Tag Archives: solar

Brookland’s Right Proper Brewing Company Goes Solar

We already love Right Proper’s delicious beer, but now there is even more reason to raise a glass. We recently found out that the Brookland based brewery is now run completely on solar power. Way to go guys! Check out this tweet below:

Right proper is located at 920 Girard Street NE.

Go Solar And Support The BNCA With This Promotion

Solar Panels in Brookland

If you have ever thought about going solar, now is a great time.  We recently heard about a great deal from the Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association (BNCA). From an email:

If you contact Solar Solutions for a consult between now and May 22 and list BNCA as your referral, Solar Solutions will contribute $200 to BNCA, if you ultimately decide to buy any Solar Solution product or package. AND, they will give you $200 off your purchase too!

Solar Solutions will be tabling with us at Atlantic Electric Supply for our Great Brookland Yard Sale  on Saturday, May 6. You can talk with them there, or you can email:

Ben Breiterman – bbenjamin@solarsolutionllc.com

The BNCA does a lot for the community from neighborhood safety training, to neighborhood clean ups and providing a forum for community discussion on important topics like the comprehensive plan and proposed homeless shelter.

Also, check out the guest blog post we had a number of years ago about a neighbor who went solar.

Guest Blogger Elizabeth Shares Her Experience Going Solar!

We are very happy to have this guest blog post by Brookland neighbor Elizabeth Killingsworth, who recently installed solar panels on her garage. Enjoy the story and thanks a bunch Elizabeth!

Solar Panels 1Last September, the Brookland Bridge Blog featured an article about the DC renewable energy grant program, explaining how that can take the edge off of the cost of going solar. It sounded great, but unfortunately still required a significant upfront cash investment, to be recouped from taxes the following year, and not everyone is comfortable with that. So, I started looking around for other options.

I have recently completed a solar installation on my garage that produces enough power to run my entire house and sell some back to the grid. My setup is a bit different from Mary & Greg’s, in that the array itself is still owned by the installing company (SolarCity), and I have agreed to buy the power it produces. You can customize how you want the payments to be set up (fixed rate for the term of the agreement, upfront payment or not, escalating rate for the term of the agreement, etc), but it does work out to less per kilowatt hour than Pepco (how much less will vary). It’s a little complicated, so I thought I would put together a few quick lists to explain the process and help you evaluate whether it makes any sense for you.

Process itself: For me, this took almost 4 months to the day from first meeting with the company to turning on the solar units, but it can be as long as 8 months.

                (1) Meet with SolarCity rep, go through the proposal and make modifications until it suits you. We went through a few drafts before settling on the final plan.

                (2) The company does an audit of your house to ensure that your electrical system and roof, for example, are up to the task. About a week.

                (3) Plans are officially designed and sent to you for approval.  About 1 month.

                (4) Plans are submitted to the city for approval. This is the longest part of the process, and can take anywhere from 1 month to 5, depending on their backlog.

                (5) Installation! Scheduled 3 weeks after approval was received, and only took a half day.

                (6) Inspections by the power company and the city. Installation of net meter by Pepco so that you can sell power back to the grid when you produce more than you’re using. About a month.

                (7) Turn it on and watch the power production on their handy tracking tool.

Reasons to do it:

                (1) You will save money on power and help the environment.

                (2) You can have it installed with $0 upfront (We opted to put some money down upfront for pricing reasons.  You will have to consider what works best for you).

                (3) They handle all of the city/utility approvals, etc.

                (4) If you produce more than you use, Pepco gives you credits towards future use and cuts you a check once a year. Given how fast rates are going up, this is a nice perk.

Things to consider:

                (1) The way the agreement is set up, I would recommend this only to people intending to own their homes for atSolar Panels 2 least 5 years from the date the system is turned on. 

                (2) Yes, you will save money, but how much really varies, so double check the math.

                (3) Because you don’t own the system, you do not get the tax credits. So, in the long run, it is more expensive than paying for a system outright and taking the tax rebates. This is the price you pay for not having to put forth the funds upfront.

                (4) Brookland has a lot of sunny roof space.

I’ll end by saying this: I had a really good experience with these guys. They were very professional and efficient and able to work around my schedule when necessary.

There is a lot more information where this came from and, if there’s any interest in the neighborhood, I would be happy to host an information session at some point. Also, if you have any questions, post them in the comments and I will be happy to respond!

Thinking About Going Solar? One Brookland Couple’s Experience

Solar Energy Brookland NE Washington DC
Solar Panels – Eco Friendly and Cost Effective!
Remember Mary and Greg, the super-smart couple who saved a bunch of money with the Riversmart program? We got back with them to talk about the solar panels on their roof and learn about another program they took advantage of – the DC renewable energy grant program. This program provides rebates to applicants to offset the cost of  installing solar (or other renewable) energy systems. The program is what iniatially motivated Mary and Greg to investigate going solar. Greg told us that they “applied the DC grant funds to a one-time lease payment which is much cheaper than buying a system.  The installer guarantees a minimum production level and is responsible for all maintenance/repairs.” According to the program’s web page:

Solar Thermal incentives are based on a flat rate percentage of installed system cost:

  • Solar Thermal (water heating) system 20% of total installed cost up to $5,000
  • Solar Thermal (space heating) system 20% of total installed cost up to $2,000
  • Solar Thermal (combination) system 20% of total installed cost up to $5,000

Rebates for solar thermal systems are capped at a maximum of $5,000 for residential and $7,000 for nonresidential. Only one REIP rebate may be requested per unique installation address, per program year.

Photovoltaic incentives are based on the combined system rating in kilowatts of Direct Current (DC) output:

  • $1.50 for each of the first 3,000 installed watts of capacity
  • $1.00 for each of the next 7,000 installed watts of capacity
  • $0.50 for each of the next 10,000 installed watts of capacity

Rebates for all systems are capped at a maximum of $16,500 (at 20 kilowatts capacity or greater) for each applicant site per program year.

So, does it pay off? Greg tell us “We’re saving about 25% on our electric bill after our solar installation!”  Be warned, it is a long process – it took Mary and Greg about 18 months to complete. The photo above shows their south-facing roof with the solar panels. Unfortunately, their roof structure didn’t meet the installer’s standard so they had to reduce the system they wanted significantly. But in the end, they told us they are glad they did it. Great job Mary and Greg!