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Hans Koepsell, Deseret News
Nick Mason's solar panels are seen on his home where roughly 80 percent of his electrical bill is paid for by solar energy in Provo, Friday, Oct. 7, 2016. Clean energy advocates will be affected by the recent vote by Provo leaders to assess a net metering fee on municipal power customers.

Vision Solar and Zing Solar, two rising solar companies based in Utah, announced Tuesday they would merge under the name ION Solar.

With the merger, the two companies will become one of the country’s largest residential solar providers, according to a news release.

Matt Rasmussen, CEO of Vision Solar, said this merger will help make solar energy cost-effective.

"There's an excitement and enthusiasm here that's not only contagious, it's very fulfilling," Rasmussen said in a news release. "We're doing great things and the coming together of two incredible solar companies, hundreds of passionate team members, and thousands of solar customers strengthens our ability to positively impact the environment with clean solar energy."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5dxNufo628

The merger will be finished by the end of the year. The companies have planned for growth initiatives to take place in 2017.

Both companies have a similar vision, which made the decision to merge easier, said Jimmy Slemboski, president of Zing Solar.

"The triple-digit growth we've experienced since inception at Zing has been continued validation that homeowners want the highest-quality equipment on their home when they choose solar and they value a sincere, personal approach to their customer service experience,” Slemboski said in a news release. “Vision has always mirrored that attention to detail, quality, transparency and loyalty to customers. The compounding effects of unifying our amazing people as ION Solar is something we're all very excited about.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxzYCmFz1ts

With the merger, ION Solar now reaches Colorado, Texas, South Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico and California, as well as Utah, where it will be based.

The company will served a combined 9,500 customers, according to Travis Thorton, marketing director for Vision Solar, which has 6,500 customers to Zing's 3,000.

The companies have installed 50 million units combined, with a projected 30 million more annually for the future.

Solar energy's impact on Utah has been a topic of discussion in recent months. Rocky Mountain Power recently made headlines for calling for residents with solar panels to pay an extra monthly $15 fee, as well as a one-time $60 payment for administrative costs. The company says the current rate structure is not sustainable.

Vivint Solar's CEO David Bywater responded to this proposal on the Beehive Startups podcast, saying that the move decreases the incentive for Utahns to buy into the solar energy market.

“We think it’s the most anti-solar position that any utility has brought forth in any state at this point,” Bywater said. “And it’s shocking.”