September 18, 2012
We’re giving back to the grid! This chart from our electric utility Southern California Edison shows our average daily net usage of -9 kWh. We even produced more than we needed on the 5th, which was a cloudy day.
Since connecting it on the 30th of last month, our photovoltaic solar system is producing about 24 to 26 kWh of electricity per day. This is plenty to power our home and return a bit to the grid to help our neighbors use cleaner energy sources.
Do you know how many kWh you use on a daily basis? Take a look at your bill and then get a free iQuote to see how you can save natural resources and money.
We’re getting all this for about $65 per month. Exciting!
August 31, 2012
Andrea and I started this blog to document our experience vetting photovoltaic solar leasing companies and installers, and to subsequently share our experience with the installation and interconnection. Well, and I’m being very honest, it couldn’t have been _e a s i e r_! My road to becoming powered by the sun was so _hassle free_!! Sungevity kept me apprised of a few changes to the original plans (due to fire code, they had to downsize my system a little bit), the installation company New Energy Construction (NEC) installed my system in two days without incident and while I was on vacation (but my husband was here to coordinate with them), and the county and utility inspections happened within three weeks of installation. From start to finish, the process took about 5-6 months, but probably less than one working day of effort on my part in that entire timeframe. I am IMPRESSED and looking forward to sitting back and enjoying tracking the kWh produced by my system: Day 1 = 21 kWh, but we had a hazy afternoon, and Day 2 = 24 kwH! And the system actually looks good on my roof! Now to get the rest of our new house in shape: painting, adding a deck, etc… I hope it’s all as easy as installing this solar system! ~ Michelle
July 31, 2012
Yesterday was a full day of the guys here installing and wiring. The panels are now all on the roof and they look great!! They are done on the roof, but there’s still a little bit of work to do on the electrical/solar connection before they call Building and Safety for the permit check. Once LADBS signs off on the permits, apparently it takes 30 more days before LADWP will turn the switch so we are officially online with solar power. Why so long LADWP???
And…our new Ipad won’t be arriving for 8-10 weeks!! Why so long Sungevity??? Hmm.
July 31, 2012
Alright, so Saturday the installer, New Energy Construction, installed the rails, and Monday they return for the panel installation and to complete the electrical work. Saturday we had the electrician, and two rails installers.
Monday they all return, along with the “President” of New Energy Condstruction. Unfortunately, they noticed that a pool of water has formed beneath the new converter box they had installed along our driveway, which is next to our kitchen, and below our upstairs bathroom…….they had drilled a hole into our ABS plastic drainline!! Doh.
They took down the new box, pulled off some shingles and I called my plumber. NEC paid for the repair work ($65).
July 29, 2012
So the panels arrive Friday (they were supposed to arrive Wednesday, but the delivery company messed up). Wayne our installer, and the delivery guy unload it all from a huge truck and leave it on our driveway.
Saturday, the installer returns, with an electrician to install the “rails”, which are metal frames to hold the panels onto the roof
Rails to hold the panels
, and the electrician installs several modern looking electrical boxes to the exterior of our house along the driveway
, and another little box near our circuit breaker box. . They say the rest of the work will be completed tomorrow (Monday), and then they will call for inspection for Tuesday or Wednesday. After the city approves the permit, we will have to wait for the Department of Water and Power to approve the change over…which can take 3 weeks! Wayne thinks this is so the DWP can charge you full price for 3 more weeks…
Not sure. But I do know two of the outlet in my kitchen, which is right on the inside of where the new electrical work was done outside, are not functioning! I emailed Sungevity and they said they’d fix it tomorrow.
April 27, 2012
Sorry for the late post. Had a site visit from a technician from New Energy Construction (NEC) on April 12th. A very nice guy, Jay, who did not mind at all that I had two large dogs in the backyard that I had found on the streets that morning (I found their owner later on that day), and two yippy dogs inside. Jay bravely went on our VERY steep roof to measure everything, bravely went into our very dusty, cobwebby (and possibly rodenty) attic, and then walked around the house to locate the best place for the equipment outside. Ours will likely be located near our electrical panel. He also looked at our router – so we can monitor the system via the internet after we are up and running, I think. Jay assessed that the initial calculation made over the phone and using google earth maps was correct in regards to the size of our system.
Since the site visit I haven’t heard anything from my project manager, so I checked in with him yesterday. Here’s what he said:
“Now that we’ve completed your Home Visit and gathered the information we need to confirm the system’s design, our Engineers will pour over those details and eventually produce the construction plans needed for permitting and installation. The Design Review for your project came back looking great, meaning there’s no need to change the system’s design, so now the plans are in the works. As soon as I have more info on those I’ll definitely keep you in the loop. As I mentioned previously, we’re working through an enormous load of projects in SoCal at the moment and, subsequently, our timelines for delivering plans and/or the actual installation are a bit longer than we like. The important thing is that the process is done well and completely, setting you up for many years of green, trouble-free solar power!”
So, I’ll sit tight and wait my turn!
April 19, 2012
We have decided to go solar! So, we wanted to let you know about our experience in case you are also considering it.
I (Andrea) started the process last year, but since I needed to replace my roof, I had to put the breaks on. I recently replaced my roof, and my friend Michelle, who had just purchased a new house, wanted to go solar too, so we teamed up to do the research. We looked into the top solar energy system lease and purchase companies – Solar City, SunRun, and Sungevity
. The initial phone calls take about 25-45 minutes per company and then there are follow up calls…
After we grilled the 3 companies, Michelle and I agreed that Sungevity
sounded like the best deal, plus they were the most knowledgeable and they have great perks – like referral bonuses
for both the referrer and referred, and a new Apple iPad to monitor your solar energy use. Since Michelle was a member of the Sierra Club, Sungevity also gave a $750 donation to Sierra Club because she signed up.
says the process takes about 6 months (maybe a little less) from start to finish (project planning to installation to turning on the system). Both Michelle and I have signed up for the 20 year lease, with zero down. The panels that will fit on my roof will cover 85% of my home’s energy use – guaranteed (more about that in an upcoming post). So, for the next 20 years I will pay an average of $68 to Sungevity
(starts at $51 per month, and in year 20 it is $88), and my electricity bill will be reduced by 85%. My goal will be to reduce my home’s energy consumption by 15% so the panels will cover 100% – it will be interesting to see how difficult that will be, and fun to monitor and try to make it happen. The panels that will fit on Michelle’s roof will cover 97% of her anticipated energy use.
Michelle and I are going to blog about our experiences here at Moms Going Solar
to document the process, help others in their journey towards reducing their carbon footprint, and to learn from the community of solar energy producers and consumers. Feel free to leave a comment – we want to hear from you!
~ Andrea & Michelle ~