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Hudson Solar Makes Change Easy for Everyone

By Karen Fredrickson, Organic Hudson Valley Magazine, October 28, 2015

Hudson Solar was born out of an interest in renewable energy, and good timing. Jeff Irish followed the costs of solar electric energy while he worked as an electrical engineer, and when costs went down, he thought there might be a market for it, as well as the opportunity to make a difference. “In 2002, I installed a solar installation on my barn,” Irish said. “Someone from a newspaper saw it and interviewed me about it. The phones started ringing, and a business was born.”

The current high costs of oil, combined with climate change, has created a market where many people are interested in solar energy, though they may be uncertain about it. Jeff Irish is aware of that and explains the benefits. “Solar is a clean, sustainable form of energy,” Irish said. “We take pride in our high-quality installations and make sure they are built to last. If you purchase a system or finance it with a low-cost loan, you are producing your own energy for free once the system is paid off. This means your electricity will be free for the lifetime of the system, which is anywhere from 25 to 40 years, depending on the quality panel you use.”

The difference in cost is a major concern for many, espe- cially because the initial installation can be expensive, and it’s a large change for folks to make in their homes when they are used to the traditional means of energy. “We recognize that change is hard for anyone,” Irish said. “When you’re used to paying the electric companies your whole life, it can be difficult to move on to something new. We like to hold our customers’ hands through the entire process and constantly communicate with them. We show them pre- and post-solar electric bills from former customers to help reassure them that they’re doing the right thing. Typically, when a customer purchases a system, they are paying a loan payment that is less than or equal to their current electric bill, but the difference is that with solar, there is an end in sight where you will be producing your energy free and clear, whereas with the electric company, you will never stop paying those bills.”

Even when people feel comfortable with the idea of changing to solar, financing the installation is a concern. “One of the main questions customers ask is how they will pay for their solar installation,” Irish said. “Customers are confused about their choices.” Some companies offer leases, but with a lease, the customer doesn’t own the solar equipment, and then loses some of the advantage of switching to solar energy. “Over twenty years, a leasing contract can be twice as much in payments, as opposed to actually financing to own a system,” Irish said. “It is also easier to sell a home when you own your solar rather than lease it. It is important to do your due diligence when investing in solar, so choosing a local company who will be around for you for the long haul is important. Hudson Solar chose not to offer leasing options because it is not always the best option for our clients, and doing what is right by our customers is our number-one priority.”

Organic Hudson Valley’s owner and editor-in-chief, Laurie Szostak, is a customer of Hudson Solar. “I am a proud customer,” Szostak said. “For me, it wasn’t just about the panels, but how Hudson Solar handled the entire job so professionally and were fantastic to work with. I had no worries, and they handled everything. The panels are working fantastic and have cut our electric bill in half.”

Depending on your energy usage, installing solar can result in receiving a check at the end of the year. “Because the systems are connected to the [electrical] grid, and therefore net-metered, the meter spins both forward and backward,” Madeline Brydges, the marketing coordinator for Hudson Solar, explains. “When a customer produces more electricity than they use in the same month, the excess moves to the next month. This continues every single month for one year. At one year, called the anniversary date, the customer and the utility company settle up. If the customer, over the course of a year, produces more than they use, they will either receive a credit to their bill or a check, depending on their utility company.” Brydges adds, “It won’t make you rich, but it sure is nice to be paid by the utility company for once!”

Hudson Solar is an award-winning local company. They are the recipient of the 2014 Times Union Workplaces Award, the 2012 and 2013 NYSERDA Highest Home Efficiency Award, and the 2011 NYSERDA Excellence in Quality Award. “We pride ourselves on being the most experienced local company around, and we plan on being here for our customers for the long haul,” Irish said. “We are active in the community, and we want to lead our region in the shift to a clean, secure energy generation. We get many compliments after installations. We pride ourselves and our installers on being courteous, polite and clean. We are never in a rush to finish an installation because we want to do a high-quality job and treat our customers’ property with respect.”
For more information about solar panels or Hudson Solar, visit their website at www.HudsonSolar.com or contact them at 866.452.7652.

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