After researching local solar companies, Ken contacted a few companies including Standard Energy Solutions. It was their prompt, responsive and honest service that he said set them apart. Within a few days, Ken had a visit from a Standard Energy Solutions expert, who sat down with him to explain the costs and benefits of a solar system. “He didn’t pull any punches, “ said Ken. “The customer service has been great from day one.”

Ken was impressed with the ease of the installation. Despite a snowstorm that hit in the middle of the first day of installation, the team was able to finish the installation with minimal delay the next day. Ken said it was a relief to have an organized, responsible team for his project. The only things they left behind were his new solar panels.

The other thing that happened from day one was his meter running backward. In the beginning, Ken actually got to watch the needles on the dial turn backward during testing. When the utility company came and replaced the meter with a new digital one, the needles went away, but he can still see the power his solar system is producing. Ken can also monitor the system online, and in the first four months, his system has produced 1.35 megawatts of energy. And that is only during the shortened winter days.

Along with making the transition to solar power, Ken has also made smaller changes in his home to increase its efficiency. He has CFL bulbs, “in every socket,” and has installed a new hot water heater and furnace that save electricity. He keeps his thermostat higher in the summer and lower in the winter to save on heating and cooling costs, and will soon add more insulation in his attic to bring it up to R30.

Overall, Ken expects to get about half of his electricity from his solar system. With the grants and tax credits that his system is eligible for through the state of Maryland, Ken saw a major reduction in his initial cost, and the system will have paid for itself within five years. He also expects to be able to sell his solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) for the next five or ten years. Ken is very happy with his decision. In fact, his only regret is not having the space for more panels.

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