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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.”

Talking Solar With Charleston Home + Design

Southern Current recently had the pleasure of talking solar with the folks behind Charleston Home + Design Magazine and Radio. Click play on the audio clip below and listen to Southern Current’s Sheri Porter give some tips and suggestions about going solar on your home.

A Few Takeaways From The Radio Segment

How to get started with solar

The easiest way to get started learning about solar is to Contact Us to schedule a FREE solar evaluation. By using your home’s address, satellite mapping, and recent power bill data, we can easily help you understand the best solar options for your property.

Things to consider

55% of total costs are paid by available solar tax credits & rebates.

A 25 year warranty is offered on the solar panels, and with no moving parts there’s very little maintenance (maybe some rinsing with a water hose if they get covered by pollen).

An installation for the average home typically takes about 2 days from start to finish. Click to view our Solar Portfolio.

As much as 100% electricity offset is achievable with solar, it all depends on the amount of energy used at your home and the number of panels that can be installed on your property.

Save Money with Solar Power

Southern Current offers quality & value with solar solutions across the Southeast. Whether you’re interested in solar for your home, business, or property, we’ve here to help you save money and transition to an energy future where local power needs are served by power stations that produce clean, renewable solar energy. Contact Us to request more information TODAY!

Solar For The Home – How Many Panels Do I Need?

How big of a solar system you need to power your home is a very common and important question. Because every home is unique, the short answer is that it depends, and this is why we encourage people interested in solar to schedule a free consultation to receive a custom solar analysis and quote.

However, we can offer the following points to help you get a better understanding about how solar works and how many panels you might need to offset your electricity costs.

Tips For Sizing A Solar Power System For The Home

The first thing you can do is familiarize yourself with your annual power costs. You’re charged for power based on the number of kilowatt-hours (kWh) that are burned in your home each month. Everything that uses electricity costs you money to operate. Larger items like your air conditioner, heater, freezer, and microwave use more power and cost more money than do light bulbs and small appliances.

Tip: Start tracking how many kWh you use each month, and try to reduce this number by turning off lights, buying energy efficient appliances, and making other energy conscious decisions.

Once you have an understanding of how many kWh you burn each day, month, and year, figuring out how many solar panels you need to offset that number (by 25%, in half, or in total) is much easier to calculate, and will also help you better understand the cost savings and payback of going solar.

Tip: For every 4 solar panels installed, expect 100-150 kWh/month solar energy production when installed in a location with full sun.

Solar panels absorb sunlight and convert it to energy that can be used within the home. This is one of the most important points to remember, as a roof that is shaded by tree limbs and heavy foliage will provide little to no benefit for solar panels.

Tip: Install solar on the sunniest location on your property for maximum energy production and savings.

In the Southeastern United States the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. The angle of the sun changes with seasons, rising higher in the summer and falling lower in cooler months. Solar panels should be oriented to face the south for maximum sunlight absorption throughout the day and year.

However, you can’t change the direction your roof faces, so for someone without a south-facing roof it’s better to install on east and west-facing roofs than not installing anywhere.

Tip: Don’t install solar panels on the north side of your house. Instead, stick to the south side and use east or west facing roofs if you require additional space.

Modern solar panels that are rated from 250 watts to 330 watts each take up about 3 feet by 5 feet of space, or 15 square feet per panel. They’re installed a few inches above the roof line which allows air to flow between the roof and solar panel to keep things operating cool and efficient.

Tip: If building a new home, place all of your vents, ducts, and pipes on the north-facing side so that you have lots of open space to install solar. 

The bottom line is that even without the ideal or perfect conditions, solar is going to save you a substantial amount of money if you can stick to the above guidelines. Every kWh that is produced by a solar panel is money back in your pocket because its electricity you don’t have to buy from the local power utility.

About Southern Current

Southern Current is proud to be one of the top solar installers in the Southeast, with hundreds of installations across South Carolina. There’s never been a more affordable time to create your own energy! Contact us to request information about a solar panel installation for your home or business and see how much you can save with solar.