Case Study: It’s Not About the Environment
Dave & Lulu of Berlin: Solar Electric
“I’m glad the environment benefits, but it was an economical thing for me.”
- 11,522 kWh/year solar energy
- $134 in monthly electricity savings
- $40,000 in 20-year electricity savings
- $2,420 in annual SREC income
- 7 years to break even
- 181% return on investment over 20 years
Dave from Berlin, MA, makes purchasing decisions based on quality and aesthetics, not environmental benefit, and he’s not ashamed to admit it. Consider it progress, then, that he owns an electric car and a solar electric system, which now come in high-performance, aesthetically pleasing packages.
New England Clean Energy installed a 9,810-watt system for Dave and his wife, Lulu, in Spring 2013. The system has the most powerful panels available today, from U.S. company SunPower, and Massachusetts-made Solectria inverters, and has cut the family’s monthly electric bill by almost 60%.
While it’s performance and looks that draw Dave to a particular product, it’s the economics that drive him to actually buy it. Between his house, swimming pool and electric car, his family uses a lot of electricity, so cutting his electric bill was a big motivator for him. In fact, when asked to name the best thing about solar energy, Dave’s answer is the same as most, regardless of what motivated them to go solar: Lower electric bills.
“I’m glad the environment benefits, but it was an economical thing for me. I would have gone with a system three times as big if I had the roof area. Why? Because it’s free.”
Dave and Lulu chose New England Clean Energy after also getting quotes from installers based in California and Hawaii. “My ex-wife had nothing but praise for New England Clean Energy, and a friend of mine in commercial solar gave the company high marks. I like going with a local company because if I have any issues, I know where to find them,” he explains, not really joking. Although solar electric is virtually maintenance-free, we look forward to being there for Dave and Lulu for years to come.
Side note on the energy audit required to install solar in MA:
“I can’t believe everyone isn’t doing this. They changed all the light bulbs in my house. I got an interest-free loan to replace two cooling systems, and had insulation added at about 25% of the standard cost.” Go to www.MyEnergyMonster.com to schedule your free energy audit.