Gary – Dublin, OH

April 30, 2024 Homeowner stories, Ohio

The payoff comes when you connect the dots.

Gary – Dublin, OH

Why did you decide to go solar?

We wanted to replace our gas car and methane (natural gas) furnace & old inefficient air
conditioner with an EV and Heat Pump. The old appliances are inefficient, costly to operate and polluting. We installed solar to offset the additional electric grid demand that these changes would cause and because grid power in Ohio is from burning coal and methane. We also replaced our personal gasoline and methane consumption with clean solar power. We think that ‘Solar + EV’ is a ‘no-brainer’ matched set. The EV gasoline savings alone more than pays for the solar.

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

It took a year and a half to get a building permit from Dublin Ohio. Dublin created new Solar Zoning legislation in June 2023 and we were the first to be approved under the new zoning. Solar United Neighbors was involved too. Dublin is still having issues with their approvals. But, I’m reaching out to my neighbors to increase the permit requests and increase Dublin’s problems.

Have any of your habits changed since going solar?

Solar was first so that we could make other changes – like an EV. We’re in the process of getting quotes for a heat pump to replace our old air conditioner this Spring. We found that we just naturally delayed running the washer/dryer and dishwasher until 11am. We laugh about how it is just natural to know what the sun is doing now. It’s like just knowing what the wind is doing when we’re sailing without really thinking about it.

Have you seen electricity savings since going solar?

Production portion of the electric bill is zero or negative except Nov-Jan. But the electric bill savings were not our objective. The solar is to cover the additional electricity used for EV and heat pump. The gasoline and natural gas savings pay for the solar. Reverse of what I’m usually told is the rationale. I think Solar is being sold backwards. Solar is not the objective. Solar is used to accomplish other objectives – which then pay for the solar. Eliminate never-ending payments to monopolies (AEP, Columbia Gas, Exxon) and use those savings to pay for an asset we own – solar. When the solar is paid-for the never-ending payments are gone forever and you’re driving for free and heating/cooling for free.

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

I am ‘encouraging’ Dublin to improve their approvals. I volunteer with Solar United Neighbors at events!

What advice would you give to someone who is considering going solar?

Connect the dots of solar, EV, heat pump HVAC, heat pump hot water heater, electric lawn mower. Don’t just look at your current electric bill like your salesperson wants to. They are too simplistic in their thinking. The payoff comes when you connect the dots.