Solar power brings fame and fortune for Selbyville couple


When Carole and Ron Patton of Selbyville installed their solar panels, they didn’t think they would become celebrities, but that’s what happened.

Coastal Point • Monica Fleming: Carole and Ron Patton, customers of Clean Energy USA, are featured on a billboard in front of the CVS store in Rehoboth Beach. The Patton’s went green and had solar panels installed and see a huge difference in their energy bill.Coastal Point • Monica Fleming:
Carole and Ron Patton, customers of Clean Energy USA, are featured on a billboard in front of the CVS store in Rehoboth Beach. The Patton’s went green and had solar panels installed and see a huge difference in their energy bill.

The Patton’s are now featured on a billboard in front of the CVS store in Rehoboth Beach. After having been contacted by their solar company, Clean Energy USA (formerly Delaware Renewable Energy) the couple got their picture taken for use on flyers and coupons. Then, they were contacted and told their faces were going up on a billboard.

“We heard from our contact, and she said, ‘They are doing a billboard, and you made the cut,’” said Carole Patton with a laugh.

Even better than their celebrity, though, is their electric bill – or rather the lack of any significant one.

Patton said that, in the year since they got their system up and running, they have received five bills from Delmarva Power, for $7.36 each – basically, administrative costs. In fact, in the summer months, their highest bill was between $40 and $60. Patton said prior year’s bill for August was $175.

“We’ve also sold back six units [of power] at about $230 to $240 each,” she added.

Patton said that, when they accumulate a certain of amount of renewable energy credits, or RECs, their company contacts them and acts a broker and gets them sold on the Pattons’ behalf.

“We are really reaping the benefits,” Patton said proudly.

They also will have a choice, if there are leftover kilowatt hours in January, to get paid by the power company or to use them as credits to their own bills.

“It’s win-win. It’s really amazing. We kept looking for the negatives, and we haven’t found any.”

Patton said that, even though they borrowed money to pay for the system, it was well worth it, and it continues to amaze her and make her feel proud.

“Yes, we got a home equity loan to pay for it, but we believe it will be paid for before you know it, with the bills being low and being able to sell back energy. It’s such a good thing. It’s great for the environment, and I am really proud of it. And I am on a billboard – what can I say?”