Why I Went Solar features homes and businesses that have chosen to go solar. If you would like to feature your home or business in this column send an email to our Community Manager.
What made you go solar?
I moved into a passive solar home 25 years ago. But because everything in the house is electric, including the heat for a very open floor plan and cathedral ceiling house, the passive solar was not adequate. I began investigating panels and PV systems for two reasons. One, was to reduce my carbon footprint, and expand the sustainable passive system. The second, and maybe more importantly was financial. I has a little bit of spare cash and with interest rates so low, a .005% interest rate, a savings account was not a good investment. I had a personal friend who was in the solar installation business so I contacted him. He agreed a PV system was a good investment and offered to give me an estimate. I ultimately hired him after researching a couple of other companies.
It’s so cool that I am a producer and am now getting paid by the power company rather than being a total consumer. I like to get home in the evening and see what my production was for the day. Also, with my technical background, I find it interesting how all the pieces fit and work together. I like to talk about my experience with anyone who is interested and my co-workers, who don’t have the ideal sites for solar, get to hear me expound on how great it is.
What tips do you have for others who want to go solar?
Investigate your options. There are companies who will install the system for practically no up-front money but then take part of the production payments. Make sure you have a reputable contractor. We ran into several issues that my contractor handled.
The American Solar Energy Society will hold the annual National Solar Tour this fall where there will be many opportunities to show your home, hold a tour or go on a tour. More details on the National Solar Tour will be available in the near future.