Home Solar Project Generates a Buzz
Eric Deyerl describes himself as "an environmental guy," so he was predisposed to like the idea of generating his own electricity. What held him back was the price tag of installing a home solar system. But thanks to generous local rebates and federal tax credits, he was able to make the leap and install solar panels on his roof in Los Angeles.
The family's monthly energy bill has dropped by about 65 percent, often to less than $25, and last September and November, they "used" no net electricity at all.
"The system is big enough to meet our energy needs all year long and we send a credit back into the grid—meaning we produce more energy than we use," Deyerl says. "My 8-year-old daughter says it makes her feel good to be putting power back into the system, and my 4-year-old son loves the mechanical aspect of the panels—he's really interested in electricity and the solar project totally piqued his interest."
The solar array, which went up in the summer of 2011, was quick and easy to install—"three days, start to finish, including pouring the concrete," Deyerl says. A neighbor across the street saw the panels going up, and has since installed her own.
Another neighbor's son, a young man in his late 20s, saw the workers installing the panels and mentioned to Deyerl that it could be an up-and-coming avenue of employment for him. He has since gotten trained at a local trade tech college and is now starting out as a green collar worker.