Five years into living with solar, Jeff and Sara are as enthusiastic about their system as they were when the panels were first installed. Speaking with them in their dining room, their faces just light up (well as much as you can see of them under their masks ). One of the first houses in Grandview to install solar, the couple even hosted an open house when their system was first up and running. During this time, they proudly showed off their solar array along with their newly finished basement which houses their solar monitoring system.
When they started researching solar, Jeff and Sara really only had an interest in working with Ecohouse, as they have a commitment to supporting local businesses. In making such an important decision, they wanted a company that would be dependably present and equally committed to ensuring Columbus is working towards a greener future. From a Southern Ohio town bordering West Virginia, Sara had some experience with big solar companies because her family members had no local company to work with. In comparing their solar experience, recurring feedback from Sara’s family was the lack of communication from the chain solar companies. From a more pragmatic perspective, Jeff and Sara knew once their electric bills were dropped, they could take that money, pay off other bills, and find themselves in a better financial situation to tackle other projects. This mindset keeps them constantly moving forward with an eye on building a better future.
Jeff is a science teacher, and each year he guides his students through a renewable energy project. A lot of his students come from poverty and have never seen a house that has solar panels. Being able to work hands-on with his students opens these kids’ eyes to what renewable energy looks like in everyday life.
Even for individuals not from impoverished backgrounds, solar installations can still be outlandish to some people, as Sara points out. Doing work like this annual project with his students helps to bridge that gap and make renewable energy more accessible.
It actually ended up coming full circle because what prompted Jeff to originally look into solar was an inquiry from one of his students. Even before they had solar on their home, Jeff was always passionate about solar energy so working on their renewable energy project, his student asked “Mr. Jeff, why don’t you do this?” Not taking his students’ questions lightly, Mr. Jeff began researching installation right away!
Essentially Jeff and Sara are ambassadors for solar, and speaking with them reinforces how important it is to stay invested in your community. It is of course invaluable that government and big businesses do their part to utilize clean energy, but that doesn’t diminish the impact of the individual. As one of the first households in Grandview to commission solar, Jeff and Sara have become an eco force in their neighborhood. They are active members in Sustainable Grandview and are a constant source of encouragement and information for those looking into solar.
In this way, you can see the snowball effect they’ve had on their city. Little by little they are contributing to making solar more ubiquitous, and are always happy to answer questions. Even when they’re just hanging out on their front porch, it is not uncommon for passersby to inquire about their panels. Jeff and Sara are always happy to oblige and will often pull up the monitoring app on their phone to show those interested information like how much their system is producing at the time. We at Ecohouse appreciate customers like Jeff and Sara more than we can say. They reignite our excitement in the industry and remind us of the impact we can have and help other people have every single day. They are dedicated to a cleaner, healthier earth and a lifestyle grounded in sustainability.