Our initial improvements were motivated primarily by reducing energy costs. As we learned more, we became encouraged by additional benefits...
- 517 Cap Rock Drive, Richardson, TX 75080
- Event Participation:
- ASES National Solar Tour 2015 Host
- Solar PV
- January 2014
- Size of System:
- 5.0 kW
- To generate electricity
20 - 250 Watt Zep solar panels in two arrays (12 panels and 8 panels), and an Aurora string inverter
Our initial improvements were motivated primarily by reducing energy costs. As we learned more, we became encouraged by additional benefits such as: Improving the environment by using pollution-free electricity and by reducing energy demands. Losing less energy in transmission because the solar energy power is used where it is generated. Generating the most electricity when everybody needs it the most, thereby reducing demand on the electricity grid and helping to reduce the chance of blackouts or brownouts. Reducing the need for new power plants and transmission lines, and helping utilities meet renewable energy and greenhouse gas emission goals without paying for utility-scale solar and wind farms.
Efficiency or Sustainability Improvements:
• System energy monitor by Solar City • Toyota Camry Hybrid, Toyota Prius Hybrid • Hail resistant composition roofing • Low water use landscape: Native, heat tolerant plants in multiple flower gardens, rain barrel • CFL or LED lighting: CFL lighting throughout the house • Added 15 inches of insulation to the attic • Replaced all windows with double pane windows • Roof ridge cap and continuous soffit screening provide maximum attic ventilation • All appliances, TVs, computers, etc. are Energy Star rated • Cordless, self-propelled electric lawn mower replaced gasoline lawn mower • All inside water outlets use low flow devices • Programmable HVAC thermostat • 16 SEER rated HVAC System • Drip irrigation system in vegetable garden
Our initial improvements were motivated primarily by reducing energy costs. As we learned more, we became encouraged by additional benefits such as: Improving the environment by using pollution-free electricity and by reducing energy demands.
After being on the 2014 Solar Tour, here are my updates for the 2015 Solar Tour: Solar power reduces expense of electricity; savings immense. Talk to folks on the Tour And you'll see that for sure Going solar makes dollars and sense. 1.5 years ago, we signed a lease with SolarCity and made a one-time $5,000 payment to have our PV system installed and to get all of our generated electricity free for 20 years (zero cents per kWh). Our electricity bill has been zero -- that's right, nothing -- ever since. Our electricity provider (Green Mountain Energy) offers "net metering." In months when we generate more electricity than we use, net metering gives us a credit of our unused energy at the retail rate. In months when we use more electricity than we generate, our energy credits are applied to our electric bill. We have had a credit balance ever since our PV system was turned on. Our neighbor signed a lease with SolarCity with no money out of pocket, and gets his PV system's electricity for 8 cents per kWh for 20 years. As part of our lease, SolarCity maintains the PV system. Squirrels built a nest under our solar panels and chewed through components. SolarCity removed the nest and replaced damaged parts. Squirrels built a nest again. SolarCity removed the nest again and put screening around the rooftop panels to keep squirrels out -- all at no cost to us because they maintain the PV system for 20 years. Both of our hybrid cars have been excellent. - 2005 Toyota Prius hybrid: 50 miles per gallon in town, one repair in 106,000 miles - 2010 Toyota Camry hybrid: 40 miles per gallon in town, one minor repair in 88,000 miles I try to conserve gasoline, And want to become much more green. My Prius is nifty; Its gas use is thrifty. I say that it's quite gas-o-lean.
Open House Info:
Tour Hours: 10am - 4pm Saturday, October 03, 2015