, Clean Energy USA is comfortable taking on larger projects, diving deeper into commercial opportunities while still maintaining a core business helping individual homeowners and this is what gives them an edge in comparison to other players in the field. 

Sharing the philosophy behind their brand and the secret behind its success, Kotowski shares, “Our philosophy has drawn inspiration from Simon Sinek’s The Infinite Game where he says “To ask, “What’s best for me” is finite thinking. To ask, “What’s best for us” is infinite thinking.” We adopted this philosophy to continuously look on what we can do better for our customers, what ideas can we incorporate from our people to improve our process, and what technology will compliment and improve all aspects of our company.”

There may be challenges on the way such as the aging electric distribution model that needs to be upgraded along with the globally growing concept of localized power generation. But the future is limitless for the solar industry and Clean Energy USA’s mission is to become the largest solar energy provider in the Mid-Atlantic Region in the next decade.

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