“Solar energy has always been a passion of mine,” says Matt Eye, Owner/Operator of MB Eye Electrical, a 10-year-old Charlottetown company.
“I have seen growth in this aspect of our business in the last six years.
“Our company now has eight employees full-time, year-round. I am looking to add about four more Journeyperson Electricians.”
efficiencyPEI recently announced a Solar Electric Rebate Program. The incentives are supported by $2 million in funding from the Government of PEI and the Government of Canada through the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund.
“The week this program was announced, we received almost 80 calls and emails,” says Matt. “The inquiries were about installing solar panels in homes, farms, and businesses across PEI.”
Starting out and growth/Matt started his business with just himself, an $800 van, and 500 business cards. “I went door to door advertising my services.
“Typically, summers are busier, but in the last four to five years, it hasn’t slowed down season to season.”
The business offers a wide scope of services, and Matt looks for electricians who have experience with residential and commercial work and who can read blueprints. “I also want to know if they have experience working independently or for somebody else.”
Matt says solar energy is an electrical trade that follows the Canadian Electrical Code. “For that reason, I hire only Journeyperson Electricians to install solar panels.
“I ask potential employees about customer service, because being able to communicate speaks volumes to me.”
Four apprentices currently work with the company. Matt has given tours of project sites to Holland College students.
“I hired one student from the Energy Systems Engineering Technology program after offering a tour. Word of mouth and Facebook have been the best ways to advertise my jobs.”Reice Newson, a graduate of the Energy Systems Engineering Technology program at Holland College, is the Project/Logistics Manager. “After graduating from that program in 2018, I went on to the college’s Electromechanical Technology program.
“I am currently working on my Block 1 in Construction Electrical. I also have an associate certification in Solar Photovoltaics with the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, which offers training and certifications to individuals in the solar industry in North America.”
Wages and benefits
“The new efficiencyPEI program and SkillsPEI have been very helpful by allowing me to offer electrician apprentices a decent wage and training opportunities.”
MB Eye Electrical offers a compensation package of medical and dental benefits and a pension plan to employees who have been with the company for a certain amount of time.
For information on trades programs at Holland College, visit www.hollandcollege.com/programs.
For more information about the Apprenticeship program on PEI, visit www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/workforce-and-advanced-learning/apprenticeship-program
For more information on the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), visit www.nabcep.org.