“It was the right direction to go in,” Patterson said of his decision to start Spectrum Solar Homes, a solar installation company. Patterson is passionate about being a local business. “Brentwood is our town,” Patterson said. “We are the original Brentwood solar company.”
While a handful of solar companies in California can claim to have been in business for decades, Patterson’s business partner and photovoltaic consultant for Spectrum Homes Solar, Michael Wulfman, explained that the certifications and rebates for the solar industry have been around for only the past three years or so.
State and federal incentives sweeten the deal for homeowners considering solar. “It’s not as expensive as everyone tends to believe,” said Patterson, noting that solar customers see immediate benefits. California began offering cash-back incentives for solar energy about four years ago through the California Public Utilities Commission. The federal government currently offers a 30-percent tax credit for the purchase of residential solar system.
Customer Poul E. Kjaer agrees. Spectrum Homes installed a solar system in his Discovery Bay home in October of 2010. A retired engineer and avid sailor, Kjaer began to appreciate solar energy during a trip in his boat from California to Florida by way of the Panama Canal. “Living on a boat, you have to be very frugal with everything, including energy,” said Kjaer. The solar panels he installed on the boat made a world of difference, so the next step was obvious: solar for his home.
Spectrum Home Solar does a complete walk-through of your home to design the best system according to your desires. From there, Spectrum makes recommendations for going solar and other improvements that enhances your overall energy efficiency and cuts energy consumption – including air conditioning, where Patterson’s expertise is invaluable.
In Kjaer’s case, he preferred a different layout than Patterson had originally designed. Taking this into consideration, Patterson worked to give Kjaer the layout he preferred. Spectrum evaluated Kjaer’s home and worked with him to make the house more energy efficient by installing radiant insulation. The installation took four days, including the insulation.
“We have all the reason in the world to be very happy with what they have done for us,” said Kjaer, whose energy bill has been reduced so that he receives regular credits from PG&E for the energy he returns to the grid. If energy prices stay steady, Kjaer currently projects to break even on his solar panels in approximately eight years. “And even sooner if they go up!”
Spectrum Homes Solar can be contacted by calling 925-516-6367, visiting www.spectrum-solar.com or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.