As originally published on

Nationally, 2017 gave us low unemployment, a bullish stock market and a new tax cut.

What challenges and opportunities await Berks County businesses in 2018? The Reading Eagle’s business staff – Evan Jones, Brad Rhen, Jeff McGaw and I – asked a cross-section of business leaders to look ahead and share their outlook for 2018. Here’s what they told us:

Jim Kurtz
President, RER Energy Group

Industry challenge: Solar is similar to what I hear is common in many industries currently: finding talent to sustain growth. The solar industry, along with RER Energy Group, have been growing rapidly over the past few years. We are seeking people to help us grow in new markets across the U.S. Our project developers require a pretty deep combination of technical, financial and selling skills that can be a challenge to find, particularly when other solar companies are searching for those same types of people. We’re glad to have that challenge, but having the right team is so paramount as most people know well.

Local forecast: We are seeing particularly strong growth in Pennsylvania, New York and Virginia. Our industry varies quite a bit state by state, but those three states are the most active for us right now. We’re also working on projects in Arizona, Indiana and Massachusetts, so we’re fairly widespread geographically these days, but it’s nice to see so much activity in Pennsylvania again.

Solar-system projects costs have fallen 80 percent since when we started in 2009 and the 30 percent federal tax credit expires for projects completed after 2019 (as confirmed in all versions of the recent tax bill), so people who talk to us are realizing that now truly is a very wise time to investigate solar for their facilities since it can take some time to fully develop projects.

As originally published on

About RER Energy Group
RER Energy Group is an industry leader in providing cost-effective, high-quality solar systems throughout the United States and Latin America. The company has developed more than 55 megawatts of solar energy, obtaining over $30 million in grant proceeds for commercial, industrial, agricultural, municipal, and non-profit customers. For more information, visit

Want to learn more about RER? Get in touch with our team.