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Walking the Walk, or Why I Switched to Solar

Mar 21, 2019

By JD Dillon, VP of Marketing at Enphase Energy

Before joining the team at Enphase Energy a few years ago, I was pretty much in the dark about solar. Like most homeowners, I knew that solar was probably a smart way to go, both for the utility savings and the benefits of alternative energy consumption, but that’s about where my understanding ended.

But last year, the leadership at Enphase had the opportunity to install solar with our partners GRID Alternatives, and I found myself on a rooftop learning about solar hands-on.

GRID Alternatives: Partnering for Good

A day on the rooftop with GRID

Late last winter, I found myself on a rooftop, installing a solar system with our non-profit partner, GRID Alternatives, and I got a first-hand look at how solar works and why it’s important to so many homeowners. My experience watching people go solar has been so convincing that I recently decided to flip the switch on getting my own solar system.

Why do people go solar?

In my time in this industry, I have come to realize that homeowners choose solar for one of four reasons: to save the environment, to save money, to be self-reliant, or to have the latest technology. It turns out that the solar community is pretty evenly split among those reasons — myself included.

With a family of five and an electric vehicle, solar cuts my electricity bill down considerably each month. And as my daughter likes to remind me, going solar helps the planet that she and her siblings will inherit. Plus, I like the freedom of choice that comes with solar and look forward to even more choices when Enphase releases its newest technology: Ensemble™ energy management technology (more on that in a minute). Finally, as the head of marketing at Enphase, staying in tune with the latest technology trends is part of my job.

About the installation

So, starting with the goals of cutting down my energy consumption and reducing costs, I installed a partial system on my new home, trimming nearly 50% on both grid use and overall monthly costs. I found a local installer, Del Sol NRG, through the Enphase Installer Network. The installer was great, our quote was fair and thorough, and before we knew it, the team was up on the roof installing the racking for 24 IQ 7™ microinverters and 24 solar panels.

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Pictures from the installation

We documented the whole installation and even had some of the Enphase engineering team on site to run some experiments on the system. Enphase has an incredible lab environment for our engineers to research, test, and develop products and solutions, but nothing beats getting out into the real world and studying new conditions and variables. Of course, this slowed down the installation, but it was all in the service of science. At least that’s what I told my family.

Now I’m the proud owner of my own energy producing solar system. In fact, my house is part of a growing community of more than 855,000 Enphase installations around the world. The reduced impact and cost savings are great, but I’m now increasingly interested in choice. More specifically, where our energy comes from. What if you could choose how your home gets energy, whether it’s from your utility, your solar system, or even a neighbor’s solar system down the street?


Introducing Ensemble™ energy management technology: The power to choose

Well, let’s talk about Ensemble technology by Enphase. In 2020, we will release Ensemble technology, a revolutionary energy operating system that will give users control over every aspect of their home’s energy production, consumption, and storage. In effect, Ensemble technology will establish a microgrid, protecting homeowners from grid failures. No blackouts, no ancient infrastructure, no peak rate juggling.

When Ensemble technology is released later this year, you can bet that I’ll be calling up my installer and asking them to add this new technology to my roof. Then my existing microinverters and panels will network seamlessly, creating my own microgrid when the grid fails and allowing me to choose where my home’s energy comes from, giving me complete control and independence. Sign up to stay in the know or check with your installer about when Ensemble might be ready for your system.

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