“When we take into account the Federal tax credit, SunPower's rebate for the employee solar program at Johnson & Johnson, and the solar credits, the system will be paid off in 3 years. We'll actually make money for the next 12 years. You'd be crazy not to install solar, especially if you live in New Jersey.”
– Greg Kolenda, Homeowner, Asbury, NJ
Greg Kolenda used to take a deep breath before opening his utility bill each month. The cost of heating and cooling his two-story New Jersey home typically ran $300 or more. But in April of 2010, the Kolenda family added a SunPower solar array to their rooftop – and their electrical bills have plummeted ever since. Thanks to a variety of available credits and incentives, Kolenda expects his solar investment will be paid off in just 36 months. Also, the SunPower solar panels will make money for his family over the next 12 years.
SunPower Alliance Program Introduces Solar
As a technical manager at Johnson & Johnson (J&J), Greg Kolenda enjoys many employee benefits. He believes one of the biggest is that J&J participates in SunPower’s Alliance Program, which offers discounts to employees interested in installing solar systems. Kolenda had considered going solar as a way to combat skyrocketing energy rates, but thought the technology was beyond his budget. Then he attended an educational workshop entitled "Saving Money with Solar Through the Employee Solar Program." Said Kolenda, "I didn't know anything about the federal and state incentives that were available. But when the people from SunPower told us about them,as well as the employee discount, buying solar panels seemed like a good decision."
An Easy, Sound Investment
Through SunPower Kolenda connected with a local solar dealer who came out and did a survey of his home, and gave the Kolendas a thorough education in the benefits of a solar installation. "When my wife realized that the system would actually make money for us – by the credits we'd receive on any excess power we generate – she felt good about the purchase," Kolenda said. Once the couple agreed to buy the rooftop system, the financing came together painlessly, he added. "We have good credit, so with a loan we were able to get from the bank, we didn’t have to put any money down."
Quick Pay-Off Anticipated
Since the Kolendas' solar system has been in use, their monthly electrical bill has shrunk from several hundred dollars to just $18 (reflecting the rental of the local utility company’s meter), and sometimes – when the system produces excess energy – lists a figure in the minus column. And, the Kolendas earn one Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) for every 1,000 kWhs of electricity their system generates. The credits can then be sold on the SREC tracking system, providing revenue for the first 15 years of the system’s life. "Not only are we not paying for electricity anymore, we’re getting the credits," Kolenda noted. "That’s why we’ll be seeing a very quick pay-off on our system."
Location: Asbury, New Jersey
System size: 10.08 kW
Number of Panels: 48
Products: SunPower® 210 Solar Panels (BLK)
- Family is saving 95% on monthly electricity bills
- Property value has increased by $70,000 (property-tax free)
- Solar array is generating approximately 12,587 kWh of power per year
- Panels will reduce CO2 emissions by 118,229 pounds; equivalent to planting 30 acres of trees or removing 12 cars from the road
- Array integrates seamlessly into existing rooftop, and is aesthetically pleasing