Rafael & Alex

Solar System:
Size: 6 kW
Production: 9,888 kWh /yr

Rafael and Alex became first-time homeowners this past spring, using the opportunity to make the transition from solar advocates to solar powered!

Rafael first joined TFS in 2014 as a member of our sales team to dabble in an interest in renewable energy. He’s since become an employee-owner and solidified a career for himself in the solar industry:

“When I started my career in renewable energy, I didn’t know much about the industry, but it was an interest I wanted to explore. I came from engineering and wanted to try to apply that skillset to something I felt positively about before I started heading down a different career path. After a few years of working at TFS, I’ve really learned how important solar is for our future, so it was a no-brainer when we bought our home that we needed to have solar on it.

It took me a few years of being in the industry before I was able to go solar myself because I wasn’t a homeowner yet. It was the only reason I wanted a house! My wife, Alex, was looking for a more reasonable, rational explanation, but I just wanted the house so I could get solar!

Since we decided to go solar right away, we had to juggle our initial move-in expenses along with the installation. We had some savings that we’d sat aside to make changes to the home or take care of the type of issues that tend pop up with a new home. We spent some of it on things like upgrading the bathrooms, repairing a window leak - that sort of stuff. But the whole time, I also had in mind that - while we’re taking care of this stuff - I’m going to get solar. Getting a loan was the only way we were able to get our solar system installed right away. The Clean Energy Credit Union (CECU) was able to get us setup without putting any money down and with better interest rates than other options we explored. It was a really smooth and easy process.”

“I didn’t need convincing to go solar,” says Alex, “I’d heard all about the benefits and positives from Rafael over time, so I knew it was something we wanted to have. What I did need to be convinced of was the timing. We had just gotten the house and moved in, and I wondered if it was really the right time while we were still juggling all of these new responsibilities at once. It turned out to be super easy. Rafael said ‘oh, I’m going to make the design and submit it,’ so I thought it was going to take a while. Then, a few days later, he said ‘oh, it was approved!’ I thought, ok, that was fast. Then, next thing I knew, it was being installed.”

“Before I became part of the solar industry,” continues Rafael, “I thought that you would need to replace your system by the time you hit the point of getting your money back. Knowing what I know now, that sounds so silly. The equipment we use is going to last a long time. I’m going to get my money back and continue to generate years of energy with the equipment I’ve installed.”

On spreading the word, Alex adds: “People at work have asked me about solar since hearing me talk about getting a new home. I tell them that they can just talk to TFS and have them come look at their roof and give them all the details about what they need - it’s really simple. So, go for it! Get it!”

“I want to produce my own energy and be part of the sustainable future. Not just as a worker in the industry, but as a homeowner.”
Annual Environmental Savings:
22,000 lbs
4,944 gallons
9,888 lbs
Miles Not Driven: