SunPower Reduces the Cho’s Monthly Electric Bill by 83%

“I love having a $5.80 electrical bill every month!”

– Sueling Cho, Homeowner, Los Gatos, CA

Solar became the paramount solution for Sueling Cho and Tom Hammer when their monthly utility bill reached $400 a month in 2005. Located in Los Gatos, California, the pair had been considering a solar-powered electrical solution for years. The arrival of that bill proved to be the tipping point.

“Our utility bill in the winter-time was usually in the $200 to $300 range,” recalls Cho. “But as energy prices continued to go up and our bill topped $400, I knew it was time to make a change—I was really worried about what we’d be paying when summer came, and it was time to run the air conditioning. I’d been researching solar companies for quite some time, and decided to go with SunPower panels.”

The Most Efficient Technology Requires Less Roof Space

According to Cho, the evidence made her choice an easy one. “Through my Internet research, I found an informational chart on the California Energy Commission’s website that compared all of the most popular solar power vendors and their products. Quite clearly, SunPower was rated the most efficient. That really impressed me, because it meant that their panels wouldn’t take up as much of my roof space. This concept was very attractive to my husband and me.”

Creative and Unobtrusive Solar Design Customized For Your Home

Real Goods, a premier SunPower installer, faced a significant installation challenge due to shading from their neighbor’s redwood trees. Due to city guidelines and restrictions, the removal of the tree or tree limbs was not an option. Real Goods' local knowledge and recommended solution required installation of panels on both the first- and second-floor roofs. They were able to increase the available sun-exposure while maintaining high levels of aesthetic value. “When my next-door neighbor happened to be working on his roof one day, he actually said ‘Oh, did you get solar?’ We’d already had the panels for a few weeks, and no one even noticed. SunPower’s panels have a very slim, innovative design, so you almost can’t see them.”

Project Overview

Location:    Los Gatos, California
House details:    2,900 SF, two-story home
System size:    5 kW array
Number of Panels:    24
Products:    SunPower® 210 Solar Panels

  • Reduced annual electrical bill from $2,350 to $410
  • Generate approximately 6,229 kWh of electricity per year
  • Panels are virtually invisible from street
  • Reduce CO2 emissions by 118,299 pounds which is equivalent to planting 30 acres of trees or removing 12 cars from the road.