Rachel – Orlando, FL

By Solar United Neighbors on May 2, 2024


This helps us so much in budgeting our expenses post-employment, and it has proven a blessing to us.

Rachel – Orlando, FL

Why did you decide to go solar?

My husband and I are older and retired. We were looking for ways to lock in our monthly electrical utility payments as we aged, rather than paying higher prices set by the State Utility Commission. We are also very cognizant of the health of the planet, and try to find ways to limit fossil fuels, as well as control water pollution, etc. This helps us so much in budgeting our expenses post-employment, and It has proven a blessing to us.

What was the process like for you? Did anything surprise you, or were there challenges you had to overcome?

The process was very easy. We did have to shop around, investigate each company that we got quotes from, and then evaluated our options. We choose a company that offered us what we wanted. The process was very easy, and they worked with the county on each step of the way, including county permits, inspections, etc. They paved the way for us to have a positive experience, and after 18 months, we are still very happy with our system.

Have any of your habits changed since going solar?

Yes, we are still looking for other ways to conserve. We switched to more efficient AC unit and hot water header 8 years ago. We would love to purchase an electric car, but that is still in the To Do column. When the right opportunity presents itself, we will be glad to achieve this objective.

Have you seen electricity savings since going solar? If so, what have you been able to do with that savings?

Yes, every time the state utility commission raises the rates that the utility can charge, our neighbor’s monthly bill goes up. But ours remains the same. This was our goal, and it has been achieved.

Have you been involved in any solar advocacy since becoming a solar owner?

We did a Solar Open House one year. I also judge at the Florida Solar Energy Center – Energy Olympics. There were over 800 students involved this year. An opportunity to share ideas with the next generation.

What advice would you give to someone considering going solar?

  • Learn as much as you can about the system that is being offered to you.
  • Investigate the company and their business practices.
  • Talk to friends and neighbors who have gone Solar.
  • Pay attention to the contract, and make sure that it fits what you are seeking. Example, purchase vs. lease, maintenance costs, lease increases, fixed interest rates, help from the company if you have to replace your roof (will they remove the system and re-install it?).
  • When negotiating, look at your annual kWh usage. Then compare to what you are being offered.
  • Make sure that your contract includes enough solar panels to meet your historical kWh hours used. If you do not purchase enough panels that produce the energy that you need, you may still be purchasing electricity from your utility company to cover usage.
  • Investigate the seller service records and confirm that they will respond if something does break or go wrong.
  • Each family has different needs. Write yours down, and make sure that each need is met and that nothing is missed while you are evaluating the company for your business.
    Be excited.