Southern Current customer has a truly unique story about going solar that began over 30 years ago on a piece of land…
Catherine and her husband bought 10 acres on Edisto Island back in 1984. They lived on their house boat while they single-handedly cleared the land. They eventually converted the same house boat into their home. Starting out, they didn’t even have air conditioning, heating or plumbing, but Catherine kept thinking about installing solar panels.
“I just always wanted solar panels,” she says.
She received her first quote for the project back in the 1980’s. But, it was just not in the cards at the time, given their budget. As time went on and the cost of solar became more affordable, Catherine found us. After 33 years, Southern Current was able to be part of making Catherine’s dream come true. We were recommended by locals as a trustworthy source that “comes and gets the job done.
At the time her system was installed, Catherine’s husband had fallen ill and was spending most of his time on their porch enjoying the view of his favorite tree. Because she did not want to impede his view, she chose an area in her yard for a ground-mounted solar system that was not ideal for energy production.
But even given some shading, she has found that her bills are a mere fraction of what they used to be. Typically she only pays the utility fee.
And the financial reward is not even the reason she wanted to go solar. Catherine truly believes in sustainability and renewable energy for the future. Her goal was to leave a legacy for her children that gave back to the Earth.
“The real payoff is what are you doing for the environment”
Catherine believes in doing more than just recycling so that “things go right back to the way they were…it’s a perfect cycle.” After her husband’s passing, Catherine and her children still live on the property. She takes pride in her solar system and sees it as so much more than a financial payoff.
“It was time. I had waited a long time.”
When you’re ready to go solar, we are here! Contact us to learn more about the solar solutions we offer.
https://southerncurrentllc.com/wp-content/uploads/SouthernCurrent-Logo-120x420_2-1.png00Nicole Greenberghttps://southerncurrentllc.com/wp-content/uploads/SouthernCurrent-Logo-120x420_2-1.pngNicole Greenberg2019-10-24 12:41:122019-11-08 15:03:07Residential solar customer testimonial: A journey on Edisto
Southern Current residential customer, Matt Freed, sat down to talk with us about why he went solar and why he firmly believes it was a good choice for his family of 4 and also for anyone else seeking an investment that gives back in more ways than one.
Matt and his family started their journey into solar in 2014 when their air conditioning unit broke down. After doing his research regarding the available tax credits, Matt decided to move forward with an AC solar unit and saw a good reduction in his power bill. He kept the idea of a complete solar system on a larger scale in the back of his mind until he was sparked upon finding out that the tax credits were going to expire after 2019. So, he decided “if I’m going to do this, I need to do it NOW.”
“I just started doing a lot of research and I think I spoke to 6 or 7 companies.” Matt said, “I talked to a lot of people and kind of narrowed it down between two companies and ultimately went with Southern Current.” Mainly because he was really comfortable working with the sales representative and didn’t feel like he was being “sold something” necessarily.
“Everything just fell in line for what I was looking for,” Matt explains he thought “This is definitely a viable alternative for me.”
He also chose Southern Current because he appreciated working with a local South Carolina company. “It was important that if there was a good company in South Carolina that could do this project, I wanted a company based in the state to do it, because I certainly believe in supporting the state economy,” he says.
In fact, what really solidified the decision for Matt was a conversation with a friend who worked for a different county in the state. When Matt mentioned he was going to be working with Southern Current, his friend said “oh I know them, they’re actually going to do a big solar farm project in our county. If I was ever going to do solar, that’s definitely the company I would pick, too.” Matt was sure he’d be in really good hands.
When it came to the installation process, Matt was most surprised by the efficiency of the Southern Current team and the speed of having all 40 panels installed on his home.
“The communication was very organized from the start. I knew when things were going to happen and everybody was on time.”
Researching the right company made a difference, Matt believes “everything was top notch from beginning to end. It was impressive.”
Matt has definitely seen a payoff from his system since it was installed in February of this year. The first couple of months, all he paid was around $9.00 for a base facility charge. “At the end of the day, when I look at the savings versus what you’re paying for the loan, it’s pretty much break even. It’s a bill swap, which was my goal in the end. To trade one bill for another. It worked out exactly the way I had planned financially. Only with this, I certainly like the idea that I actually have money going into an investment as opposed to just giving it away to a utility company that can change rates at any time.”
