Sustainability: Solar Panels

written by Ashley Hall

Ever thought about adding Solar panels to your home? Our own, Russell Hagg, Architect in the Dallas Interiors studio, answers some FAQ’s from his own experience:

AH: What sparked your interest on installing solar panels for your house?

RH: We wanted to find a way to reduce our electricity cost.

AH: In your own neighborhood, what (average) percentage of homeowner’s have solar panels or any other energy saving devices?

RH: 6 out of the 85 homes in our neighborhood have solar panels.

AH: How much research and time did you spend prior to deciding? Does Dallas have local jurisdictions per solar energy in a residential use?

RH: We spent over 40 hours researching and talking with different providers.  We are in a planned development, so there were no restrictions.

AH: What were the objectives needed for the solar to work?

RH: We wanted to reduce our electricity costs by at least 65% per month.

AH: Was cost an initial concern or did the benefits make that less of an issue?

RH: Yes, the initial cost was a concern.  The return on investment will be realized in 12 years.

AH: How long did the process take to choose the panels and install?

RH: After we selected Tesla the permitting 4 months

AH: Was there a resource you found most helpful when choosing the panels? Please list any you found most helpful.

RH: Tesla’s website.

AH: Was it hard for you to choose sustainability over aesthetic/looks and cost?

RH: Yes, but the cost savings won.

AH: If you are recommending solar to another peer, what considerations do you suggest?

RH: Cost and the return on investment – are you going to live int eh house long enough to benefit from the purchase of the panels.

AH: How long have you had the panels installed?

RH: Since April 2018

AH: What are your energy savings, and are you happy overall with your initial decision?

RH: Our monthly electricity bills have been – April $14.13, May $0.46

(Yes, 46 cents!), June $0.76, July $1.10.

AH: Has this pushed you to being more environmentally responsible in other ways?

RH: Yes, we have are more diligent to turn off lights when not in use.

AH: Opinion: Do we all have an obligation to the planet and future generations to make more decisions based on carbon footprint? Thoughts?

RH: Yes, it is important for everyone to understand we have limited resources.

For more information on Tesla’s system, visit:

Other resources to explore:

Tree House: