Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Energy of the Future Comes to My Rooftop Tomorrow

PANEL SOLAR / SOLAR PANELImage by lcrf via Flickr

Tomorrow we go solar and I'll tell you upfront it's not for the reasons you might be thinking. Sure I want to try and be a little bit green and I want to help fight global warming, though I don't consider myself a modern day hippie or environmentalist. Being environmentally friendly is what inspired a lot of our neighbors in Mar Vista to go solar and landscape with drought tolerant plants. It's a trend here in our community and we might just use this explanation when neighbors ask about our new solar panels. But the real reason we are going solar tomorrow has more to do with the present and our concerns for our future: the reality that for the foreseeable future I am disabled, my limited and fixed income is Social Security Disability, I stay home all day, nearly every day and the inevitable future rise in energy costs.

When you stay home all day, your utility bills go up. You don't get the benefit of staying cool or warm, among other things, at an employer's expense. The increase in our bills wasn't dramatic or monumental, but the decrease in our income was when I stopped bring home a paycheck. I won't lie: it's been a rough adjustment trying to make our budget work with less income. That's why I encourage my husband to consider out-of-the-box ideas to keep our expenses manageable. The reality is that
over time the cost of power, water and natural gas will increase in price. So our investment in solar is our attempt to take the sting out of future power price increases destined to occur over the next few decades.

We found a unique way to go solar with a company called SunRun. Instead of paying for the system up front, we are leasing a system with a guaranteed power output, included monitoring, maintenance
and repairs, plus an option to buy at the end of the 18 year lease, for a low down payment and affordable monthly payments. Our electric bill will be modestly decreased the first year, with the savings increasing year after year. So it really didn't cost much to go solar the SunRun way: the system payment plus our LADWP bill is projected to be less than our current LADWP.

So this is how my chronic illness influenced the leasing of renewable energy and how tomorrow solar panels get installed on the roof of my house. Hope they don't wake me up too early with a rukus on the rooftop!

P.S. Let me refer you to SunRun. If you live in Southern CA, send me an email with your contact information and I will connect you with our very knowledgeable and helpful solar rep Brian. Plus you'll be helping me out with a nice referral bonus. To contact me, just click my picture in the About Me section on the right sidebar. Thanks!

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