Solar Champion Stories

Double the Solar, Double the Champion: Solar with the Leonis

If going solar with ReVision makes you a Solar Champion, does going solar twice make you a . . . Double Solar Champion? Solar^2 Champion? Champion Solar Champion? These are the hard questions we wrestled with before talking to Kirk Leoni, whose family went solar on one New Hampshire house, sold that house, and then went solar on their next house. We talk a lot about how solar arrays add resale value to houses so we wanted to know – what was the selling process actually like, and how did Kirk and his wife Judy ensure their new home would also be solar-powered?  

Solar House Hunting  

Kirk, a now-retired CPA and tax professional, initially chose ReVision Energy because he was familiar with ESOPs (Employee Stock Ownership Plan, ReVision’s business structure) and appreciated ReVision’s forward-thinking mentality and status as a Certified B Corp. We installed a 6 kw array on the roof of their home outside Concord, NH, which offset 100% of his family’s electric usage there. Two years later they had the experience of selling a solarized home while simultaneously looking to buy a new home; Kirk knew they’d also want solar on their next home.  

Leoni_Conway_barn solar.jpg“There was always a presumption that we’d put solar on the new house,” he says, “As I looked at houses, I was aware of the rooflines and orientation.” They ended up buying a home in Center Conway and had ReVision install two arrays that maximized the roofspace of the house and garage. They also added a heat pump to the garage and woodshop.   

Although Kirk and Judy used their Concord home as a baseline for estimating generation and usage, they ended up needing more solar; with Kirk’s retirement and the COVID-19 pandemic, they were spending much more time in their new house than anticipated.  

Their experience with ReVision had been so good the first time they knew they’d use ReVision for their 2020 install as well.  

“We were very happy with [the first installation] and very happy with ReVision through that process, primarily because communication was so great. It exceeded all our expectations,” Kirk says this experience has continued in his more recent expansions. “In the 3 or 4 times that I’ve now dealt with ReVision crew it’s always been a really pleasurable experience with really knowledgeable and friendly people.”  

Selling a Solar Home 

Leoni_Concord_house.jpgThe Leonis' first solar home in 2017, near Concord, NH. But what about that first home outside Concord, with the perfect 6kw rooftop array that offset their entire electric bill? It seems like solar would be a home improvement that would attract many buyers and increase the property value because it will save the new owners money every month. Ultimately this was true, but Kirk acknowledges it wasn’t as straightforward as one might think.  

“The realtors I dealt with didn’t know much about the impact of the solar array.” This was in 2019, before New Hampshire electric rates rose to become the second-highest in the country, but even with the lower rates Kirk and Judy's array was saving the home $100/month. Kirk ended up speaking directly with the buyers to explain that they would only pay the $13/month grid connection fee, and they were immediately convinced.  

“I assume they jumped for joy when electric rates spiked in 2022,” he says. Education – of realtors, of potential buyers, and the general public – is key, and Kirk thinks awareness has likely increased since 2019.  

“I’ve sold quite a few people on buying solar over the years,” he says, “as a CPA I’d tell people that from an economic perspective, it’s an investment that gives a yield on after-tax earnings. You get a great yield on your investment, and you get to feel good about the impact and your carbon footprint. It’s a straight up win-win.” 

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