John McNamara and Anne Cary – Derwood, Maryland

Think of [solar] like buying a savings bond.  Use money you’d put away for retirement, because this bond will pay you a guaranteed 8-10% interest FOREVER.

John McNamara & Anne Cary, Solar Homeowners – Derwood, MD
Went solar with the Montgomery County Solar Co-op in 2016
System size: 9.4 kW

What interested you about going solar initially? Why do you support solar energy?

Concern about environment. Desire to leave a sustainable economy to grandson’s generation. Also, solar technology is amazing:  power from the sky!

Why did you choose to go solar with a solar co-op? What benefits did you experience going solar with a co-op?

Co-op is clearly the way to go. The first information sessions answered most of my questions. Then I agreed to serve on the vendor selection committee, where I learned many more details from the other homeowners and from the co-op reps. Knowing we were getting the best price, from a proven vendor well and favorably known to the co-op made the whole process a snap. When the salesman arrived to go over our installation, I felt confident I had the information I needed to evaluate his proposal.  I even got him to come down in price some more!

Has anything surprised you about going solar?

Just how quickly and dramatically my costs came down. I went solar in the late Fall, and didn’t expect to get much value until Spring or Summer, but my electric bill dropped immediately, and by a lot.

Do you have any data on your solar system’s performance? What electricity savings have you seen since going solar?

I am covering my entire electric consumption, with a little left over. I run a small surplus with the power company.

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

Think of it like buying a savings bond.  Use money you’d put away for retirement.  Because this bond will pay you a guaranteed 8-10% interest FOREVER.  I can’t think of another investment with such a good return, with essentially no risk. If you sell your house, studies show you will get back 100% of the initial cost, so there’s no need to worry that you won’t be in your house long enough to pay off the installation. (This calculation assumes you pay for the service yourself.  If you go with a company that installs it for free and bills you for power, you’re giving over all the benefits to that company.)

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

My wife thought the panels would be ugly, but now thinks they blend in just fine.

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