Solar energy is not a new technology, yet the adoption rate in the United States continues to crawl along. Just one percent of homes have made the switch to solar power and the reason is primarily a lack of understanding of how it all works, says Dave Llorens, founder and CEO of One Block Off the Grid (1BOG), a California solar retrofit company that groups together neighbourhoods to cut costs for consumers.

“The problem is nobody has it, but you should,” Llorens recently told Reuters in San Francisco, adding that it is common for in-home Q&A sessions to go on for hours and hours. “Everybody is so hungry for information, it’s like nobody knows anything.”

We asked Llorens about federal and state subsidies, technological advances, and the challenges of taking on global climate change locally. Here are his answers:

Q: How can the U.S. government improve its policies for the emerging solar market?

Q: What about people who criticize solar and say the only reason it works is because of all these subsidies?