Dana & Michael – Washington, DC

April 23, 2024 D.C.


It was exciting to us when the Solar Switch information came through, and that became something we could get on board with.

Dana & Michael – Washington, DC

Capital Area Solar Switch

What got you interested in going solar?

We live in a house over 100 years old, but want to be contemporary in our approach to energy. We’ve observed other solar residences around this and other neighborhoods, and our interest developed from seeing those homes. I joined Solar United Neighbors and started listening to a few of the calls, and that was great. It was a real education for me, and I realized there are a lot of steps involved in going solar. It was exciting to us when the Solar Switch information came through, and that became something we could get on board with. So we decided that was a good thing to pursue.

How did you find out about Solar Switch?

To the best of my recollection, I was googling different combinations of “solar” and “dc” and “residential solar” and “how do I get solar in DC.” It’s been about two years now, but I found Solar United Neighbors online. I was thrilled to find resources because I didn’t know anything about residential solar. Sitting in on a few of the meetings and reading a lot of the resources on the website, and resources you link out to was really, really valuable. And then I was like “okay, how can we actually gain traction?” because you give good guidance about getting two or three proposals. So then I am thinking, okay that’s six to nine phone calls, and three house visits and three follow-ups. Then the Solar Switch option came up and I thought “oh, this could work.”

What was your experience with the installer, Solar Solution?

I think we did the Solar Switch paperwork to get us into that process, and when we said “yes, we want to do it” pretty quickly we were handed off to Terri Holtz on the Solar Solution team. Terri came out to the house and we talked through the process. She answered a bunch of questions we both had. It was perfect. The proposal came in which was within the guidelines that you all had set up with Solar Switch. It was very specific and responsive to our needs. We asked for a couple of adjustments and she said she’d look at them. There were a couple of things we needed validation on. We have a screen porch roof on the back side of our house, and we wanted to see if they could install two panels on that part of the roof, which proved to be possible. They identified areas that needed attention and they gave those areas attention, and that got worked into the contract appropriately. The installation was a one day thing. They came back one day to reconnect a wire because we had one panel that wasn’t registering just yet.

Have you already started seeing some differences in your bills? 

Our activation was the second week of December during the shortest days of the year. We could see a little trickle of power coming through, but now that the days are getting longer, we are starting to see energy bills that really reflect only the fees to be connected and the administrative costs of the account. We’re generating more energy than what we’re using, although we’re not air conditioning yet. The days are getting longer now and soon we’ll start using it more.

Is there anything else you’d like us to know? 

Early adoption is always tricky. [We] just have to get to a place where everyone looks at their neighbor and says “well they put that in and they seem to like that, and it seems to be a good thing. Maybe I should do that”