Live from the Rooftop! A California homeowner tells his solar story.

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Solar homeowners: they’re just like you. Tom L. is from San Diego, CA with a background in science and engineering, and he worked for a defense contractor for most of his career. He keeps informed of technical developments, travels a lot, and enjoys spending time with his family and grandkids. His solar system was recently interconnected to the grid.

Q. Why did you start looking into solar?

I started thinking about going solar when our rates increased and more increases were expected. We were typically in Tier 4 so electricity was getting rather expensive. A friend had installed solar and was very happy with the results. About a year ago, I obtained three bids which were similar in design but a range of prices. None of them had a satisfactory payback time. Recently, a family member recommended Sungevity, so I applied on their website.

Q. What were your first impressions of solar?

I’m a retired engineer so I recognized that Sungevity had a better system design for our house, a better price than the others, and a shorter payback time. Over 20 years, we will save a lot of money.

Q. How did your friends and neighbors react to you going solar?

A friend who was also a Tier 4 user was interested in our system and purchased a solar system from Sungevity soon after we did.

Q. What’s the coolest thing about going solar?

It was cool when we turned on the solar system and watched the meter run backwards. I can monitor the system performance on Sungevity’s web site and track my hourly net energy use on SDG&E’s website.

Q. Do you have any advice for people thinking about solar?

Solar doesn’t work for everyone. A family member also applied but due to the roof design Sungevity said they couldn’t install enough solar panels to help much. An alternate design was possible but Sungevity showed their integrity in that they would not install such a design, as the risk of severe wind load was unacceptable. I recommend Sungevity and solar to anyone who is tired of high electric bills and is concerned about them going even higher.

Two countries down, 194 more to go

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We’re shifting the power at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave – shifting to solar power, that is.

Four years after President Obama pledged to go solar, the White House announced last Friday that the President’s new rooftop solar system is finally up. The 6.3 kilowatt system is a similar size to what the average American household would install. What environmental benefits will the First Family generate from going solar?

Over 20 years, their 6.3 kW system will offset the equivalent of:*

  • 250,000 lbs of greenhouse gas emissions
  • 3,000 trees planted
  • 280,000 car miles

And, they get to be cool like Bo.

The much-anticipated installation proves that anyone can go solar, whether you’re the President or the President’s dog. “Solar panels at the White House are a really important message that solar is here, we are doing it, we can do a lot more,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said.

This announcement is a culmination of the Globama campaign, in which we partnered with 350.org and others to collect 50,000+ signatures urging the President to go solar. President Obama isn’t the first Head of State to power his residence with sunshine: President Nasheed from the Maldives installed a PV system on his official residence in 2010. Sungevity donated and installed the system, then helped launch the non-profit Solar Head of State to encourage more world leaders to join the movement.

Two countries down, 194 more to go. Shine on!

*Offset calculations are based on EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator estimates and NREL’s PVWatts Calculator

Our Tech Team Is Faster Than Superman, But We Still Recommend You Change Your Password

You may have seen news recently about Heartbleed, a bug that affected the security of many web-based services such as Google and Yahoo. Sungevity’s team acted quickly to patch the potential vulnerability and we’ve found no signs that our data was ever compromised. Still, we recommend to all OurSungevity users that you change your password as an extra precaution.

We also encourage you to check which of your other services have been affected and change your passwords there, too. Questions or concerns? Shoot us an email at set@sungevity.com.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to changing your OurSungevity password:

1. In OurSungevity, click the gear icon next to your name in the upper right hand corner of the screen

Click the gear icon

 

 

 

 

2. Select Profile

Select Profile

 

 

 

 

 

3. Under My Profile, click the Edit button next to Password

Select Edit next to Password

 

 

 

4. Enter your new password and click Save Changes

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A Sunny Act of Kindness

Here’s a story to warm your heart. John’s retired neighbor Mary needed help keeping her electric bills under control, so he helped her go solar. Read the story in his own words. Thanks for Generating Positive, John!

Solar installers arrived at Mary's house a few days ago

Solar installers arrived at Mary’s house a few days ago

“Our neighbor Mary lives in a small house bordering our produce field. She’s retired, and lives modestly on a fixed income. Like many of us, she’s watched as utility costs have gone up year by year. A few years ago, we replaced her drafty single-pane windows. Last summer, we blew in insulation to make her attic and walls more weather-tight. And in the last few months we’ve insulated her basement ceiling to warm up her floors in winter.

All these efforts have had amazing results. Her daily electric usage has fallen a long way – by 20 percent in the last year alone. And her heating oil usage has come down by about one-third. But despite all these efforts at efficiency, electric costs just keep going up. Over the past decade, average electric charges in this country went up about 4% per year. With almost all its customers affected by back-to-back hurricanes Irene and Sandy, our local New Jersey utility – JCP&L – has repeatedly been granted rate hikes. Mary now pays 18.4 cents for every kilowatt-hour she uses.

But all that’s about to change. Just a few days ago, a work crew from Sungevity, a solar power developer, arrived to install solar panels on Mary’s south-facing roof. The system will provide 94 percent of Mary’s electric needs. She’ll be left with a monthly electric bill of about $4.00. So she can relax about ongoing spikes in utility rates…”

Read the rest on John’s blog, Beloved Planet: http://belovedplanet.com/2014/04/12/clean-solar-electricity-for-your-home/

I am a realistic mom, a green mom – and a solar mom. Here’s why.

By Lisa Walthers. Lisa has been a Sungevity customer since 2013 and an employee since 2012.

Every morning in my chaotic scramble to get out the door, I unplug our car to head to work and hear my three-year-old son scream out the window, “Did the sun fill up our spaceship?”

I always considered myself somewhere on the spectrum of a green-mom meets realistic-mom. Working full time with two kids under three makes it increasingly challenging to live up to the standards I set out for myself prior to having children: “Of course we will ONLY eat organic and never watch TV.” I could slap my former self! That said, when my husband and I started looking for a new car to cart around our growing brood, we decided that we couldn’t continue to pay $4.50 per gallon to fuel our work commutes. We were determined to lease an electric vehicle – a Nissan Leaf that became known as the “spaceship” to my kids.

After making the switch to electric, we realized that swapping one fossil fuel (gasoline) for another (coal) wasn’t really achieving the feel good moment we had been looking for. It was also quite possibly going to cost as much for us to pay a higher electricity bill as it would have to pay for gas in our old car.

That’s when solar became the perfect synergy to meet my realistic-green mom mantra. Not only was our family going to save money by going solar (yes, a $0 down lease saved us money from day one!) but we could also use the moment to teach our kids that we no longer needed to rely on fossil fuels to power our lives.

It also means that in my rush get out the door, I get to turn around, smile and yell back, “Yes – the spaceship is powered with sunshine today!”