The Landry Family Is Going Solar for All Our Residential Electricity
Given the current climate situation, and the fact that world oil production has peaked, the cost of electricity will only be going up in the future. So I’ve decided to do what I’ve been encouraging my clients to do for years — I am putting in a system of photovoltaic (p.v.) panels as part of rebuilding our garage and workshop.
During the daytime, the panels will generate more electricity than the house requires. PG&E will buy our excess electricity during the day, and sell us back electricity at night at a lower rate. They call this “net metering.” Anyone that is hooked up to the grid and installs an alternative renewable power supply can do this. As an added incentive, the State and Federal governments are offering attractive tax breaks and rebates to homeowners and businesses for installing solar panels.
The system is designed to generate all the electricity we use in one year. It consists of 20 Sanyo p.v. panels, an inverter to convert DC electricity to AC, a two-way PG&E meter and a cut out switch to isolate the system from the grid for servicing. We will be integrating the solar panels into the new roof over our new garage. The panels will have a very low profile — they are only about seven inches high.
Full Circle Solar is the contractor we chose for the installation. They are a local company of experienced eco-experts that have been designing and installing in our area for about 30 years. You might know Mike Arenson (a.k.a. Solar Mike) who taught at Cabrillo College for many years. He is the company’s head designer and has designed the largest residential p.v. system in Santa Cruz County.
Our system will wind up costing us about $24,000 after the rebate and tax credit. However, by adding the cost of the system to our construction loan, the monthly cost will only be about $150 (based on a 30 year 5.9% loan), and the interest is tax deductible. Once the loan payment equals our electricity bill (currently $100 per month), the system will be paying for itself. I predict that will happen in 12 to 16 years.
Expandability to Power an Electric Car
In the not too distant future, we are planning to get a plug-in Hybrid Electric car. By adding panels or a wind turbine we could charge our car with renewable energy. That will be very exciting as well!
Is solar in your future?
If you are interested in incorporating a p.v. system into your home or business, please give Landry & Foy Builders a call at 831-479-9306. We have experience designing and building green homes and remodels and look forward to making our community