Solar has long been on my list of home improvement / life improvement ideas. As a parent of young children, I find it important to model good behavior and the values our family treasures. We purposefully moved our family to the Denver area, in part, for what the city offers, but more importantly, for what the surrounding mountains and wilderness have to offer. Camping, biking, hiking, snow sports, etc. are activities we greatly enjoy, and we are always telling our children to leave as little trace as possible in order for others to enjoy the same activities while maintaining the wonders of nature. These are lessons we also try to teach at home, and solar is a highly functional and visible way to do so. In fact our roof is visible from their elementary school, so they now point with pride to their friends how we are using the sun for power! Maybe my 6 & 8 year old boys should ask Realgoods for a sales position!
Now, being an engineer and also business-minded, solar has not always been such a slam dunk decision. Questionable life expectancy of converters, and even more dubious financial models for the return on investment of solar kept me away. Kudos to legislators and the solar industry for providing enough financial incentives, and lease options to make solar a viable power source financially. In fact, Realgoods provided an option I found to be a financial savings that was difficult not to take advantage of! Furthermore, I found Realgoods to have, in my opinion, a superior product in terms of the panels and converters that made the decision to choose them as my provider quite simple.
Now that I am tracking on-line my power production, and seeing how my family is both doing something good for the environment AND the family finances, I will definitely be sharing my experiences with friends and neighbors….of course, it may be old news, as my kids may have already sold their children on solar!