Featured in SHOUTOUT MIAMI
We had the good fortune of connecting with Luciano Gomez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Luciano, what do you want your legacy to be?
I want my legacy to be all about leaving this place a little better than I found it. If people can go to my funeral and say, damn… this guy really built something for us, this guy really protected a lot of land, this guy really taught the youth about the importance of our natural world, this guy really put the well being of our planet FIRST.. I’ll smile down from wherever I am at that point.
What should our readers know about your business?
Solarize USA is a diverse network of innovative companies and individuals. We combine business savvy, innovative technology, and most importantly environmental & social responsibility to help homeowners become independent of the utility monopolies that have been taking advantage of their customers for 70 years. We save our customers thousands of dollars on electricity while dramatically reducing their carbon footprint. Our founding pillars are Conservation – Education – Innovation.
I started SolarizeUSA under that name about a year ago, but the story of how I got there probably starts when I was born (I’ll go fast). I was born in Medellin, Colombia, and grew up on a beautiful farm in the mountains near the village of El Retiro. There, I fell in love with nature, I spent the vast majority of my first 9 years running through the fields with my dogs, sprinting through the mountains on our horses, swimming in the rivers and just enjoying everything that nature had to offer. I credit those first years with my passion for wildlife conservation and eventually starting a renewable energy consulting firm.
At 9 we moved to Auburn, Alabama and moved around a couple more times. My freshmen year summer at University of Kentucky, I took an internship with The Southwestern Company. The internship consisted of relocating to a random area of the country, finding a place to live, and selling books door to door Monday – Saturday from 8 am to 9 pm (on a good day). We worked 75-80 hours a week convincing homeowners to buy our books for 12 weeks straight. This is where I learned a lot about sales, but I also learned how to run my own business, order inventory, deliver orders, train others, and solve my own problems. I worked with Southwestern for 2 summers straight.
Fast-forward to my Junior year of college, I met 2 serial entrepreneurs who took me under their wing and allowed me to intern with them between my Junior and Senior year, I learned a lot more about business there and I clicked with the founders. They asked me to come back to work with them after graduating college and join them in their new business venture; a software company. Within the first year I convinced my family to invest in the company, keeping a percentage for myself. Fast-forward another 7 years, we built up the company and were able to sell it for a solid amount. I took my cut and started the beginning of what would later be SolarizeUSA. At the time I wasn’t sure what I wanted to get into next. Because of my early life in the mountains of Colombia, I knew I wanted to do something in the realm of wildlife conservation. The problem was that I couldn’t find anything that made financial sense AND had a positive impact on the environment. Until I saw an ad online for a sales rep opening in a solar company, this is where my renewable energy journey began.
First, I took a job as a sales rep for one of the largest solar companies in the country. Over the next 6 months, I learned all the in’s and out’s, do’s and don’ts of solar. I also learned that not all companies treat their customers with the respect, integrity and dignity they deserve, and the vast majority mark up their prices because they can – because the utility monopolies are charging so much that solar profits are through the roof and homeowners are still saving money.
I was let go from this solar company after a disagreement with my managers at the beginning the Covid19 pandemic. I decided that was the perfect time to start a renewable energy consulting service of my own. Letting homeowners know that there are options for generating and consuming their own energy, and these options are much cheaper than rising costs of the electricity they are currently leasing from large corporate geographic monopolies.
By nature, humans are neophobic, we’re afraid of the new. Convincing homeowners to free themselves of these corporate claws, dramatically reduce their carbon footprint, and save tons of money while doing it is harder than you think and that’s only half the battle. The next is finding reputable solar installers that don’t take advantage of the local utility company’s high prices by price gouging the new unsuspecting solar clients.
After a lot of trial and error, we have now found the best way to help homeowners save thousands of dollars and reduce their carbon footprint by switching to solar. Most importantly, we are 100% transparent about how we do it. You see, most solar companies only give homeowners the final cost of their installed solar system – this way they can mark up the prices on all engineering, labor, permitting, design and materials for their system. We take a different approach. With our transparent price sheets, the customer sees exactly what each step of the process costs, and how much we make for project management, once they compare these prices to other national and local installers in the area – it’s a no brainer.
We’ve faced many challenges along the way and continue to face them, from unethical installers, to difficult utility companies who refuse to let their customers free from their clutches, and more. We handle every new challenge the same way, we put our customer first and we go to bat for them should they ever face any problems. That’s something that every single one of Solarize USA’s customers will say about us. It’s not that we never run into problems, I mean after installing a few hundred systems we’re bound to run into some issues now and again. But when we do, we do right by our client, standing with them every step of the way throughout the lifetime of their system. Our transparency is what sets us apart the most in this industry, I’ve yet to find any other solar company that gives a line by line breakdown of prices to their homeowners – I don’t blame them either, people would never agree with the amount of profit some of these companies make.
I am beyond excited to have found an industry where we can grow our company by helping others save thousands of dollars on the resource they use the most throughout the day – electricity. Not only that, but we’re offsetting countless amount of fossil fuel energy with renewable energy while doing it, and all of it while being 100% transparent with our customers… doesn’t get much better than that.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If a friend was visiting for a week I think we would hit the usual Miami activities. Certainly get a boat and go tie up on the sandbar for a day, if they are into nightlife we’d want to stop by Liv Nightclub at the Fontaine Bleu, they’ve always got some great DJ playing. The pools at all the hotels in that area are definitely worth checking out during the day as well. No trip to Miami is complete without stopping at one of the awesome restaurants in the area, my favorite is Komodo in Brickell, they have a separate table called “the nest” on the second floor where we always go to and enjoy some privacy while getting a great view at all colorful characters dining below. Miami also has some amazing botanical gardens and sustainable gardens if you know where to look!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Certainly my parents deserve the most credit for the good times in my life. I’ve learned the most from them throughout my life, a lot of it from their lessons and a lot of them just by observing. The way my mom interacts with everyone around her, she has this gift of being special to everyone and making everyone love her without that being her goal. And my dad, the way he’s handled adversity, his work ethic, his integrity, his business savvy, his discipline… I could go on and on about him and the person he is. Growing up around amazing people who also gave you all of the love and nurturing they could is probably the best jump start any human can get in life. Though we may not always agree on everything, I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am now without them.
Other: I also started journeying into music and have 3 rap songs on spotify. Good Wold Bad Wolf by Lucho G What it Seems by Lucho G Hawaii by Lucho G Link: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6E6wSAi6ODQr935RTxOYyo?si=wgCyhOvBS3KJhSD6hCPuGQ