For several years, I have wanted solar panels for our home, especially since having our house re-roofed. Fortunately, I was contacted, first by a couple of salesmen from Tesla Solar, Inc., and then later from Terri Loftus, who was working in Sacramento. At first, I was skeptical, but Terri's gentle and reassuring comments over several calls convinced me to look into laying out $21,553, which for a retired teacher on a fixed income is not chump change. It is a serious investment for one who will be far outlived by a system fully guaranteed for 25 years. That was in the summer of 2017.
My wife and I decided to go ahead with the purchase of a solar system in October of 2017. Terri was patient with my myriad of questions and the baggage of uncertainties I came with. By the end of October, after Terri helped me cut through all the red tape from the Humboldt County Planning Commission and the PG&E bureaucracy, the system was installed and turned on October 27. The electric smart meter read 444507 kWh, which is important to this review. At the time, I was using about 550 kWh of electricity per month. When the solar system went in, that amount dropped radically. The electricity usage for our coldest month, darkest month dropped from $112 to $18 (see below).
One of our rainiest months is between February and March. Again, a radical drop as the chart shows. The last chart below shows a yearly comparison of energy use from February 2017 to February 2018. Huge difference. But the comparison I like the most is what I will be seeing until the winter months' overcast comes back, and that is the April electrical expenses. See below. The credit goes into my account to offset any future electrical expenses.
Most of the people I have spoken with are concerned about the price. Actually, it is very affordable. We put $9,000 down, paid $1,000 up front for the loan, and financed $11,553. The payments were $52 a month. The government reimbursed us 30% of our cost, making our total investment $15,000 and change, which we paid off in six months. The system added about $30,000 to the value of the house, making the cost of our investment a negative $9,000. Had we continued making the payments, we still would have been putting money in the bank, because our average monthly savings on electrical costs is $120, meaning we would still be saving around $70 a month with the payments. We chose to be out from underneath any debt, and we figure our system will have paid for itself in seven or eight years.
In the event that you sell your home prior to paying off any loan on the solar system, you would just transfer the loan to the new owners. No problem, and Terri would assist you in that.
There is one more thing I particularly like about the system Terri sold me: the guarantee. It carries a 25 year warranty, and the system is hooked up through my wifi to the office in Chico, so if anything goes wrong with it, the installers know about it immediately and what the specific problem is, so that they will know how to repair it upon arrival.
I should also make a final comment. We live in a very overcast area that has only about 170 days of clear sunlight per year, but despite that, our electrical bills have plummeted.
I strongly recommend anyone to invest in a solar system, and especially from Terri Loftus, for she will guide you through the whole process effortlessly.
Sincerely, Allan Edwards