He goes on to share: “If I use the tax credits and do everything the way it’s meant to be used, the system will be paid off in probably around seven years. Then I’ve got my power bill mostly covered and I’m going to get to enjoy 20 plus years out of these panels.”
“I know I’m going to be in my house for a really long time, so for me, a long-term investment was a pretty easy decision.” Matt saw the value of solar from the beginning. “I’m a numbers guy, so I looked at the time value of money,” he says “To me, if you have the ability to do it, it’s crazy not to make this investment.”
“I think people sometimes have this conception that going green is expensive or something and that you can’t do green energy cheaply but it’s not true.” When there is so much subsidized from the government to fund the solar system, Matt calls it a deal that “can’t be beat.”
“You really save a lot of money in the long run.”
However, Matt recommends to anyone considering solar that the clock is ticking and “if you’re going to do it, do it this year. You can’t trust the future and you can’t trust what utilities are going to charge in five years.” The tax credits will be stepping down in 2020 and as Matt knows, “costs don’t go down for energy.”
Matt has also found success in using Southern Current’s referral program. He occasionally posts on social media and on the Next Door app with pictures of his utility bill and is open to answering people’s basic questions about the process. In fact, one of his referrals is just finishing up an installation and he also inspired his in-laws to go solar!
So what does Matt have to say to those who have been thinking about solar
“You’ll thank yourself down the road for all the money you’re going to save and the rates you’re not going to be paying in the future…. Just run the numbers on it, it all makes sense in the end, it really does… I promise.”
He suggests crunching the numbers and talking to a finance professional about the tax credits. “You will be amazed at how much money that might be worth”
And when it comes to who to work with, he says “Call Southern Current, or call some other folks too, but you’ll probably come back to Southern Current” Matt says, “Take it from me, I talked to a lot of other companies…”
“…You’re going to be happy.”
https://southerncurrentllc.com/wp-content/uploads/SouthernCurrent-Logo-120x420_2-1.png00Nicole Greenberghttps://southerncurrentllc.com/wp-content/uploads/SouthernCurrent-Logo-120x420_2-1.pngNicole Greenberg2019-09-10 09:17:372019-10-07 10:42:09Residential Solar Customer Testimonial: Matt Freed
The hardest part of doing something new is taking the first step. So to help you understand how easy it is to save with a solar panel installation on your South Carolina home, below we’ve compiled some reviews from customers who have already made the switch.
South Carolinians Discuss Their Experiences Switching To Solar
“The cost of electricity from SCE&G is high and climbing, which made going solar an easy decision. In the long run, this solar power system will save me thousands of dollars. The environmental impact of burning fossil fuels was also part of our decision. A clean environment is important to us.” – Charleston homeowner Marv N.
“If you are considering solar, do it now while any federal and state incentives are still in place as it makes the entire project more affordable. Make your final decision on the return of investment of 7 – 10 years. Also keep in mind any contractor you work with should be around for the duration of the installation and product’s 10 – 20 year warranty.
Based upon my present experience with Southern Current, I would definitely work with them once again. They were easy to work with, the on-site crew were professional and kept me informed throughout the installation.” – Steve V., Greenville resident
“It was very easy. After we closed on the house, they came out, took photos, looked around, and went over our options. We decided on the panels, and filled out paperwork. That was on a Friday. The installation crew showed up on Monday, and were finished by Wednesday. Everyone was extremely professional.” – Piedmont resident Laura S.
“Our power bill has been greatly reduced, and we expect to realize even better benefits during spring & summer months when abundant sun levels peak.
