Montgomery County Green Bank’s Green Partners
Welcome to our Green Partners series, highlighting our partners in the community that help make Montgomery County Green Bank a success.
We talked with LB Kouchacji, Project Manager with Nova Solar, to learn about their latest successes and why they are proud to partner with the Montgomery County Green Bank.
Tell us about Nova Solar and your work there.
LB Kouchacji [LB]: Our mission at Nova Solar is to create sustainable, and cost effective energy solutions to help minimize financial, and environmental burdens on our communities. With over 15 years of experience in solar technologies and installations, we strive to bring the best value for top-quality service and materials to the Virginia, DC and Maryland areas. As a Project Manager, I have the privilege of working with many homeowners that want to save money and source their electricity usage from renewable energy. We assist homeowners in understanding how much energy can be produced from their solar system, how much it will cost (whether that be with our partner lender’s or as a cash purchase), and allowing them to sit back while we work out all of the permitting, homeowner association approvals, and interconnection steps.
What are the key decisions your customers make when moving a project forward?
LB: We walk our customers through important questions and decision points is they get a solar system that is right for them. Questions homeowners need to address include: Is my home an ideal candidate for solar? If exploring a roof-mounted solar system, do I need a new roof prior to going solar? Should I perform additional home energy efficiency upgrades such as windows, insulation, lighting to optimize my home’s solar use?
What’s something exciting you’re working on now?
LB: Along with grid-tied solar systems, we are looking forward to the ever-evolving energy storage solutions
(batteries + PV systems). Allowing homeowners to store the electricity they produce from their solar system, will give them flexibility when there is a grid outage. With the technology getting better and the prices coming down, it is becoming more of an incentive to add a battery to a solar system in this region.
What do they reflect on as most surprising / or rewarding when the work is completed?
LB: Homeowners are able to monitor their solar production via online monitoring software. Once homeowners realize that they are producing more electricity than their home is using with their solar system, it provides a sense of self-sufficiency. Another benefit is that they realize that solar has paid for itself generally halfway into the life of the system.
What are the top reasons your customers seek energy efficiency and / or renewable energy improvements?
LB: One reason homeowners seek solar projects is due to the financial savings that can be obtained by purchasing a solar system rather than pay the increasing utility rates in our region. Other homeowners are interested due to decreasing their carbon footprint by sourcing their electricity by a renewable energy source.
Why do you choose to partner with the MC Green Bank as an Authorized Contractor with the Clean Energy Advantage program?
LB: At Nova Solar, we want to provide our homeowners with options on how to purchase their solar system. We partner with Montgomery County Green Bank so that homeowners we’re working with in the County can obtain flexible financing options through the Clean Energy Advantage program at competitive rates compared to other lenders.