Solar Homeowner Edward Lortz's Story

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“It became clear that now was the time to move forward.” Read Edward Lortz’s solar story.

Edward Lortz began researching solar panels for his San Francisco home in 2008, but rapidly became overwhelmed with all the information out there. Before long, the process had stalled. In the fall of 2010, Edward ended up going solar after all. Find out what got him going again:


“My trek toward going solar started in 2008, after attending a PG&E Energy Center class on solar electric power. Though I’d read some on solar beforehand, it was then that my investigation went into overdrive. My motives were largely financial. I wanted to reduce my electric bill, enhance the value of my house, and protect myself from future electric rate increases.

I researched six different companies and talked to all of them. The plethora of information was somewhat overwhelming, systems were a little expensive, and industry experience with micro-inverters in the Bay Area was limited. I decided not to move forward, but signed-up for your San Francisco campaign anyhow and kept up with what was going on. One Block Off the Grid is a great one-stop shop for solar information.

I started looking at going solar again after attending a reception at your office in June 2010. One Block Off the Grid provided a lot of information about the pre-negotiated deal, and also talked about all the incentives, rebates and tax credits. There was also a briefing from your selected installer, Luminalt Energy. With the prices already negotiated between One Block Off the Grid and Luminalt, it became clear that the system was very affordable and now was the time to move forward.

Once I began working with One Block Off the Grid, it was evident that you had experience in San Francisco, you knew about the rebates, and you had vetted all these companies. The bid I got was outstanding.

As I tend to question (and sometimes over-analyze) all aspects of a project, Matt at One Block Off the Grid answered any questions I had. You also encouraged me to apply for incentives for which I never thought I qualified, and all the paperwork was handled for me. Looking back at my notes, originally the panels were going to be $10-$12K out-of pocket. After it was all said and done, going solar ended up costing me $3,000 out-of-pocket.

My solar panels were installed in just three days, and thanks to One Block Off the Grid and Luminalt, the system has been spinning my electric meter backwards since September 2010. My first electric bill after going solar was only$5.99, and if I have my monitor running on the internet, you can check my production here.”


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