We were inspired by our church congregation to go solar.
Erik, Allison, Reilly, and Logan – Silver Spring, Maryland
Went solar with the Temple Sinai Solar Co-op in 2015
System size: 5.3 kW
What interested you about going solar initially? Why do you support solar energy?
Our Congregation (Unitarian Universalist Church of Silver Spring) became a certified “Green Sanctuary” several years ago. As we looked at the impact our congregation could play, we began looking at ways we could also individually contribute to being a more positive influence over the environment. We always assumed solar would be out of our price range, but working with a local co-op, we found it to be affordable which made the switch easy.
Why did you choose to go solar with a solar co-op? What benefits did you experience going solar with a co-op?
We priced solar through the co-op but also as individuals in the marketplace. The co-op offered the best prices.
Has anything surprised you about going solar?
The amount of attention from our neighbors! Everyone was interested when the project was going on.
Do you have any data on your solar system’s performance? What electricity saving have you experienced since going solar?
Even while we designed the system to not quite fully meet our demand, we managed to create more energy in the first year than we used. It was a strange experience actually getting a check from Pepco at the end of the year! Adding two Nest thermostats (part of the co-op package) helped us measure our energy use against our neighbors and pushed us to be more efficient than we had been.
What advice would you give to someone is considering going solar?
Look at the prices from several vendors and fully understand the costs of buying vs leasing. But the best advice is to get started – virtually all vendors will provide a free cost/benefit analysis so you can determine if solar is a good option for your wallet as well as the environment.