The Power of Solar Energy

Green Street Solar installed more than 100 systems on the Eastern Shore in 2019 — and harnessed real savings for their clients

Story by Victor Fernandes

John and Susan Bramer set their thermostat to 67 degrees and remain diligent about turning lights off when leaving rooms in their 4,000-square-foot Rehoboth Beach home. But they have used valuable outside help to reduce their monthly electric bill from $300 to nothing in just six months.

“I’m literally paying zero dollars,” John Bramer said, and he has Green Street Solar in Selbyville and installations manager Russell Pfaller to thank. Pfaller shed light on the energy- and money-saving benefits they can gain from a solar-panel system during a home fair the couple attended in Lewes last spring.

Their decision to install a system, even at a cost of $39,000, quickly became as clear to the Bramers as a sunny Eastern Shore day. It’s great to be green, but it’s even better to keep more green in your pocket. The savings already are adding up as their electrical consumption from local power grids has decreased.

The State of Delaware paid $3,000 of the total cost, Bramer said, as part of a statewide initiative toward using greener sources of energy. The couple earns credits on their monthly bill by selling renewable-energy credits to the electric company, which come from unused electricity the solar-panel system generates. They also look forward to a $10,000 credit on their 2019 federal income-tax return for installing the system last summer. Pfaller estimates that solar- panel systems like the one installed at the Bramers’ home raise home values by an average of $15,000.

“Additional state and local rebates may be also available to help reduce total costs significantly,” Pfaller said. “In addition to substantial savings on their electric bills, most homeowners realized total payback in five to seven years, with 20-year-savings estimates upwards of $20,000.”

The Bramers’ system features a series of panels across the roof on the southeast side of their home and a cable that runs from those panels to equipment that converts solar power to usable energy, with another two boxes that connect to the power grid. The system operates during the day, depending on the amount of available sunlight, which limits the need for traditional electrical power.

“I have not had a bill since the day it was installed,” Bramer said. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised that it’s been as good as it has.”

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, solar power is the world’s fastest-growing energy source. At the current rate, the Union of Concerned Scientists reports nearly 3.8 million homes will feature photovoltaic power systems this year. Green Street Solar is leading the revolution locally by providing customers with a comprehensive plan and unmatched service that continues long after installation.

Green Street Solar sold and installed more than 100 systems in 2019, which allowed customers to earn a 30% federal tax credit. The credit falls to 26% this year and 22% in 2021, so time is running out to reap these benefits.

Eastcor Engineering, LLC
Bayside Exteriors

All Business
Eastern Shore businesses are also going green with Green Street Solar. The company recently installed solar systems for Bayside Exteriors owner Andrew Lewandowski at his three commercial properties, as well as his home, and have also outfitted Waves Car Wash in Lewes, King Pallet in Delmar, Eastcor Engineering, LLC in Easton and Whaleyville Animal Hospital with energy-saving systems. Eastcor Engineering’s system comprises 378 solar panels, which will generate an estimated electrical savings of more than $13,500 annually. It also features inverters mounted on the building’s exterior with a custom-made canopy, to protect them from the elements.

Local businesses can also earn a United States Department of Agriculture grant of 20% to 25% of the system’s installation cost, which would cut the amount of time for a return on investment to half of the projected six to eight years.

Power In Numbers
Green Street Solar sold and installed more than 100 systems in 2019, which allowed customers to earn a 30% federal tax credit. The credit falls to 26% this year and 22% in 2021, so time is running out to reap these benefits.

For more information, visit GreenStreetSolar.com.