We’re going solar!

March 21, 2010

“We have wanted to get solar panels on our rooftop for years, but the up-front cost has kept us from doing so.” That’s how I began my blog post, “Putting off solar panels?” Now nearly a year later, we have even less cash on hand… but we are going solar anyway! How does that work?

…Like free money, just for having decent credit and a decent roof.

The trick is so simple, it’s ingenious: SolarCity has a leasing program. As I understand it, strictly speaking, you don’t rent the solar array. Instead, you pay a flat fee for a variable amount of electricity from SolarCity, which they generate on a dedicated solar array. It just so happens that a convenient place for this array is your own roof.

We expect our savings to be greater than just the difference between our PG&E power reduction and the Solar City monthly fee. As I wrote before, Kay & I work hard to reduce our energy consumption. We both grew up in Japan and so are used to conservation. But we do have a hot tub (used regularly year-round) and a pool. Thanks to PG&E’s tiered pricing system, we pay more per kilowatt than most households because those two items push us past a certain threshold. By generating electricity on our roof, we should be able to come in under that painful line and keep PG&E from antagonizing us.

So it’s going to be good, or even better — like free money, just for having a decent credit rating and a decent roof. Sound interesting? …If you decide to go for a free consultation from SolarCity, please tell them you heard about this through a customer referral from Jonathan Reid in area code 95123, and I will receive a referral fee. Thanks in advance! And I’ll certainly be posting more about our experiences once the array is installed.

Jon Reid

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As an American missionary kid who grew up in Japan, I'm a child of two cultures, while not fully belonging to either. This gives me a sightly different view of the world.

2 responses to We’re going solar!

  1. Sounds great.
    Is this a pyramid scheme … 😉

  2. Well Chuck, if you guys go for it, some of your friends and neighbors might be interested. 🙂