Why I Went Solar: The Grays

Spanish tiled roof with solar panels

Name: The Grays

Occupation: Orthopedic Surgeon

Location of panels: Riverside, CA

What made you go solar?

The idea of solar power has always fascinated me. I basically kept watching the developments in the solar area waiting for the price to come down and for the technology to improve. Obviously, I am interested in lowering my energy costs. Anything that can help to reduce the monthly cost of maintaining and operating a home is interesting to me. I am also concerned that the cost of energy is going to continue to increase. As such, I look at solar power as an inflation hedge.

An attorney friend of mine recently had a solar system installed on his house. He was very happy with the result and the energy savings. This was very encouraging news. The trigger that prompted us to sign on the dotted line was the subsidy that was being offered by the city which was set to expire soon. I also realized that there was a 30% tax credit on our Federal income tax which would help to offset the cost of the installation.

The other major factor that gave us the confidence to go ahead with the decision to install solar was the installation company itself – Precis Solar. We have a large home (approximately 6000 ft.²). We have a traditional clay tile roof that is aesthetically very pleasing. Finally, we did not want to have a roof system mounted only to have problems with the roof from that point forward. The online reviews for the company were very impressive. After meeting with the principles, we had the confidence that the company would not only be around long after the installation was complete but they would also install the system with an appreciation of the overall aesthetics of the house

Grid-tied monitors

Grid-tied monitors

How has your life changed since you went solar?

We couldn’t be more pleased with the result. The roof doesn’t leak. The clay tile roof has been preserved. In spite of the large number of panels installed, the system is actually quite inconspicuous.

So far the system has lived up to my expectations. There is no maintenance. Over the past 2 months we have generated 2.6 MW of energy. This is during a season where the sunshine is the least. I am anxious to see the total amount of energy generated over the course of the 1st year.

Although we have always been energy aware, the solar system has actually made us more aware of our energy usage. We’ve taken additional steps to conserve wherever possible. This was an unexpected side benefit from the installation.

What’s the best part about being solar?

Our overall experience has been very positive as you can probably glean from the comments above. I think it’s safe to say that when it comes to solar, the “result” is in the energy savings. The experience, however, is a function of the interaction between the installers and the homeowners. Precis Solar understands that. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone.

Solar panels and palm trees

Solar panels and palm trees

Ours is a custom-built home. I took an active role in the installation, providing input where it seemed to be needed but otherwise letting Precis do their job. They did good!

Finally, as I reflect upon the installation, I’ve come to realize that the installation as designed and installed is expandable. We have inverters that have the capacity to carry higher loads. The solar panels have been installed in such a way that if we chose to upgrade a portion of the system to higher wattage panels, we could do so. This future flexibility to expand capacity is very much appreciated.

What tips do you have for others who want to go solar?

It’s a really good deal!

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ASES will hold its annual National Solar Tour this fall where you can show your home, host a tour or go on a tour.

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