News and Announcements

Empowering you through education. Solar industry news from your local South Carolina solar provider and beyond.

Residential Solar Customer Testimonial: Matt Freed

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.”

Southern Current donates solar to Sapelo Island Library

The Gullah-Geechee community of Sapelo Island celebrated a new solar installation on their local library this Saturday. Over a year in the making, the project began when PSC Commissioner Vice Chairman Tim Echols challenged the Georgia Large Scale Solar Association to lead a plan that would add solar power to the library. Association Chairman Ryan Sanders and other officials jumped to work to make this solar pavilion a reality and partnered with our team at Southern Current DG. 

Southern Current donated the solar modules, electrical equipment, and labor of three installers who hand dug a trench and installed the system. To complete the project, our team worked alongside Yellawood, who donated the material for the pavilion, and EDF Renewables, who donated the construction costs. The solar system is 4.8 kW and will be used to offset the energy usage of the library for the next 30 years. 

This project is evidence of the area’s dedication to renewable energy and the island’s sustainability. 

“We are excited for what this project means for the local community,” says Jason Epstein, CEO of Southern Current, “It’s truly impressive to see the forethought that was put into the commitment to solar as a viable option for the future.” 

The Hog Hammock Public Library is considered the heart of Sapelo Island and serves its residents of around 40 residents and visitors. Hog Hammock is one of the last remaining Gullah-Geechee communities whose residents trace their island ancestry back to the plantation of the late 1700’s. Sapelo Island can only be accessed via ferry. The Southern Current installers got their Georgia fishing licenses before going out for the weekend to complete the work so they could get the true island experience. 

This Saturday, August 24, the project was unveiled with a ribbon cutting. State legislators, Rep. Al Williams, Rep. Jeff Jones and Rep. Carl Wayne Gilliard were scheduled to be present at the unveiling. 

Press Release: Congressman Joe Wilson to visit local solar farm

Steffanie Dohn, Director of Government Relations for Southern Current LLC with Congressman J. Wilson

By Clean Energy Conservatives  South Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Giff Carpenter

giff@cce-sc.org
(843) 861-9813

Congressman Joe Wilson to visit local solar farm

(Swansea, S.C.) – On Friday, August 23rd, Conservatives for Clean Energy South Carolina (CCE SC) and the Palmetto Conservative Solar Coalition (PCSC) will host Congressman Joe Wilson at a solar farm developed by Cypress Creek Renewables in partnership with land owner Wannelle Witt Lefkowitz. This cutting-edge facility is just outside of the town of Swansea and within 20 miles of Columbia.

Solar energy leaders and environmental policy experts will join Congressman Wilson to discuss issues surrounding clean energy and the economic impact of the recently passed South Carolina Energy Freedom Act. As background, recent polling shows that most South Carolinians favor having more renewable energy choices and free market competition to reduce electricity costs.

When:
9:00 AM
Friday, August 23rd, 2019

Where:
Gaston Solar Farm
George Derrick Road off of Hwy 321
Swansea, SC 29160

Due to safety requirements, an RSVP is required for any person attending this event. Please RSVP or send questions to Giff Carpenter at giff@cce-sc.org or (843) 861-9813.

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Bret Sowers, VP of Development Strategy with Southern Current LLC with Congressman J. Wilson

NOTE: The Gaston Solar Farm was developed by Southern Current LLC