Solar Goes Mainstream

Bob Selvaggio has owned a cozy home on Long Island for many years with his wife. His son, Joe, brought them a bold idea three years ago, which has altered their energy perspective forever.

Let’s Get Solar On Your Roof, Mom and Dad

That’s how it started. The Selvaggios hadn’t thought of themselves as early adopters of clean technologies, but their son, Joe, convinced them to install a rooftop solar array several years ago when he was a solar engineer. Bob’s wife was initially “very concerned” about what the roof was going to look like, but “her little boy wanted to put them up,” Bob said. The rest is history.

Joe made sure to get the best technology and structure the lease payments in a way that made the most sense for his parents.

Bob found the economics of solar to be a no brainer. “The most attractive thing was the fact that we were going to break even in less than five years,” Bob said. “Fifteen years, we’re just going to be getting free energy. So that’s huge.”

The Selvaggios saw their energy savings right away. “In July… our bill was $60 or $70… and in the past summers we’re talking hundreds – three to four hundred dollars, five hundred dollars.”

The Selvaggios Make Their Son Proud

Taking a step back and reflecting on the family’s experiences, Joe is proud of his parents for installing solar. He believes that they set a precedent that proves how accessible solar has become. “It’s interesting to see people in general think that solar is great, but kind of inaccessible,” Joe explained.

Furthermore, the Selvaggios are serving as a success story in their community. Glancing at his father, Joe remarks with a smile, “People are always very interested to hear that he got solar panels on his house… because he’s not exactly like your typical tree-hugging solar-energy-touting guy.”

Bob retorts, “I like trees.”

The Bigger Picture

Just as the Selvaggios experienced, solar is becoming increasingly affordable, and its ROI more compelling. Since 2010, solar photovoltaic panel prices have decreased by over 60 percent and solar system costs are down by 50 percent, according to the Department of Energy. In addition, it is now economically competitive with fossil fuels in many states.

More than a million U.S. households have now gone solar. The Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, which is focused on increasing the affordability of solar energy so that all American households can take advantage of its benefits, has already exceeded one of its 2020 goals.

In addition to more people like the Selvaggios taking advantage of solar, the cost competitiveness of storage will be the next exciting milestone to look out for. The rapid pace of technological innovation and customer solutions is making this an exciting decade for the energy industry.

Hear more perspectives and emerging trends in energy at Advanced Energy Conference 2018. Registration is open now at http://bit.ly/AEC2018 for individuals and organizations to get up-to-date on the industry and network with its leaders. #AEC2018

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