The story of Namasté Solar has been written by many individuals over the past 14 years, and while we can’t cover every chapter of this history, we can offer pieces of the Namasté Story from the perspective of a group of individuals. Part one of this series covers the origin of our company. Read more of our story with parts two, three, and four.
Namasté Solar was born out of one simple conviction: there is a better way. A better way to power our lives, and a better way to do business. This often means taking a path with added challenges, but we think those challenges are worth facing to create the future we want to see.
In late 1999, Blake Jones had just returned from working in the oil and gas industry in Egypt and was looking forward to spending time with his brother in Colorado. His brother continued to be persistent in questioning the work Blake was involved in, and over time, these conversations triggered an awakening to the true impact of fossil fuels and caused an irreversible shift. Within a year, Blake quit Halliburton, sought out a job in renewable energy, and spent the next 3 years in Nepal working in solar.
After returning to the U.S. in 2004, he connected with Namasté Solar’s other co-founders, Ray Tuomey and Wes Kennedy, to start a Colorado solar company. They discussed their time working for traditional companies and how most of the fruits of the work that went into those businesses went to the owners, not to the workers who helped build the companies or to the communities where those businesses operated. This sparked their determination to build a company that does business in a way that is fairer and makes the largest positive impact for many stakeholders: employees, customers, community, investors, environment and vendors.
This set the stage for Namasté Solar, a company in the midst of two movements; the movement to transform energy and the movement to transform business.
The co-founders would name the company Namasté Solar in part as an extension of Blake’s time installing solar in Nepal where “namasté” is a traditional and respectful greeting. This traditional Sanskrit word literally means “bowing to you” and is understood to mean "the divine in me recognizes the divine in you" and that all things are interconnected. It is an intentionally different name for a company that would be (and still is) intentionally different.
The name was also a recognition that businesses are interconnected with the communities they operate in, that the economy is interconnected with the environment, that the environment is interconnected with public health, and so on. Ultimately we are all interconnected, so the choices each of us makes impacts everyone. Therefore, we each have the power to make choices that make a positive difference in our communities and for our planet. Namasté Solar has attracted employees who want to make a living while making a difference and customers who want to save money while also helping the environment. It’s a community of people coming together to create positive impact.
We believe there is a better way, and for 14 years we’ve built a track record to prove to the world that you can make a profit and make a difference. Namasté Solar is one of the longest-running solar companies in Colorado. And we’re just getting started.
Photo: Blake during his time in Nepal giving a solar tour.