When It Comes to Solar Power, Customers Know Best!

Bob Manemann is a solar homeowner in KirE Builder's Black Canyon Estates Community in Ramona, California, where all homes have a solar system included. Here Bob discusses why he enjoys having solar power!

Tell us a little but about yourself and your home.

I’m 64 years old and I retired about 18 months ago. I arranged to have my home built in Ramona, California with KirE Builders and moved in just under a year ago. We visited the KirE site a while back and there were about four homes under construction at the time. KirE was putting a 3 kilowatt solar system on every home, with an option to upgrade to a larger 4.5 kilowatt system, and I thought that was the right thing to do – to upgrade – due to the cost of power and water. If I could mitigate those expenses, that seemed like just the right thing to do! We settled on a lot and floor plan and agreed to upgrade the solar among other things.

"The panels are part of the design of the house, and (KirE) prepped for the solar system before my roof even went on so the process was seamless."

Bob Manemann

Did you think about solar before building your home, or was this a new concept to you?

If I had bought a different home, I may or may not have added it. But KirE made it really easy, and the costs were insignificant considering the savings I wanted to get. I am very, very pleased so far and the bill is a fraction of the old monthly rate. In fact, my utility bills to date have been under 100 dollars total!

What are the benefits of solar?

 The fact that my solar system is leased from SolarCity, and that I don’t have to worry if something goes wrong, is great. The savings are great of course too, and the solar system is transferable if someone buys the home. It was just real easy to get solar added and I didn’t have to do much. Plus the way they laid out the solar panels, the only ones you can really see are over the garage – they’re staggered in a way that they look so neat, people don’t even notice they are there. The panels are part of the design of the house, and they prepped for the solar system before my roof even went on so the process was seamless. As long as the energy monitoring shows up for me when I log in [to SolarCity’s MySolarCity application] then it’s all good!

What would you say to people who are hesitant to go solar?

Well, I tell people I’m very pleased with it. I meet people who are thinking about going solar to control their costs going forward and at my age, when you retire, you have limited income and you want to keep expenses in line. If you can lock in costs, that’s great, and I’m saving a lot. The sun shines every day!


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