The summers were hurting Elmwood Park's Rose Scolaro the most.
Her pool was running eight hours a day. Her air conditioning was on continuously. Her utility bill exceeded $600 -- with 90 percent of it going only toward electric.
But Scolaro hasn't stressed over her utility bill since early 2017, when she switched to Phoenix Sun Energy, a solar panel installation company run by a pair of Bergen County brothers.
These days, she pays approximately $200 monthly, saving her nearly $5,000 annually.
Scolaro is only one example of someone Rochelle Park natives Chris Gordnick, 31, and Justin Gordnick, 22, have helped through Phoenix Sun Energy since opening in Hackensack in early 2017.
The brothers have saved families and businesses across the U.S. countless dollars and, maybe more importantly, cut back on more than one million pounds of carbon emissions this past year alone.
"Renewable energy is the future," the elder Gordnick said.
"We hope to revolutionize the way here right in our way backyard."
Many countries such as Germany, Italy France, China have shown tremendous growth by switching to renewable energy.
Other U.S. states are following suit -- something the younger Gordnick witnessed during 2015 while working as a salesman in California.
He and his brother both were the company's top salespeople, and after a while, it became obvious what the next step would be.
In 2017, they opened Phoenix Sun Energy in Hackensack's Continental Plaza.
What appealed to the Gordnicks most about working in the solar power industry was the ability to write their own paychecks.
Sure, it went against the grain of society's typical 9-to-5 jobs, but the brothers after maxing out at their prior company, they were hungry for another challenge.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, solar panel installation is the fastest growing occupation in the U.S.
And for good reason, Justin Gordnick said.
"Homeowners are tired of paying outrageous fees just for their electric," he explained.
"If you ever look at your bill, all utility companies also charge you a delivery fee just to receive your electric. If you ordered a pizza for $20, would you pay a $20 delivery fee? Certainly not.
"When your house is 100 percent solar-powered, there are no more outrageous increases and delivery fees. You pay for all of your electric at a much cheaper rate because it’s coming from the sun, a clean source."
Unlike electric companies, renewable energy doesn't cost homeowners anything out-of-pocket.
"Many people think solar energy costs homeowners tens of thousands of dollars, but if you have a credit score of 650 or higher," explained Gordnick, "all you have to do is pay your electric bill to the solar company at a much cheaper rate."
The panels, warranty and installation is free. Phoenix Sun Energy offers the strongest residential panels in the country -- they're American made using silicon and copper the business owners said.
Phoenix Sun Energy's current partner Sun Power has installed solar panels on major corporations such as Campbell’s Soup Headquarters, Pepperidge Farms, and the San Francisco 49ers stadium -- along with many others.
The Gordnicks, both Paramus Catholic graduates, install solar panels to dozens of houses weekly in New Jersey alone, and hundreds across the Northeast.
Many of the company's employees are veterans returning from deployment overseas, like the elder Gordnick himself, eager to begin work.
"We’re all here to help those brave men and women," said Gordnick, a U.S. Army veteran. "We want to help them have a good career, and have a great sense of fulfillment."
The Gordnick brothers fell they have truly found their calling -- saving the world and others.
"In order to breed success you need to find what people have a need for," the elder Gordnick said.
"Everyone could use significant savings monthly, and everyone has an obligation to make the world better."
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