When I told Randi that we had just bought 14 solar panels, her response was, “Really? Where are we going to put them?” A logical question, I suppose. Happily, we don’t have to put them anywhere… we don’t even have to touch them. That’s all taken care of. All we do is write a check and then start watching for the monthly credit on our Holy Cross electric bill. How cool is that?
Instead of being placed on our roof, Clean Energy Collective installs them along with about 1,986 of their best buddies on a two acre site down by the airport in Rifle. The energy they produce then gets fed into the grid. Voila! Naturally, the site was selected for optimum exposure and efficiency. The maintenance is taken care of in perpetuity by virtue of the purchase price plus a fraction of the energy savings from now on. Again … how cool is that?
When we replaced the Antlers roof a few years ago, we tried hard to make it work to install solar along with it. Sadly, we weren’t able to get it done. But hey … at this point … who cares? This is better. No muss, no fuss, and we’re saving about $700 a year on our electric bill. That’s about a 7% return initially (better than any of my investments are doing these days), and it should only grow each year as the cost of energy goes up (uhhhh … that’s pretty likely). Of course, even if the return wasn’t so obviously good, it would still feel great to be “doing the right thing”.
We at the Antlers are quite proud of all our green efforts and initiatives, but this almost seems too easy. Like, why wouldn’t you do this? If all goes according to plan, we’ll pick up some more panels next year, and the next year, and …
Another fun element of this project (for us, at least) is the fact that Mike Dow, son of Antlers owners Buzz and Connie Dow, works for Clean Energy Collective and is the one who sold us the panels. The only thing better than doing this kind of business, is doing it with a member of the family (well, practically). Since each Antlers condominium is individually metered for electricity, our next step is to point ALL of the condo owners in the right direction, so they too can sign up for this gig. Which is exactly what I just did for my own home in Edwards. Ya-hoo!