Dave Anderson: A Solar Achievement
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
SAN MATEO — Most solar professionals get into the industry via the technical side, but for Dave Anderson, it was the financial aspect that came first. “Before getting into solar, I was co-running a finance company,” he recounts. “We noticed the solar industry was lacking good financing options, so we started using some of our existing business relationships to set up loans and other financing options for homeowners who wanted to install solar. Soon after we started, we noticed that many companies weren’t doing a very good job of installing solar. This inspired us to go from merely financing solar to becoming a full-service installer.”
Today, as chief revenue officer of Complete Solar Solutions, Dave says he enjoys being on the cutting edge of a continuously evolving industry. “I like the fact that solar was once considered a fringe technology but has now become a fairly mainstream part of our energy mix, especially here in California. We’re on the cusp of doing even greater things, so it’s a very exciting industry to be involved with.”
Originally from Montana, Dave moved to the Bay Area in 2007 and today lives in Danville with his wife, Angela, and their three children. Between its sunny climate and technological innovation, he says the Bay Area is a perfect place to be in the solar industry. “Being from Montana, I really enjoy the weather here, but I also appreciate the innovative character of the Bay Area. The environment makes it possible for a company in any industry to thrive, but it’s especially ideal for solar companies.”
Outside of work, Dave engages in active pastimes such as martial arts. “I’m a jiu-jitsu brown belt, and I train alongside local and professional fighters,” he says. “I also enjoy attending my kids’ sporting events.” Additionally, Dave likes to immerse himself in the great outdoors. “Every so often, my family likes to break away and go camping. Having grown up in Montana, the outdoors is a big part of who I am.”
In regard to his professional career, Dave espouses the virtues of challenging the status quo. “We started this company because we believed there was a better way to get energy,” he explains. “There was—and continues to be—a perception that you’re supposed to buy energy from the utility company, and we’re here to challenge that. It’s not just about solar: if it was wind, hydrogen or another energy source, we would be involved with that. At the end of the day, it’s about providing energy that’s clean, reliable and renewable.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Dave says he’d devote more time toward community involvement. “I don’t know that it’s in me to retire, but if I weren’t working a full-time job, I’d be more active in the community. In particular, I’d like to be involved with youth sports and other local activities for kids.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The San Francisco Giants.
Q: Did you play any sports in high school?
A: I played just about all of them, but I primarily focused on baseball, wrestling and football.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to eat for dessert?
A: My wife and I like to go to BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse and get a pizookie from time to time.
Q: Music or talk radio?
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A: Talk radio.