I highly recommend doing it, especially before the Federal & State solar incentives expire. Also, it is a tremendous way to do our part to reduce dependency on fossil fuels.” – James Island homeowner Craig B.
https://southerncurrentllc.com/wp-content/uploads/Switching-To-Solar-Power-In-South-Carolina-770x460.jpg460770Solar Staffhttps://southerncurrentllc.com/wp-content/uploads/SouthernCurrent-Logo-120x420_2-1.pngSolar Staff2018-04-30 13:23:352018-05-16 11:34:58Switching To Solar In South Carolina
Solar energy is a truly viable source for clean power and is already in use by over 1 million homeowners across America. This article is designed to clear up some common solar energy myths, misconceptions and misinformation you might’ve heard about collecting free energy from the sun and powering your home or business with solar panels, just in time for Earth Day!
Debunking The Top 5 Solar Energy Myths
Solar Energy Myth #1 The technology is not ‘there yet’
False! Here’s why: Solar technology began taking off during the late 1950’s, supported by NASA and their need for electricity in space. The Vanguard missions were the first solar powered spacecraft, but NASA didn’t stop there. Lots of other American-made spacecraft utilized solar panels to absorb sunlight in space, including the Hubble Space Telescope in 1990, and four sets of solar arrays that still power the International Space Station.
View from space. Did you know that solar panels power the International Space Station? Image credit: NASA
Panel wattage has increased along with efficiency from then until now, thanks largely in part to the rocket scientists and research & development departments in conjunction with NASA who worked tirelessly to find solutions to big problems related to producing electricity in space.
To put this into perspective, recognize that today we are installing solar panels on homes rated at 300-350 watts that take up the same roof space (square feet) as the solar panels we installed years ago that were rated at just 230-285 watts.
If solar technology is good enough for NASA, it’s good enough for your roof!
The other part of the ‘there yet’ equation relates to costs, but lucky for you solar costs are at all-time lows, and a key tax credit worth 30% of the cost of going solar was extended through the end of 2019!
The power grid you are using right now is essentially a virtual battery for people who produce their own power with solar panels.
During the day, when the sun is shining, solar panels absorb energy radiated from the sun and your solar energy system converts it into usable AC electricity that you can use inside your home to power whatever you need (TV, iPad, refrigerator, etc.).
If your solar panels produce more energy than you need, it goes back out to the power grid for someone else – like your neighbor – to use.
Alternatively, if your home requires more energy than your solar panels can provide, your system will pull the extra amount of power from the grid. It works seamlessly, you’ll never see lights flicker or anything crazy like that.
So you really don’t need a battery to store your solar energy for nighttime use (unless you live in an area where power outages are frequent because of natural disasters – but that’s a whole different conversation).
Solar Energy Myth #3 Its only used by hippies and environmentalists
False! Here’s why:
Yes, solar energy is used by people who place a high value on conserving resources and cleaning up the planet, but many people who go solar do it to save money (or even to make money).
Take, for example, our customer Jay G. who first went solar in 2015. After having solar panels installed on his primary home in West Columbia, he liked the savings he was seeing so much that he installed 15 more panels on his second home (vacation residence) on Edisto Island.
“We’ve been very pleased with our installation in West Columbia, SC. It was done in a professional manner in November of 2015 on our primary residence. Since then, we have not paid a utility bill and have actually built up around $500 in credit with SCE&G.”
Solar Energy Myth #4 Its only affordable for the rich
False! Here’s why:
First of all, recognize that without solar you are essentially renting your energy from the local power company. Instead you could be producing your own power via solar panels, and the cost would be much lower! This is one of the key drivers that is leading homeowners from all classes – lower, middle, and upper – to adopt solar energy.
An October 2013 study published on ScientificAmerican.com found that solar panels are popping up most on the roofs of middle class homeowners, not the 1%. “Installations are overwhelmingly in neighborhoods where median incomes range from $40,000 to $90,000” the authors of the study said.
As the solar market has matured, and solar panels have plummeted in price, new business models have enabled customers to buy solar power for little to no-money down. Sure, you may get the best deal if you pay with cash (as we wrote on our Owning vs. Leasing Solar blog), but $0 down financing and leasing options are available for virtually all incomes and credit scores.
Plus, homeowners from all classes have access to the same 30% Federal solar tax credit and the 25% South Carolina state tax credit for solar installations that happen in 2018.
