Dawes Family Goes Solar, Sending Energy Back to the Grid with SunPower® Solar

“I'd recommend solar power to any homeowner. Why move in somewhere where your electric bills will be $300 a month when you can keep them at $30 or $40? It's a few thousand more to start with, but the payback will not take long at all. You get your tax credit the first year, and you could save a couple thousand a year on your electric bill.”

– Jim Dawes, Homeowner, Ironcrest at Fiddyment Farm, Roseville, CA

Jim and Janice Dawes never gave much thought to solar power. But they thought a great deal about their sons and grand-kids. After both sons moved to Roseville, Jim and Janice faced a choice: commute 300 miles each week round-trip from Cupertino, or sell their house and move. They chose a two-minute commute—a new home in a Lennar community that, unlike others, came with a SunPower® SunTile® 2.3 kW solar power system. Today, the Dawes family estimates that the system saves them $2,000 per year in electricity charges compared to their previous home.

Family Brings Jim and Janice Dawes to Roseville — Solar Brings Them to Ironcrest

What started with the simple desire to stay close to their family ended with a decision to buy a new home. "We thought, 'No sense in staying retired in San Jose and driving to Roseville,'" Jim said. Their ideal home had to fit certain criteria: proximity to grand-kids; one-story; three-car-garage. From the homes that matched these criteria, Jim and Janice decided on a Lennar home because it was the only one equipped with a solar power system. "We said, 'Let's give it a try,'" Jim said. "While we hadn't thought much about solar, we started getting excited when we learned it came standard with the home's features."

SunPower Blends Seamlessly Into Roof

The Lennar home with SOLARplus at Fiddyment Farm is equipped with a SunPower SunTile 2.3 kW solar system that requires no maintenance and turns on automatically each day. Sleek, black solar tiles blend seamlessly with the roof. “You can’t even tell they’re there because they’re built right into the roof tile,” Jim said. “It’s not intrusive at all.” Jim and Janice monitor real-time system performance online. The home's other energy efficient features include thermal-paned windows and well-insulated ceilings and walls.

Dawes Family Gets the Best of Both Worlds—Comfort and Savings

In an area where many residents spend hundreds of dollars a month on electricity during the summer, Jim and Janice Dawes spend an average of $26, thanks to their SunPower solar system. "Sometimes the meter goes backwards," Jim said. "We're generating more electricity during the daytime than we use. It surprised me. I didn't think it would do as well as it obviously has." Now, they don't have to choose between comfort and low electricity bills. "We just use what makes us comfortable," Jim said."I would never move into a new place that didn’t have solar power."

Project Overview

Location:    Ironcrest at Fiddyment Farm, Roseville, CA
System Size:    2.3 kWp