Thursday, January 17, 2013

Solterra Systems of Seattle did a great job for us!

See  our terracotta roof in the middle
with a 2x5 array of solar panels?
SHORT VERSION: we are completely pleased with the results we got from Solterra Systems of Seattle; they were on-time and under budget.

In the spring of 2012, we were ready to address some long-term issues with our house.
 1. We anticipate energy costs will continue to rise and needed to address this long-term;
2. Our roof needed reshingling;
3. We were concerned about financing any project; we have some savings but prefer to retain them for emergencies.

I put in some time researching roofs and solar contracters; a couple of roofers gave bids that were pretty similar and would take a big chunk out of our savings: necessary but unpleasant.
At some point, I heard "Solar World" solar cells advertised on the Thom Hartmann show and, in checking them out, discovered they had a distributor in Seattle that also did roofs. This seemed like a logical combination.
1. Solterra did an analysis based on actually climbing around our roof, photographing the sky from several points, and generating an analysis based on actual shade from on-site trees. It costed out to payback in about 14 years and would be pure profit to us from then on, which is a very nice way to address rising energy costs.
2. Solterra's staff has a strong background in roofing; we made the entire project a roof-and-solar job, which cut overall costs and hassle. It also gave us confidence that the two systems (roof and solar) would not conflict (e.g. holes in roof).
3. Solterra helped us find a credit union willing to finance the whole project, at a better rate than our mortgage. This additional step made it a financial no-brainer.
 The entire project was done on-time and for a little bit less than projected. We could not be more pleased, and recommend that any homeowner check them out at

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