Meet the SPO networking ninja, Doug Bynum.
Lowell “Doug” Bynum just might be Solar Power of Oklahoma’s most enthusiastic customer. He is the customer with the highest number of referral to date: 19 and still counting.
“I love helping people know more about their options with solar power, and more specifically, what they can expect from Solar Power of Oklahoma,” said Bynum.
A self-described networking ninja, Bynum is the president of a local professional group and the owner of several small businesses. He is best known as the founder of Scars and Stripes Coffee, a business focused on empowering veterans as proprietary distributors of its products.
Positive reviews, firsthand experience
“I retired from the Air Force after 26 years, 24 of which were overseas. Then, I went to work for the government at Tinker Air Force Base for 20 years,” he said. “I retired for a weekend and like that, so I started the veteran-based coffee business. Only veterans can sell it and our goal with that is to slow down the suicide rate of our service members, which is currently at more than 20 deaths per day nationwide.”
The Oklahoma City resident, who is originally from Indianola, recently celebrated his 44th anniversary with his wife, Keiko. The process of weighing different possibilities with solar power took about two years for the couple. Solar Power of Oklahoma’s positive online reviews and the customer service they received firsthand were contributing factors in their decision.
“Our experience has been outstanding. The objective behind the decision to go solar was to do something to mitigate the high cost of electricity and utilities,” said Bynum. “I wanted to save money on my electric bill and I had every company in Oklahoma come and offer an estimate but they were all way too expensive. Then, I met Jeff Jarrett at a Chamber of Commerce meeting, who works for SPO. We talked and I had him come take a look. He was much more flexible with seeing what my needs were and going from there.”
The Bynum’s chose a modified usage option that was a better fit for their household.
“If the SPO solar advisors look at your annual usage, they can tell you how much you need,” said Bynum. “In our case, 22 panels would be 102%, 18 panels would be 100%. So I said ‘Let’s do 85% instead, then I can make a decision to add more panels later but this way, we have room to grow.’”
After signing on the dotted line last fall, he invited neighbors to see his Christmas light display with related signage about solar power by sending 145 holiday cards. The installation was completed in February.
“We just got our first real electric bill and I am very excited to report it was all of $13.65.
Now, we have more than 200 kilowatt hours of power credits saved up and it’s working out just the way I wanted it,” said Bynum. “I post on Facebook every time I get my bill. I did a TikTok on St. Patty’s Day with ‘let’s go green.’ My goal is to have 10 more referrals before the end of this year, which will pay for my system since SPO gives customers a referral bonus. I want to see how many referrals I can do a year.”
Fiscal sense, smart investment
When friends, neighbors and acquaintances ask about solar power, Bynum is happy to show them the home’s solar power system.
“They’re so shocked at how simple it is,” he said. “When they ask about hail damage, I tell them the story of Jeff Jarrett’s house, who had his whole roof destroyed but not his solar panels. Plus, it’s covered by insurance, so there’s a lot less risk than people think.”
Solar generation systems add to property value and provide a long-term investment for homeowners and commercial property owners, with significant savings on utility bills. On average, houses with solar power increase their residential property value by at least $15,000. Tax credits are available to offset up to 26% of installation costs through 2022. See answers to other frequently asked questions.
“My system cost $13,000 and the tax credit back was $3,500. Bynum explained, “It’s about $50 or $60 per month for five or six years, which is equivalent to a nice meal out or a six-pack of beer. But after that, you enjoy free electricity for life.” “That’s $30,000 to $40,000 in savings. If you go to sell your home, can you imagine saying ‘There’s no electricity bill here’? It’s an investment in your future.”