Testimonial from Chris Evens: homeowner from Olivella and Solarmente client ☀️
On this occasion, Chris Evens, a client of Solarmente, explains his experience with the change to solar energy. In the interview we will see:
·When and why he decide to go solar
·Why he chose Solarmente
·Did he install a battery?
·Impact on his electricity bill
When and why did you decide to install solar panels?
There are a couple of reasons for me. First, I wanted the panels because I was looking at my overall electricity bills and I thought there would be a much more economical way to do this in the longer term, which there is: having solar. Second, when I can I try to be as sustainable as possible. I am not perfect, but I really try. Solar works with my values. For example, if there was a way to have cheaper electricity but you are going to have a significantly worse output on the environment, I wouldn't choose that option.
I was already getting my electricity from a 100% renewable source with a certain company, so I was already paying slightly more for green-only energy for my house because it was sustainable. But, to be able to bring that in house, literally, is great. The two things are aligned; it is good from the economic perspective and it is doing the best I can for the planet.
Makes a lot of sense to me and the numbers work. The return on investment that we worked out is indicative of around 4 to 5 years if prices stay around where they are today. On top of that, if I get the grants back from the Spanish government then that return on investment starts looking even shorter, but that depends on a variety of factors.
Additionally, the nice thing for me is that I live in a place on top of a hill where I see the sun from pretty much immediately after sunrise to nearly sundown, so I get a full spectrum of the day across my house, on a flat roof and no shadow overcasting. I am in a very good position to capture the energy from the sun.
Why did you choose Solarmente?
For three reasons. One, I was actually about to go with another company but the issue is that I also wanted to change my heating system and my water system from gas to electric. The other company could do the solar side but they couldn't do the boiler change, which meant I would need to source my own third party plumber. In my case, not speaking the local language, being new to the area, I wanted a turnkey solution. I wanted someone who could do everything for me at once and I didn't want to have to source my own plumber and do it as a separate project.
Two, when Sebastian contacted me he highlighted that Solarmente could do everything and he spoke English fluently, which for me made it worthwhile. Also, he was very knowledgeable on the topic, which made Solarmente a credible company. It made me feel comfortable to work with them. There are a lot of companies out there that offer solar. You have to be a little bit cautious because some are really new and there are skill gaps, and people's ability to be able to actually deliver a solar system in the right way is questionable. I felt confident with Sebastian based on his technical knowledge, on his engagement and on the turnkey solution they could offer me. And the price was comparable to the other provider, which for me meant it was a no-brainer to go with Solarmente.
Also, Solarmente was one of the few companies that answered reasonably fast when I was reaching out to solar companies back in August.
Did you install a battery?
Yes, I installed the full system. I haven't seen the full benefits yet because of the time of the year. I had my system put in at the end of November, it has been three months of the shortest possible days, so we don't have much sun. So far I am not seeing the full rewards of the battery, unlike the panels, because there is not enough sunlight to fill the battery. For this reason, my power runs out at seven o'clock and I have to rely on the grid. We knew this was going to happen. Now, through the end of March and then through to the end of October I am going to be relying almost fully (90-100%) on my own self-sourced energy.
Regarding the benefits of having a battery, there are a couple of things. We get power cuts around here and as long as I've got my batteries they dont impact and affect me. I don't even notice the power outage because during the day the house is running on the solar panels. If you work it properly, you are able to extend your own self-sourced energy through the night when you don't have sun, because you are able to actually store energy. For me it is a no-brainer to have the battery, to be able to store any excess energy and to be able to cover yourself when you don't have the sunlight.
As I said, I am not seeing the full benefits right now but you can easily see what the benefit will be. For example, today, it’s 12 o'clock, it is super sunny, there's not a cloud in the sky above me, and when I look at my app I can see that my entire house right now, everything in it, is running directly from my solar panels and I am charging my batteries at the same time.
Have you noticed the impact of the solar installation on your electricity bills?
Yes,I've already got at least 50% saving so far in "the worst case situation", which is three months of winter. I expect more savings. I would be very surprised if it's not pretty much free energy for six months of the year, because the sun comes up at 5 am and goes down at 10 pm and your batteries are going to cover me through the night because I've got so much more sunlight.
How was the experience with Solarmente, from the first contact all the way through the after sale experience?
When Sebastian called be, it was clear that he wasn't just a sales guy that had been given a pitch. He actually had solar experience, he actually knew a lot about residential solar installations, he knew about the systems and the products out there in the industry, which meant he wasn't just a sales guy trying to push the idea, he could actually back it up with the credibility of the technical understanding. That gave me confidence.
The project managers were very good, they came around, they did a site review, they checked everything out, they made sure that everything could be done. When we were doing the contract they were very clear on the payment schedule, what happened if we couldn't actually deliver, what happens in a variety of circumstances. It was all very clear from day one.
The installation went smoothly. The guys were courteous, polite and respectful. Everything was done in a very clean way and they kept me on the loop, updating me with everything they were doing. They went out of their way to minimize the impact of the installation.
Usually you would expect a little damage, or dust due to the installation process, but the men were very cautious and went around repairing everything and repainting any scratches. Things look straight and clean and well done. Everything was done to a very good standard.
I've not really had any technical problems or issues, but there were a couple of things I had questions on and they provided me the answers in a timely manner. I've always had a quick response.
Have you become more conscious since you got the solar installation?
A hundred percent. First, because I can see what my house is demanding at any point at any time. I do this because I want to use my appliances and electricity at the appropriate time, when I am not paying for it, when it's running on my system. I'll put the washing machine on, the dishwasher machine, different thing on that might take a bigger load during the day because I've got the sun up and therefore I am essentially optimizing the use of my energy, which if I didn't have solar panels I would have no conscious thought and would do it at any time.
It makes me much more conscious of when I use things and it has actually made me more conscious of my energy. I was before, but this has made me more thoughtful about things like not leaving the lights on. I don't want to pay for my electricity outside of the payment of this installation, I want the payback to be as quickly as possible and then I want to live the best that I can without having any bills. The app helps me optimize my time, but also be conscious of how much energy I'm using anyway at any point and then try to reduce that consumption anyway. I probably use less power and the energy I use I’m doing so in an optimal time to take advantage of my solar setup.
How would you rate Solarmente out of 10?
I can't really fault them, so I should give them 10. Things can never be perfect, but so far I can't really find a reason to fault them, everything has been better than I expected so it would be unfair to give less than 10.
Would you recommend Solarmente?
Absolutely. I am recommending it to people when they ask. I had some people visit the other day and I recommended they should contact Solarmente.
Would you like to lower your electricity bill by using solar energy?
By installing solar panels, you can save a significant amount of money each month. Look at the example of Amber, who managed to reduce her electricity bill by at least 100 euros during the coldest seasons.
We are talking about an investment that will accompany you for at least 25 years and that will not only bring you economic benefits, but will also contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases, thus helping to care for the environment.
At SolarMente, we will provide you with the necessary guidance from the beginning. We will determine the exact amount of solar panels required to cover your energy consumption.
To get started, simply click on this link, enter your address and your monthly energy consumption, and our team will contact you.
Are you ready?