When we built our home in St. Helena in 1997, our electrical bills were relatively small. There were just two of us, at work all day. Over the years as our family grew, so did our utility bills. In 2006, we decided to add onto the house, adding not only additional square footage, but many other improvements to the home which dramatically shifted our electricity usage; a wine cellar, a swimming pool, a spa, and let’s not forget the mother-in-law unit…complete with mother-in-law…will this family not stop growing? The electricity portion of our utility bill was typically over $300/month…and in the summer or around Christmas it could peak over $400!
The company that Andy works for went solar in 2007, and he observed the appreciable savings the company was enjoying. After saving some money, we took the plunge in 2012. This wasn’t without some concern: where he works, the panels were installed on the ground. This was the ROOF of our HOME! We were very nervous over potential damage either visual or structural. From day one, the crew was neat, professional, and friendly. Every day we’d come home from work and would be amazed with the progress. All the conduits and panels were placed exactly as agreed and expected. The staff in the office was very courteous and easy to work with and made the entire process simple and pain free.
We’ve now been producing solar electricity for five months and are so happy seeing the bills essentially “gone” and our children love looking at the monitoring software seeing not only how much money we are saving but the benefits to the environment as well. I have the feeling many future science projects coming out of our household will be all about solar…save money, help the environment, and intellectually stimulate the kids too!