Recently GIC co-owner, Luke Smith, installed a 7.5 kilowatt hour solar panel system on his home. He is excited for the installation as it will reduce his carbon footprint and lock in his energy costs.

Luke’s home is all electric so everything in the home can be powered by solar. He has also had an energy audit performed on the home and made many energy efficient upgrades to the existing home before he installed the panels. Some of the upgrades he has made include: adding insulation to his foundation walls, above-grade walls, crawlspace and attic; replacing windows with low-e, double pane windows; and upgrading the mechanical system to high efficient, all electric units. By having the energy audit performed and identifying areas of energy deficiencies Luke is able to reduce the total amount of energy needed to operate the home. This means that a higher percentage of the power will be coming from the solar now that it is installed. With all these upgrades, Luke is now close to having a Net-Zero home!

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Luke also knew about the fantastic rebates currently offered by the utilities for solar projects. There is currently a $2 per watt rebate that amounts to $2,000 per kWh. That means that Luke is able to save $15,000 off the cost of his particular solar project. This means that at the current electricity rate ($0.11 per kwh) he will be seeing the cost of the project paid back within approximately 5 years. After that, he is receiving his energy at no cost. The warranty for this particular system is good for 25 years and guarantees an output of 80%. Also, the rebate for solar is soon to be reduced so take advantage while you can.

During the day Luke will be feeding energy he is not using into the grid and then using the grid during times when he is not producing electricity. Now all he has to do is wait for the inspection and flip the switch!

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