Residential Solar | Redwood City, CA
Case Study #11
CA Homeowner Saves Thousands Using Solar Energy, Plus Boosts His Property Value.
When residential homeowner Marty F. switched to solar energy to save money on constantly rising electricity rates, he and his family benefitted from the transition to clean energy in more ways than one.
Solar Energy Project Description
- Building Type: Residential Home
- Configuration: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2-car garage
- Square Footage: 1200 ft
- Location: Redwood City, CA
- Type of Installation: Solar Panels + Battery
Energy Bill - BEFOREw/ Electric Company
- PG&E Electricity Bill
Energy Bill - AFTERw/ Solar + Tax Credits
- Solar Energy Panels + Battery
Savvy homeowner Marty F. of Redwood City, California, purchased his family home 21 years ago, and over the years, continually renovated it with improvements. From installing a new roof, to redoing the kitchen and more, Marty found ways to increase the efficiency and value of his 3-bedroom, 2-bath 1200 square foot home.
However, Marty found his home’s energy costs continually rising — and due to a recent rate increase, his electricity and gas bills through Pacific Gas &Electric were now averaging of $224 a month. The costs of gas and electric were approximately 50% each.
Tired of the increasing expenses, Marty decided to explore ways to become energy independent. He researched into wind power, which he found wasn’t quite feasible due to the location of his home in the SF Bay Area – Silicon Valley area. The valley topography wasn’t conducive to generating enough wind. Plus, the wind generator would have been detracted from the beauty of the neighborhood.
The Solar Solution Requirements
Marty then looked into the possibilities of using solar energy. He reached out to licensed solar energy consultant Eleu Lee of Clean Energy Advocates for a complimentary solar analysis.
An expert in assessing the solar needs of residential homes, Eleu quickly researched the ideal solar configuration required for Marty’s home solar solution. Marty wanted to be completely off the grid at certain times, and needed a way to store his solar energy so he could use this energy instead of the electric company’s energy during peak rate hours. Marty also wanted the solar solution to be aesthetically pleasing to maintain the beauty of his home and neighborhood.
The Recommended Solar Solution
To help Marty financially benefit from solar energy right away, Eleu recommended installing 11 high-performance solar panels on the south-facing rooftop roof with an innovative Enphase Microinverter and EnCharge10 storage backup system.
The solution produces approximately 20 Kilowatts (an hour?) of energy which is stored in the battery for later use and would offset all the energy they were consuming on an annual basis. Marty has enabled his system to discharge stored energy automatically during the PG&E’s peak rate hours every day, so he is completely off the grid at that time.
“[The solar solution] disconnects me every day at 4 PM, then reconnects me every day at 9 PM. We don’t really change our habits, so the battery typically discharges about 40%. We don’t even take 50% of the battery. So when you don’t discharge those batteries all the way, they last a long time,” says Marty. This is on top of the fact that the battery is rated to last 10 years or more.
Marty also likes the fact that “the battery will power his house for 2 solid days with no electricity.”
In addition to saving money during peak hours and being energy independent, the extra energy that is not used in the solar solution is sent out and back to PG&E in terms of credits. According to Marty, he makes 26 cents in credit for every kilowatt-hour sent out. While Marty and his wife do not consume a large amount of energy, their solar panel system will be saving them nearly $30,000 over its lifetime.
Tax Credits and Affordable Financing Make Choosing Solar Easy
With Clean Energy Advocates’ knowledge of the government’s incentive tax credits for solar, plus access to a wide range of innovative, high-performance solar solutions and financial programs for homeowners who want to transition to solar, Marty was able to afford a solar solution that’s best in class—all with virtually no money down.
“The financing was awesome—I didn’t have to come up with a penny,” says Marty. “I feel very happy.”
“Eleu walked me through the whole process and my payment for the first 18 months is only $56 a month!” adds Marty.