Some real estate authorities have found that homes equipped with solar panels sell for a premium. This means buyers like Lakisha Harris, of Accokeek, Maryland, can immediately benefit from clean energy and lower electricity bills.  

As part the U.S. Department of Energy’s Summer of Solar, we asked Lakisha about her experience moving into a solar-equipped home.    

Lakisha Harris in front of her solar home.

Maryland resident and solar energy system owner Lakisha Harris in front of her home.

Can you share a bit about your background? 

I come from an African-American family. I’m college-educated and married with two children who love to use electricity for video games! 

I work as a federal acquisition employee and federal officer. We live in a single-family home just outside of Washington, D.C.

What made you decide to “take the plunge” and go solar?  

We had always been interested, but we didn’t make the commitment until purchasing our home, which was already equipped with solar panels. We were asked if we agreed to continue the terms of the current contract and decided it was definitely a no-brainer! 

Who is your solar installer?  

I am not sure unfortunately. We have a Tesla system, which was transferred with the sale of the home.

How did you finance your system?  

The cost was financed through the previous owners. Today we have a contract through Tesla. 

How has the solar system changed your energy costs?  

My electricity bill is no more than $20 dollars a month. This is a major change, as we were previously in a home of 2,800 square feet and our average electric bill was around $150 a month.  

We are now in a house twice that size, with such a low monthly bill. It’s been shocking! The solar bill has been $0 due to having a credit from the previous owners. 

What other benefits have you seen since installing solar?  

Saving energy is a plus for us and the environment. We have only had the panels for about three months; in time, I’m sure we will see many more benefits.     

What advice would you give someone who is considering installing a home solar energy system but doesn’t know quite how to begin?  

I would say to do your research, and don't hesitate in making the transition! I am upset we did not do this with our first home. We waited too long! 

What do you wish had gone differently in the process of going solar?  

Nothing! The process was seamless. I am now encouraging all of my family and friends to get solar panels! 

*** 

This blog post is part of DOE’s Summer of Solar campaign, which lifts up stories of Americans who use solar energy and the communities that are making it easier to go solar.