Solar power at home: a “no-brainer”

October 27, 2013

This is a paid review sponsored by Complete Solar Solutions. My own opinions, though, about something I believe in strongly.

1_(109)Solar panels are dotting the neighborhood and our daily dog walks allow us to keep tabs on installations.

“We should check into it,” M. said the other day.  Because the Universe seems to always listen in on my conversations these days, an opportunity arose find out whether solar was right for us–a review of Complete Solar Solution, a solar energy provider that services the state of California.

Here’s what I thought I knew about solar:

  • It was expensive.
  • There was a long waiting list.
  • It didn’t save much money.

I was wrong. Oh-so-wrong.  Let me cut to the chase:  If you are between the ages of 21 and 55 and own your house, solar’s likely going to save you money, and probably a lot of it.  If you’re older, like we are, it’s still compelling.  That’s the bottom line. But let me explain.

Energy cost

I like the green nature of solar–its environmental benefits, but my husband had another kind of green in mind:  saving money. Because we see nothing but utility rate increases ahead. The chart above tells a story we are all familiar with.

Here at home, it’s grim. Californians know that our utility failed to maintain a gas line in San Bruno, CA with disastrous consequences. A big explosion and fire last year took the lives of eight and injured others. Who’s paying for this horrific debacle? Certainly the people who died and their families paid a huge price. But also, now: the rate payer, because rates are going up 30 percent over the next three years.

Everyone should be looking at alternatives.


The thing I love best about solar.

I could rant about our power company, but I won’t. Let’s just say, like death and taxes California utility rate increases are inevitable. We watch them climb higher and higher every year, taking a bigger chunk of our paycheck with each rate increase.  That’s why chance to never pay PGE for electricity again was compelling.

We sat down with a rep from Complete Solar Solution to go over whether solar was right for us. In preparation, we gave permission to access a year of our utility bills for analysis and a solid, custom calculation of how solar might save us money.

It turns out that we are not energy hogs–we’re on the lower end of electricity consumption. That’s because we have gas, too, and we installed extra insulation a few years ago. Still, the coming and constant utility rate increases are going to hit us hard, and at retirement, when we are more careful about spending.

We didn’t want to spend a huge amount of money out of pocket, either. Turns out, Complete Solar Solution had several great options for financing and some meant no money out of our pockets. (Yes, click the link.)

Our other big concern was if our deal with Complete Solar Solution would be solid for the long term.  How secure is it? How do we know that it’s likely to be around for the long term? Who backs it? Hang on to your hats: Google. I had no idea Google was in this mix, but it is.  Also adding to our sense of security is that Complete Solar Solutions is DIAMOND CERTIFIED.

gosolar21Would it feel good to generate our OWN power and have PGE pay US for the extra solar we might generate? Yeah. Mighty good. Sweeet, even.

Turns out, our house is perfect for solar with a big south facing roof. Some 15 panels would be installed up there. It’s not a particularly invasive installation, could be booked in about a month and would take less than two days.

I hate to even remind myself of this, but I have to. We’re no spring chickens and we won’t be here forever. We are in our 60s. We have no idea how long we’ll be in this house. Maybe 10 more years, 20 if we are really lucky. How much would we save? Turns out, enough to make this a worthwhile installation.

If we sell, our buyers will have the benefit of our solar and it seems to me solar is good for resale.

Numbers are my husband’s business, not mine. But even I saw that this was a good deal financial for us.

“It’s a no-brainer,” my hard-to-please husband said after the Complete Solar Solution  rep left.

We did a little more research and then made plans to install our solar panels. We’re not getting a discount or anything–we just like everything about the Complete Solar Solution package. The benefits are compelling.

But don’t take our word for it.  Contact Complete Solar Solution yourself and have them do a custom analysis of your electric power use and your home’s suitability for solar. Then, make your own decision.

Here’s how to reach them.

6 comments on “Solar power at home: a “no-brainer”
  1. Jennifer says:

    I am going to pass this along to my husband. We are soooo interested in solar. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. This post is just another in a string of messages I keep getting , small taps on the shoulder saying, “time to look into solar power.” You’ve made a compelling case, and I love what that billboard says, so I am even more motivated to look into this in my own state, which is known for sunshiny days.

    • admin says:

      No coincidences! We were surprised at what we heard. And at the # of neighbors installing it. If you call Complete Solar, would you mind mentioning this post & me? Thank you!

  3. 7x Energy says:

    Are solar panels difficult to maintain?

  4. ELTEC says:

    How long will it take for solar panels to pay for themselves?

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