We talked to our Share The Sun donors about solar. Here’s what they had to say:
Through Philadelphia Green Capital Corp’s Share the Sun Program, homeowners with solar can donate their solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) to fund solar projects on low- and moderate-income households. Share the Sun donors are pioneers in Philadelphia’s solar landscape. In preparation for Solar Week, we asked them why they went solar and chose to donate their SRECs. These are their stories.
Why do you think solar is important in Philadelphia?
Nidhi Krishen: Solar is a key tool for advancing the City’s climate goals. But just as importantly, it is a key tool for all Philadelphians to secure energy independence and energy resilience for themselves.
Stephanie Haynes: Anything we can do to offset our carbon footprint as a city is a big win for the city and for residents of Philly, especially given how many empty rooftops are just begging to have solar panels on them!
Lisa Shulock: Solar is critical to move to a carbon free future in Philadelphia and elsewhere. Additionally, it is an important component of an equitable future by providing Philadelphians with jobs that pay well and have great career growth.
Why do you care about solar energy?
Floyd Glenn and Cynthia Schiff: We have great combined responsibility for the current state of climate change. We also have a great opportunity with current and emerging alternative energy technologies.
Lisa Shulock: I am passionate about solar energy because it is a critical step to fighting climate change and reducing the negative health and environmental impacts of fossil fueled electricity generation.
Why did you decide to go solar?
Floyd Glenn and Cynthia Schiff: We wanted to include a solar installation when we renovated our house 15 years ago. But we were talked out of it by our contractor who told us the conditions of our roof were not suitable. Five years ago, we investigated solar again and found considerable help from the Solarize Philly program. The staff at Solarize Philly helped us achieve our current very satisfactory situation with solar electricity.
How has installing solar on your property impacted you and your family?
Stephanie Haynes: Our July PECO bill was $29!
Nidhi Krishen: I have solar on my rooftop – the panels on my roof provide me with clean energy at a FIXED cost. I really benefited from this during the most recent rises in electricity rates – I did not have to pay more for electricity and it made a big difference!
Floyd Glenn and Cynthia Schiff: Of course, we have saved considerably on energy costs, but we also have enjoyed some surprising side benefits. We found that the shade created by our solar panels made it possible to enjoy our deck in summer and greatly reduced the need for pergola repainting. We have developed several new friendships resulting from our shared solar energy interests.
Why did you decide to Share the Sun?
Nidhi Krishen: I recognize and am grateful for my privilege in having access to rooftop solar. I firmly believe that all Philadelphians should have this privilege and the benefits that come from solar. Philadelphia is one of the most energy burdened cities in the country and this burden is felt disproportionately by our BIPOC communities. Expanding rooftop solar to LMI households is key for an equitable clean energy transition. Sharing the Sun is a great way for me to support access to solar for all citizens in our city, aligned with my values of equity and climate justice.
Stephanie Haynes: Anything we can do to help other folks go solar, we want to do. We’re saving so much money on our electric bill, seems like an easy thing to do to share our SRECs.
Lisa Shulock: We are privileged to be able to purchase solar panels for our home. The fact that we can donate our SRECs to enable another homeowner to go solar is a win-win. I also don’t have to deal monetizing SRECs because PGCC is taking care of it