December 2011 – Home in St. Peters
For the last two years, Conner Powers has been pursuing major energy upgrades to his 1982 ranch home in St. Peters. His home is now so efficient that his 27 solar panels often produce more energy than he uses, allowing him to earn a credit on his electric bill for the excess renewable energy he puts back onto the grid.
Powers used www.EnergySavers.gov to guide him in his pursuit of green upgrades. He focused on insulation, sealing, and lighting and paid special attention to his attic and basement. He switched to an infrared space heater to use electricity from solar rather than running his old gas furnace.
Powers then used StraightUp Solar to design, permit, and install his 6.2 kilowatt solar system. His system, similar to most of StraightUp Solar’s installs, has web-based monitoring that tracks the system’s electrical generation and the environmental benefits.
The lifetime payback for a typical St. Louis solar system installation is two and a half times the initial investment. Powers chose a 12-month, same-as-cash financing program that allows him to spread the cost of the system into small, monthly payments.