By: Kristy Kneiding

Hot Purple Energy is more than just a leader in providing alternative energy in the form of commercial and residential solar installations. They are advocates for sustainable living, involved community partners, and dedicated to making the progression to alternative energy interesting and fun.

Giving back to the local community is part of the company’s culture and mission – but they do so with a twist. Through its involvement with local organizations, Hot Purple Energy (HPE) demonstrates that one can have an entertaining lifestyle and still be sustainable.

“We are a unique company in that we are not just about selling solar panels,” said Nate Otto, President of Hot Purple Energy. “It’s an integral part of our company culture to educate the community on alternative energy sources and at the same time prove that being sustainable is not about sacrifice, but instead its and added bonus.

For example, the company is proud of its HPE All Star Band which keeps a full schedule, donating time and talent to various non-profit causes across the valley. Staff and local musicians make up the jazz band, which has expanded its repertoire to play a variety of music. So what does a band have to do with sustainable living?  The HPE All Star Band uses no electricity and is run by their HPE “solarator,” a quiet, solar powered portable generator, complete with solar panels.

Throughout the year, HPE has donated more than $7,500 worth of entertainment to local charities and events including providing music for the Palm Canyon Theater, The Living Desert’s Brew at the Zoo, Desert Contractors Association, Mizell Senior Center, Palm Springs Animal Shelter, Rancho Mirage Women’s Club, Desert Sampler, and the Desert Woman’s Show, to name a few. The company also provided the stage lighting and donated a solar system to the Desert AIDS Project annual gala fundraiser.

This February 14 – 21, the All Star band will be featured during Palm Springs Modernism Week, as part of the company’s sponsorship. In addition to the entertainment, HPE also will present a Sustainability Award to the most sustainable prefabricated home. To add yet another dimension or two, HPE also sponsors the ModWeek bicycle tour map, highlighting the significant midcentury modern homes, with a special note on the many that are now solar powered, thanks to Hot Purple Energy.

“This is a fun, sustainable and educational tour which really demonstrates that solar panels don’t have to interfere with design aesthetics and the homes can be both sustainable and architecturally significant,” said David Herrlinger, Vice President of Hot Purple Energy.

If there’s an opportunity to educate people about sustainability and have fun along the way, HPE personnel will participate. In December, they joined the “24 Hours of LeMons Race” at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway, racing one of their decked out ‘85 Mercedes’ 300 Turbo Diesels that had been converted to run on waste vegetable oil – the only one of its kind in the race.  Taking it a step further, the company turned the endurance race for cars, valued at $500 or less, into a fundraiser for the Melanoma Research Foundation, a cause close to their hearts.

“One of the best qualities about the desert is the sunshine, and we rely on that in our business, but it can also be damaging to our bodies, said Herrlinger. “As a skin cancer survivor, I feel it’s important to educate others and raise awareness of the damaging effects of the sun as well as its benefits.”

In March the HPE team will host its third annual tennis invitational fundraiser in Palm Springs, sponsored in part by Adidas. Proceeds from this year’s tournament will once again benefit the Melanoma Research Foundation. To date, the tournament has raised nearly $5,000 for the Skin Cancer Foundation and Melanoma Research Foundation.

Fundraising for cancer organizations is an ongoing initiative for the company. When a client refers someone to Hot Purple Energy for solar installation, the company makes a charitable donation in their client’s name for $250. Over the past year, HPE has donated more than $5,000 to the Melanoma Research and Skin Cancer Foundations from this program.

Within a relatively short period of time, HPE has proven itself not only as a leader in the solar industry, but equally important, as a positive force in the Coachella Valley business and philanthropic arena.

When asked about what’s in store for HPE in 2013, Herrlinger was uncharacteristically quiet, but commented, “The new year will bring more giving for sure, we can’t help that, but half the fun of giving is the surprise. Who knew there would be a free solar powered jazz band available for charitable causes? We are here for the long term, and will continue to support our charities and align ourselves with as many as time permits.”

For more information about Hot Purple Energy, alternative energy solutions and the HPE All Star Band, visit or call 760-322-4433.