Each morning, Mr. Watkins checks his solar system’s kilowatt monitor in his dining room to see what his solar is generating. He has had solar on his Baltimore home since August 2017, when a group of NAACP volunteers joined GRID Alternatives staff to install the system.
“It’s incredible, it’s incredible, that’s the only word I can use to describe it. Compared to what my electricity used to be and compared to what it is now.” He is able to see his history of charges on his Baltimore Gas and Electric app on his phone. Before solar, his monthly average electricity charges was $141. Since going solar, his monthly average bill is $56.
Two of Wade’s neighbors also went solar with GRID Alternatives around the same time, and sometimes, they’ll compare bills. “Two months ago, my electricity bill was $18.65,” explains Wade. “I was like ‘are you kidding me?’ Sometimes I look at it, and I’m in complete disbelief.”
Solar savings can be a source of certainty during uncertain times.
With the current pandemic, furloughs, and layoffs, families around the country are having difficulty paying their bills. The Maryland Governor recently declared that no-one’s electricity could be turned off during the pandemic due to nonpayment. “That made me sad,” explained Wade, “People out there are going through some tough times. They have giant electricity bills, and they don’t have the means to pay it off as they could. I wish everybody could have solar, because I know it’s doing me well - it could really help people.”
With his savings, Mr. Watkins recently purchased a brand new dining room set. “I think about [GRID Alternatives] every time I pay my [electricity] bill because I realize how much of an impact it has made,” he explains. And, he never misses an opportunity to tell people about his solar. “When people walk by, they’ll look up at my roof and say, ‘Hey, what are those?’ And I give them a whole spiel about GRID Alternatives, and how much I save.”