Monday, August 18, 2008

Walking the Talk

For years now the Sweet Hubby and I have been considering going solar. We've always been big supporters of environmental issues and both drive hybrid cars. A couple of months ago his sister and her hubby used a firm called Akeena Solar to put solar on their house in Lakeport. They had a great experience so we called them finally too. We figured out we had enough money in our home equity line of credit to do this and finish the master bathroom - we've been remodeling our house for the nine years we've lived in it. We figured it would definitely increase the saleability when we move away from Sacto.
They came out and gave us the spiel and what really sold us was that they would deal with all the paperwork including permits, getting the city to sign off on it as well as SMUD - Sacramento Metro Utility District, which was offering a $6,000 rebate for going solar. After looking at the plans, SMUD told them that they would have to build a frame and tilt the panels 20 degrees south, which they did for NO additional money!
It took about a couple months from our first meeting with their rep and having the Sweet Hubby pull the switch, but we're on line now! We won't be able to completely get off the grid, because they had to put the panels on the roof of the garage (filled with art, theatre and burning man stuff, not cars) and mother-in-law unit that's been Sweet Hubby's office (we will be switching work spaces at month's end so I can have that space since he's been in it for 6 years now). Our house would need to be re-roofed and it's the wrong orientation for solar with SMUD's blessing.
But if we can produce half the electricity we need from Old Sol, then we're reducing our carbon footprint by a large amount and we'll pay less on our utility bill. When we sell the house, we will be able to pass along the savings as the panels are guaranteed for 25 years.
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