Individuals interested in going solar in South Carolina have access to solar rebates and incentives which decrease the overall cost of solar power systems.
Solar Energy Myth #5 It won’t last long enough to pay for itself
False! Here’s why:
Most solar panels are sold with a 10–25 year warranty, and solar panels are engineered to deliver 80% of their rated power after about 30 years. Research tests have proven that solar panels can last for 40 years or longer!
In 2010 the website Inhabitat.com posted an article about the oldest solar panel in history, and how it was still producing power 60 years after it was designed!
Image Credit: Green Building Advisor
Another article from GreenBuildingAdvisor.com tested a 30 year old solar panel and found it was still still performing to factory specifications.
If that’s not enough to convince you, consider this: For most homeowners in South Carolina, the average solar panel installation will pay for itself in under 10 years, followed by another 15+ years of ‘pre-paid’ maintenance-free savings.
https://southerncurrentllc.com/wp-content/uploads/Top-Solar-Energy-Myths-Dubunked.jpg6281200Solar Staffhttps://southerncurrentllc.com/wp-content/uploads/SouthernCurrent-Logo-120x420_2-1.pngSolar Staff2018-04-16 14:33:562018-05-16 11:55:59Top Solar Energy Myths Debunked
The following interview was conducted with Jay G., Southern Current solar customer who had a solar power system installed at his home in West Columbia, South Carolina. Jay enjoyed saving with solar so much that he had a second system installed on his vacation residence in Edisto Island. Find out how much money you could be saving on electricity costs by contacting Southern Current today!
West Columbia, South Carolina Solar Customer Review
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
We moved to South Carolina from the Midwest in 1973. My wife and I have spent long and productive careers in South Carolina.
Why did you decide to switch to solar energy?
Our concern for the environment and climate change precipitated our change to renewable energy forms. The long hot summers of SC seemed particularly conducive to solar energy.
We did extensive research into solar energy and other alternatives. When we finally decided to go with solar, we were reasonably knowledgeable about the technology, the current trends and the state of the art.
What kind of system did Southern Current install for your home?
We first installed 50 panels manufactured by LG on our primary home. We liked them so much we installed 15 more panels on our second home on Edisto Island, south of Charleston.
View of Edisto Island solar panel install by Southern Current.
What made you choose Southern Current for your solar installation?
“Southern Current (formerly Sustainable Energy Solutions, LLC) was the most prominent South Carolina based solar energy company that our research found. They appeared to have a good solid reputation and enough experience to give one confidence that they had dealt with most issues that might be encountered. Our initial discussions with their representatives were very professional and they appeared to know what they were doing.”
What was the most difficult part of the process for you?
Probably the most trying issue was whether to pay for the panels up front or use some type of financing or leasing mechanism. We worked several models and compared them with our electricity bills. Clearly, if we could afford it, outright purchase was the most economical way to go for us. Fortunately, we were in a position to do that. Another trying part of the process was deciding which company to go with. After extensive research, we decided Southern Current was the best option for us.
What benefits have you seen since the installation?
“We have been very pleased with our installation in West Columbia, SC. It was done in a professional manner in November of 2015 on our primary residence. Since then, we have not paid a utility bill and have actually built up around $500 in credit with SCE&G.”
The same is true of our second home unless we spend an inordinate amount of time there with guests which will generate (no pun intended) only a greatly reduced electrical bill. Otherwise, we are now generating enough electricity to meet our normal needs and build enough credit to cover our costs when the panels are not generating at night.
What would you say to someone who is interested in going solar?
Seriously consider going solar. If possible, pay up front for the best deal in the long run. We expect to get back the money we initially spent in something like 6 years in savings on electricity bills. After that, it’s all gravy! And, the environment will appreciate you.
https://southerncurrentllc.com/wp-content/uploads/West-Columbia-South-Carolina-Solar-Power-Interview-Homeowner-768x432.jpg432768Solar Staffhttps://southerncurrentllc.com/wp-content/uploads/SouthernCurrent-Logo-120x420_2-1.pngSolar Staff2018-04-09 11:48:402018-05-16 12:03:36Saving With Solar Power In West Columbia - Customer Interview