In part one of Lou Haveman’s story about Creation Care, Lou wrote of his family background in rural Michigan as an inspiration for his commitment to installing and promoting solar energy systems. His childhood built an appreciation for nature into his life.
In part two, Lou writes about his decision to move forward with the installation process even after he got a bid of $40,000 to make it happen. Bottom line – start wherever you can afford to and plan to grow.
We started with 4.5 KW system, about 50% of what we need. I took the 30% tax credit and saved just shy of $800 off the first 12 months of my Consumers electric bill. In the meantime I received three S-REX (Solar Renewable Energy Credits) each worth about $15.00. These credits will continue to grow the more alternative energy I contribute to the grid. I have a system that is estimated to last 40 years with a payback in about nine. The tax assessor did not raise my assessment. However, the value of my property increased substantially. Over-all not a bad investment looking just at the economics.
When it is hot and sunny. I do not complain. The electric meter is running backwards. When it rains my garden flourishes and produces. The Solar panels work every day and require zero maintenance unless I want to brush off the snow. My carbon foot print is zero. I love to read my solar inverter. As of today I have “saved” 6,364 lbs. of CO2. Best of all I believe in creation care, living within and on the abundance of energy God through nature has already provided…free!
Yet, this is only the beginning. I feel like we are only at the model T stage of renewable energy. As I think about expanding, technology already has expanded. Here are a few new things we are thinking about:
- Complete our system to cover 100% of our energy needs.
- Add a solar circuit to our breaker box so I can run the furnace fan and thermostat independently of our grid.
- Purchase a 100% electric vehicle.
- Build a solar powered hydroponic high density garden with a fish pond as a nutrient base.
- And there is so much more: geo-thermal, replacing the gas HWHs with electric on demand, more LED lights…All of this should keep us busy for a while!