As the temperature climbs in Los Angeles, exhausted commuters on the hot asphalt inch their way down the road hoping to retreat to their little, high-priced havens. Living in this ever-sparkling, neon world is expensive and we all know how hard it is to make a buck. But, certain business interests are welcoming the heat. They sell photovoltaic energy cells and install them on the roofs of homes and businesses all over town, inevitably helping their customers save a buck (and more).

(Photo Courtesy of Ari Malka)

(Photo Courtesy of Ari Malka)

When everyone else is sweating, Ari Malka is beaming solid gold. Although Malka is still a young man, he has a very bright future to add to his sparkling educational achievements, having already earned a Ph.D. in Industrial & Organizational Psychology from the University of Houston. A well-educated son of immigrants, he and his business partner and mentor, Ze’ev Zanzuri, have a successful business in Woodland Hills named JNA Solar Solutions that sells and installs solar energy systems. What’s more, they take a holistic approach to reducing customer electricity bills, identifying first the more economical solutions, and then discussing how solar can help alleviate the remaining dependence on the frustrating utility companies.

Malka discussed the changes in the technology of photovoltaic cells and the many incentives available for business and residential customers.

Your business has survived the worst recession in recent times, how did you do it?

“Oddly, we actually benefit in hard times. Our business has been able to provide affordable solutions at every price point and with the numerous incentives and programs to help homeowners and businesses save money on energy, it has been very good for our business”.

Is it beneficial to operate more than one business interest?

“I think that largely depends on a few factors. We recently acquired an interior design and kitchen/bath remodeling business. We are veterans at running a business. In our case, we knew before the acquisition that it would be cost-effective and that was why we decided to move forward.”

Is the solar business a seasonal business?

“Not in California. The sun shines all year round and the cost of energy is at a premium and consistently rising. After adding federal government and utility company incentives, it doesn’t make sense NOT to go solar. Simple math and a small amount of financial acumen show that going solar is wise investment.”

Do you think LADWP will become more solar friendly?

LADWP has a very big challenge to meet with the current mandate to provide 33 percent renewable energy sources by the year 2020. For their purposes, they must embrace solar. Unfortunately, however, for LADWP to meet the mandate, they will depend largely on their customers for the necessary funding. Not surprisingly, this funding will continue to be sourced through ever-increasing electricity rates.

As a creative professional in Los Angeles, Cat West brings versatile skills to any topic. Whether freelancing as a writer or designing digital art from her studio, Cat provides excellent creative product with content driven artwork and photography.

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