Cape Fear Solar Systems (No. 365 on the 2018 Top Solar Contractors list) has been designing and installing solar systems in North Carolina since 2007. Last year, the company decided to celebrate 10 years in business by holding a summer contest asking customers to share photos, videos and stories on their Facebook page of why they decided to go solar for a chance to win a trip to Prague, Czech Republic.
“The goal was for customers to show the rest of the world how solar technology affected their lives,” said Cape Fear Solar Systems sales and marketing manager Cassandra Barba.
Barba said Cape Fear Solar received many creative and compelling submissions, but none stood out as much as one from Dr. Richard and Lynne Adams, an 82-year-old couple who added solar to their home in 2015.
Leasing is not currently available in North Carolina, so homeowners have to purchase their systems. Barba said most of Cape Fear Solar’s customers see a payback period of seven to 12 years. This makes sense for those who plan to own their homes for the life of the solar project 20 to 30 years or more. But does going solar make sense for someone later in life? The Adamses think so.
“It seemed somewhat logical given that we are in great health and the resale potential loomed large,” Lynne Adams said in her submission.
“It took about one day to decide to go ahead and sign up, and a short seven days later it was installed!” she said.
Almost four years later, the couple is still enjoying getting near-zero electric bills in the mail. Like many retirees, the Adamses live elsewhere for part of the year. They spend summers in New Hampshire, and find that they bank power through net-metering credits at home while they’re away, even with an air conditioner running.
“Since we were not going in and out, and most appliances were turned off, the house remained cool at 76°,” Adams said. “Upon returning in early October we found that we had banked enough power to take us through mid-January! Those near-zero bills looked fantastic to us and still do.”
“We firmly believe when it comes time to sell that it will help make for a quick sale for us or our children,” Adams said.
The Adamses hope to inspire other retired individuals to go solar.
Barba said many of Cape Fear Solar’s customers are retirees. “They see solar as a smart investment and a way to help the environment,” she said. “In our area, solar homes sell quicker and appraise higher. Our customers want energy independence and solar gives them just that.”
The Adamses are on their way to celebrating their win, as well as their energy savings, with their trip to Prague this summer.
This story was featured exclusively in our 2018 Top Solar Contractors issue. See the issue and full list of top U.S. solar installers here.