We custom design and install Solar Electric systems for residential, commercial, industrial, non-profit, government. We have 30 years of experience.
When you're going to make the long term investment in a renewable energy system to generate your electric energy, you need to be sure that it's going to be designed and installed to meet your needs, safely and efficiently, for many years to come. First we really listen to you, utilizing our 30 years of experience working with customers on technical projects. Second, we work with you to define the system that will meet your needs. Then, we make your system a reality .
Dave & Lila, What was your motivation for going off grid?
"Our motivation for going off the electric grid was driven mainly by the trends we see developing in the production, sale, and consumption of electricity. On the photovoltaic side prices continue to drop even as products improve. New battery technology is entering the market constantly and though the prices are high enough to scare most people off, at this point we felt the long term advantages of lithium batteries was worth it. Battery prices should also continue to drop which will encourage others into the PV market.
On the utility side of the electric equation we have been disturbed by a couple of developments in the last few years. 1) The huge build up of high voltage transmission line construction now happening in spite of flat energy demand. 2) The billions of dollars in high interest debt being placed on rate payers for the next 30 - 40 years to pay for this growth. This has forced local utilities to raise rates and unfortunately change their rate structures as well. Utilities are in near constant battle to raise monthly connection fees while at the same time lowering or holding the line on cost per kilowatt. This restructuring in effect discourages energy efficiency and also increases pay back times for grid tied solar. These factors and our desire to live a more sustainable life style made the idea of going off grid a viable option. No regrets yet."
Was there any process of load reduction on your part? How did you monitor and how important was it to get your usage down to fit your system size?
"Before going off grid we did take a good look at our electric usage and made some changes to lower it. We checked out a watt meter from the library to see how much energy different devises use and also to check for phantom loads( energy used in off or standby). We put switches on the biggest phantom loads to eliminate those losses. Five watts here and there, running 24 hours a day year round turns into big numbers. The same goes for lighting. We have been switching to more efficient lights slowly over the years and plan to do more in the future. Our house has an abundance of windows so we don't use much lighting in daytime even on cloudy days. Turn it off if you're not using it is the rule we live by. It is not a hardship, just common sense. Monitoring the drop in energy usage was as simple as looking at the graph on the electric bill month by month. We would encourage everyone to look at their bill each month and share it with the whole family. Just this act of being aware of your usage has been shown to cause it to drop.
The other major thing we did to lower consumption was purchase a new refrigerator and freezer. They are both chest types and super insulated. A chest style refrigerator takes getting used to but efficient upright models are also available. The bottom line is that our electric usage took a major drop and made going off grid much easier."
Can you talk about the importance of finding the right installer.
"Neither one of us are electronic geniuses so it was imperative that we hire professional help to design and install the system. Everyone's needs and situation are different and there are no optimum number of bids necessary to get the results you are seeking. The important factor for us at least was finding someone who could understand what we were looking for and explain back to us what was needed to get there. We only had two contractors look at our situation and ended up going with Energize LLC.
Since we were going off grid the system had to be robust enough to cover our biggest loads. Shop tools, pumps, and water heater were all turned on and graphed one at a time. The system was then designed around these measurements. These are all things that we could not do on our own. We did however, build a foundation for the panels, a wall for the electronics, shelves for the batteries, and dug a trench for wires. "
What was it like working with Energize?
"Jim Funk and Energize LLC were great to work with. Our questions, ideas, and concerns were always promptly addressed. Jim pays great attention to detail and was indispensable in sorting through and analyzing the new battery systems on the market to find a good fit for our needs. It has been a lot of work from all of us but totally worth it. "
We love new projects!
With utility prices on the rise, and customer interest in solar continuing to expand, we've been busy helping our customers turn their solar electric/PV ideas and dreams into reality. Give us a call so we can help you on your path to energy independence and a clean energy future!
Had enough of rising energy prices? Looking to lighten your load on the planet? What are you waiting for???? DO something about it!!!
Call or email us for a quote. 920-203-9555, Jim.Funk@GoEnergize.com
Be sure to have 3 years of your utility usage. You can get this online at your utility or give them a call to provide your usage. We need your history to provide a quote.