Introducing East County’s Solar Myth Buster: the EC Solar Guy

Sure as the sun rises, energy costs are rising, too. The energy that people across San Diego consume to power the heaters, air conditioners, appliances, lights and pool filters that keep their families comfortable is generating a whole lot of discomfort, too – with higher energy bills.

Now more than ever, the battle to beat the energy bill heat is winnable -- with solar. I wasn’t always keen on the concept of solar energy for the home. I, like so many in our East County community, was inundated with conflicting information about the costs of solar, the viability of its technology, how it works – and its ability to pay for itself over time.

So I did my research. I sought out more than one solar installer and asked a great many questions. And I ran the numbers. My conclusion was indisputable: I could save – and save big – with solar.

Today, my 5.5 kilowatt solar solution is saving me a whopping $300 to $350 a month on my electricity bill. My home is comfortable, my pool is clean and inviting and my family is putting the extra cash we enjoy to eminently good use.

My name is David Steele, and I am a solar believer. I installed my solar PV system in May of 2012. I’ve been so thrilled with my energy bill savings these past 2+ years that I decided to join the company who installed my solar system.

This solar surprise was the genesis for my crafting this column. My aim here is to shed light on the ways solar can help you, too, cut your monthly energy costs – and reap the benefits of that decision for decades to follow.

You know, there’s a reason solar is America’s fastest-growing industry, employing more than 100,000 individuals at 5,600 companies across all 50 states. Harnessing the sun’s energy creates cleaner communities, helps folks reduce harmful emissions and creates local jobs. You can’t, after all, export a solar installation job.

Solar photovoltaics (PV),the technology that converts the sun’s rays into solar electricity for your home, helps people realize 30% tax credits, slash monthly utility bills, eliminate worries over rising energy costs, improve their property values and now, fuel their electric vehicles by harnessing clean, renewable energy from the sun. Oh, yes, and it sends a clear message that we will not be beholden to foreign oil interests to satisfy our appetites for domestic U.S. energy.

With higher technology efficiencies, plummeting solar prices and a treasure trove of domestic market incentives, today’s solar PV solutions are as much an economic play as an environmental one.

Yet time and again, I see households with the potential to enjoy real savings with solar overlook its potential because of wide-spread misconceptions. I call them solar myths… things such as “Solar is too expensive,” "Solar panel pries will continue to fall,” “You shouldn't go solar if you're planning to sell,” or “$0 down solar is too good to be true.”

I’m here as the East County Solar Guy to help you bust those solar myths so you and your families can make sound decisions about whether solar is right for you – and how much you could be losing each month by not saving with solar.

It will be my pleasure to share with you the valuable lessons I’ve learned in my own solar journey, with the hope that you can use this information to your own benefit. I’m hoping you’ll join me each week on this journey in pursuit of a palatable solar ROI.

Dave Steele is the East County Solar Guy. Contact him at (619) 447-7280 or

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