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“In many ways, 2021 was a year of triumph. In other ways, there were unexpected obstacles, continued struggles, but above all opportunities for growth and to re-center our values.”
-Fariborz Mahjouri, CEO

2021 was a year full of ups and downs, but one marked by hope. As we began our second pandemic year, we looked with open eyes towards a new administration to tackle our greatest threat, climate change. With vaccines on the horizon, we were cautiously optimistic that as a society we could move through the challenges of the previous year, and emerge stronger than before.

In many ways, 2021 was a year of triumph. In other ways, there were unexpected obstacles, continued struggles, but above all opportunities for growth and to re-center our values.
The solar industry has always been one with uncertainties ranging from policies, incentives, supply chain fluctuations, and technology advancements. In the same way that one cannot control the sun, it is impossible to control all of the factors that combine to run a successful small business, balancing personal ideology and financial sustainability. In 2020, we were given the opportunity to rethink the way we engage in business. When we closed our offices on Monday, March 16, 2020, we were taking the opportunity to reimagine our company. First, Aurora Energy has always been a small company that reflects the values of individuals. Our priority is maintaining the health and well-being of our team, so that we can work together to promote the well-being of the environment. Therefore, we operated under the principle of minimizing risk to the greatest extent possible. This meant embracing cloud technologies and encouraging our team to move required tools to their home. We supplied them with laptops, larger monitors, support, and anything else to help them continue working in their given roles. In addition, we increased protection of our cloud-based files and made it accessible remotely.
      Starting in April of 2020, we held daily Zoom meetings at 9:30 am. This created a predictable structure and allowed us all to connect face to face. We continued our work, and noticed many “silver linings.” For example, our customers paid us much faster than before! As the pandemic shut-downs came into full swing, it was clear that work logistics weren’t the only thing that would need to adapt. Business strategies would need to as well. It took a few months to adjust our marketing and sales process to the new business environment. It was done quickly thanks to our marketing department (which switched gears soon after the pandemic began). We are happy with the strategic changes we have made and continue to stay agile with our vibrant marketplace. These changes transformed Aurora for the better-another “silver lining.”
      Unfortunately, getting required construction permits became a bit more of a challenge, as communication with county permitting officers was at times greatly interrupted. It was not clear who was responsible for what department and how to communicate with the responsible officer in the county. In fact, the permitting process for one of our projects took more than a year. But the project is now complete, and we are thrilled to have been able to help the customer, an international company with a distribution center in Jessup, by installing a zero-emission energy solution with accompanying pollinator garden.

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        Photo credit: Maksim Goncharenok/Pexels

        Finally, once the COVID vaccine was approved, and became accessible, we updated our employment policy and made vaccination mandatory. Layered in with logistical planning by allowing only a few people in the office at a time with masks required, we have kept the office a safe working environment. Now we continue the combined remote work and in-office work and have adapted to the new working conditions.
        As a result of the past year and a half, our sales team has had the opportunity to rethink more deeply about what our customers need, and how to help them meet that need amid changing business circumstances. We have learned to be available in ways that was previously not a part of our repertoire, and as a result has broadened our reach, our connection to each project, and our service. 
        With a brand new 2022, it is important to reflect on the past two years with gratitude and acknowledgement of the many challenges as opportunities we have both willingly and unwillingly been faced with. While not easy, I am proud that Aurora Energy has been able to make it through these difficult years, keeping our commitment to our employees and customers intact. The new year brings with it the opportunity for progress, while doubling down on our purpose to make solar power available to people who care about environment and its financial benefits. On behalf of all of us at Aurora Energy, we thank you for your continued partnership and support and wish you joy and good health for the new year.

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