Mark Owens and Patty Murphy
“I’m somewhat familiar with remodeling and construction and I’d say (the installation) went incredibly smoothly it was much more pain free than I expected.”
Mark Owens had already dabbled in solar before asking Creative Energies to provide a PV quote for the home he and his wife, Patty Murphy, share in Salt Lake City. His experiences with a solar powered camping cooler and a solar fountain on his fish pond convinced him of the technology’s convenience and efficiency. However, he needed to be sure rooftop solar would make financial sense as well.
The Creative Energies Solution
After receiving a quote from Creative Energies, Mark crunched the numbers and decided to go ahead with installing the system. “The numbers looked good right off the bat, he recalls. “The payoff was 9 or 10 years, not taking into account any possible increase in home value or rising electric rates. I thought, this is a no brainer, but we had to think a little bit about how we were going to finance it.”
Mark looked into financing options and found a number of finance companies who offered solar loans for homeowners. He also approached his local credit union, and ended up taking out a low-interest home equity loan there. “I was amazed at how low the bar was for doing it, once I started looking,” he says.
Mark and Patty have a two-story home with dormers, which presented some shading challenges. With careful panel selection, Creative Energies was able to install a system that would provide a little over half of their annual power needs, according to their historical usage patterns.
However, Mark says that he and Patty expect to save a lot more than that. Viewing their energy consumption and solar power generation online in real time set off a light bulb in their heads about energy efficiency. By switching to more efficient appliances and use habits, they are hoping to reach net zero in their electric use.
Just in time, as far as their neighbors are concerned. On July 5th, 2014, their next door neighbors suffered a severe house fire that left them without power. Mark and Patty offered to share their solar energy until the neighbors got back on their feet. Says Mark, “We’re donating about 500 watts per hour to our neighbors and were still almost net zero.”
- 13 Sun Power 327 watt panels
- PowerOne 3.2 string inverter