Thanks to everyone that enquired about our solar system sponsorship! We received a number of applications, and while most of you didn’t win, hopefully, you will pull the trigger on that solar system you were quoted considering that solar is a decent financial investment and a needed investment for the planet!
The top five candidates were all fairly close in terms of CO2 reduction per $ spent. Now of course this metric is not perfect – there’s no way to know how much the grid in the area will change over the coming years, nor is there no way to know with total certainty how much power the system will produce. This metric was used simply to identify the candidates that would have an impact.
The top five candidates were all very interesting, with Chris and Caitlin’s metrics standing out as the most economical option at 30.68 lbs of CO2 reduction per dollar invested (assuming a 30yr system lifetime). One thing that was really interesting was the massive difference in cost from different quotes and suppliers – often for the same property. So if you’re shopping for solar, make sure you shop around. It should not cost more than $30,000 for 10kW of rooftop solar pre-rebate!
In addition to having the best economics, Chris is a huge advocate for EVs, as is his wife Caitlin. Between the two of them, they have switched over 100 people to EVs! They are currently in the process of converting their home to use heat pumps rather than oil heating and installing an electric water heater. They no doubt deserve to win our sponsorship on merit.
That being said – we had some concerns sponsoring Chris and Caitlin with the system. In full disclosure – Chris is someone that runs full-sized MPP stickers on his car and has become a friend of ours (like many of our customers!). So allowing Chris & Caitlin to win was an optical nightmare for us, since we figured it would be perceived as a “rigged” sponsorship. Our other concern was – since they are in a fairly clean state (MA), if that gas plant powering their home gets shut down in the near future it will suddenly mean the CO2 reduction per dollar would drop significantly!
We enquired, and the gas plant has been around since the 1800s and after calling them there are absolutely no plans for decommissioning. It seems to have some historical significance. So, we asked ourselves if Chris would win even if we didn’t know him despite this, and the answer was an obvious yes.
But Wait, There’s More. Two Winners!?
As Chris’ solar system was below our total budget for this sponsorship, we’ve decided to sponsor two candidates rather than just one! So the next step was to decide who would be next in line.
Levi and Jessica were the clear runner-up candidate – they are already entirely off-grid (other than electricity), they grow their own fruits and vegetables in their home garden and produce over 15 yards of quality compost each year due to their sustainable living habits. Carpooling also helps reduce the amount of energy use (despite the vehicles being electric, they are still using energy!).
Levi and Jessica have led others to purchase EVs, take up sustainable habits, and are a general inspiration for those around them. We’re proud to sponsor them with a solar roof, and we look forward to learning more about what Levi and Jessica do on their farm over the coming years!
Thanks again to everyone who applied. Hopefully, we see some larger corporate companies sponsoring their employees or customers with clean energy retrofits, as we know it is a large investment but feel it is a great way to get people thinking about clean energy options when they otherwise might not have – day to day life is extremely busy and it’s hard to get these kinds of big projects done with how busy we all are.
Will we do this again? Yes absolutely. One of the lessons learned in this sponsorship was that a number of applicants were already considering installing solar anyways. For the next round, what we want to do is give away enough to push those people over the edge, which will allow us to get as many systems installed as possible. So our next round will likely be a partial sponsorship, and we’ll aim to sponsor 5 or more people in one shot. Hopefully, that helps us get more solar on roofs, faster!
Thanks for reading everyone, have a great week! And congrats to our winners!