Case Study: Haygood Family Residence
Article, Interview and Photos by Drew Lowell-Britt
Living in Santa Monica has allowed the Haygoods to commute by bicycle to work and school, drive the Prius when necessary, and use the abundant sunshine to produce solar electricity for their home. The Haygood family has been enjoying the benefits of solar on their home for 3 years now.
20 panels make up this 2.6 kW system
SSM: Why did you decide to go solar?
Given the economies of scale with solar, we wanted to do our part to get the industry going. We are really excited about all of the green technologies available nowadays. I wish there was more emphasis on local, distributed power instead of large systems in the desert which have to transmit power through pristine desert land. Look at all of the sun we get right here in Santa Monica!
SSM: Who installed your system and how much did you pay at the time?
We paid about $18,000 net for our system. We had the money and decided it was the right thing to do. A company based in Northern California called “Real Goods” installed our system. They had a local salesperson in Santa Monica who came to the house, inspected the roof and gave us a thorough bid. We were really pleased with the service and their expertise in renewable technologies. They also took care of all of the necessary paperwork associated with permitting and the state rebates.
SSM: That is great…we expect all of the Preferred Solar Contractors on the Solar Santa Monica website to do the same. Today’s prices are much lower thanks to cheaper panel prices and increased tax incentives.
That’s great! We would love to install more panels on our home, so I am glad prices have dropped.
SSM: So how has owning a solar system affected your life?
Well, I know my family is enjoying the benefits of having the panels shade the sunny side of our house. You can tell the difference in temperature in areas of the living room where the panels shade the roof.
Saving over $100 a month on the electricity bill is good for our finances. It allows us to enjoy the air conditioner in the summer with less of an impact on our bill. In fact, previous to the solar we would be in Edison’s Tier 3, but now we are consistently in the bottom two Tiers, so the electricity we do have to buy from the grid is about $0.14/kWh.
I usually keep track of the production to ensure it is producing a consistent amount of power. I also clean the panels about once a month, but with the recent rains, I haven’t had to in a while.
SSM: Thank you for giving us a glimpse of your “life with solar.” We’re proud to have you as one of our Solar Champions!