New York Times: Plugging Into the Sun

Nicky's 3kw solar PV system (photo by Noah Berger for the New York Times)

In December of 2007, New York Times reporter Gregory Dicum wrote about the residential solar photovoltaics industry in California. He quoted Nicky (and other Bay Area residents) extensively his experience in getting a system installed on his turn-of-the-century duplex in Berkeley.

His comments and a picture of his home appeared in the article “Plugging Into the Sun” published in the Home & Garden section of the January 7, 2010 New York Times.

Excerpt from the article, written by Gregory Dicum:

“I more or less set it up and then I forgot about it,” said Nicky González Yuen, an instructor in political science at De Anza College in Cupertino, who hired a company called NextEnergy to install the modest three-kilowatt system in his 100-year-old Berkeley duplex. “I’m a really busy person, and I didn’t need to know that level of information.”

Companies like NextEnergy provide homeowners with a complete package that includes system design, permit applications, rebate processing, installation, maintenance and warranty. “It was a seamless, painless process,” said Mr. Yuen, whose system cost $16,000 after the California rebate and the federal tax credit, which together saved him $10,000. It was “comparable to having a sprinkler system put in,” he said.

Mr. Yuen, 47, was the first on his block to install a solar system: “In my circle I’m the eco-nut,” he said. But, he said, less than a year later they are quite common in his neighborhood. “A lot of people are really paying attention and beginning to think about the whole environmental cycle,” he added.