Inexpensive Solar is Not Always Best
John of Wilbraham, MA: Solar Electric
“What we got was a great selection of panels to choose from, a very knowledgeable and helpful, low-pressure sales rep, a tremendously responsive and courteous level of customer service from everyone we interacted with at the company at multiple levels, and an outstanding warranty. These things are valuable and frankly worth the price.”
On February 10th, 2020, John Paterno’s solar system went live in Wilbraham, MA. Filled with excitement, John truly wanted solar to be the first step in reducing his household’s dependence on non-renewable energy sources.
“We have an extensive southern-facing roof pitch that we thought would likely support enough panels to make this happen. We had to remove a tree or two in advance but since the installation, we have consistently produced far more energy than we consume on a monthly basis,” John stated.
Despite concerns of a delayed return on investment, John knew the solar system would eventually pay for itself.
“There is a big difference in the breakeven coming 3, 5, or 10 years down the road,” John said. “We had hoped that we would be revenue-neutral over time and would have considered that a successful justification of the purchase. However, I think we are doing quite a bit better than that.”
And just like that, John was seeing the bright effect solar power had on his life. Perks came in the form of reduced monthly bills and a boosted home value. Another plus? John told us, “Aside from the active monthly financial benefit, it probably adds value to our home. We also really like that it doesn’t require any maintenance.”
“We used to have an average of almost $300 per month in billed electricity usage. Now, we pay zero and get paid more than $100 per month since the install. All this while being home more due to the pandemic,” John told us. “I expect that after the pandemic ends and we all return to something like normal again, we will likely see our usage go down and our monthly checks get bigger.”
This immediate payback wasn’t the only thing John was pleased about. He also raved about the smooth and painless solar panel installation process.
“Basically, I went to work in the morning and had no panels on the roof, and then I came home later in the day and I had all the panels on the roof,” John happily commented. “After that, we had to wait for the code inspections but those happened within a few weeks and then we got the go-ahead to turn everything on. At the time, the waiting was the worst part, but in retrospect, the install was so easy compared to other projects. We are really happy about how it all went.”
Learning of the relatively quick and simple solar panel installation process was a game-changer for John. He’d only wished he had known earlier. “I think it can seem daunting and there is a lot of information to process. Some of that information could be overwhelming to some people,” John said. “Once you have actually decided to do it, the installation is really fast, not intrusive, and then it’s just basically waiting until you’re allowed to flip the switch on.”
Feeling satisfied with his purchase meant a lot to John. And even though our company is located farther from his area and was not the cheapest option on his list, the courteousness of the sales reps was what made him choose us for the solar panel installation.
“You get what you pay for in life,” John said. “What we got was a great selection of panels to choose from, a very knowledgeable and helpful, low-pressure sales rep, a tremendously responsive and courteous level of customer service from everyone we interacted with at the company at multiple levels, and an outstanding warranty. These things are valuable and frankly worth the price.”
After contacting three other companies and coming out disappointed since two of those three merely looked at a satellite image of his property and refused to send anyone out for a site visit, John finally found us with a simple Google search.
“When I called NE Clean Energy, I explained that the satellite imagery was not current as we had recently removed a number of trees,” He told us. “You guys were more than willing to send out a very professional, knowledgeable, and courteous sales rep who walked the entire property, took technical readings, gave us a detailed breakdown of the process and what to expect, provided additional helpful information regarding tax breaks and incentives, and was just generally very pleasant to interact with. We never felt pressured.”
Before our conversation ended John joked, “I only wish we could legally put more panels up without being classified as a ‘commercial’ user.” With the help of New England Clean Energy, John achieved his main goal to reduce his dependency on non-renewable energy sources without breaking the bank.
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