Dale & Jan Ritzel are the proud parents of Brent Ritzel, one of our bright Project Developers at StraightUp Solar. Dale, as Professor Emeritus of Health Education at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, was motivated to go solar in order to ensure low utility expenses and provide benefits to the environment through clean energy generation. That dual rationale of environmental and financial benefits has driven Dale & Jan’s son Brent to become a vocal renewable energy advocate throughout his prestigious career, which includes experience in the music industry, independent publishing, financial services and energy entrepreneurism.The Ritzels belong to a member-owned Electric Cooperative known as Egyptian Electric Cooperative Association. When members of the electric cooperative decide that they would like to offset their electric costs using solar energy, they simply apply for a net-metering agreement through the coop, who has agreed to enlist their members as distributed energy generators of solar electricity. With the new solar energy system, split into three arrays across the Ritzels’ Murphysboro, Illinois home, the portion of the home’s energy supplied by solar will be an average of 4 cents per kilowatt-hour less costly than the current utility electric rate of 10 cents per kilowatt-hour.
The Ritzels’ new solar array is comprised of 34 SolarWorld 285-Watt Made In America modules with 1 SMA 7700 Watt Inverter. The 9.69 kilowatt (kW) solar system is expected to generate just over 12,000 kilowatt-hours over first year of its life, with a manufacturer’s assurance of a maximum 0.7% performance degradation each year thereafter. High quality components combined with local NABCEP-certified installation & design experience mean this solar array is capable of providing clean renewable energy for the next 25+ years.
The Ritzels are looking forward to comparing how much energy that they are saving each month in regards to previous years. One additional feature is that, even though they have been an energy saving family, they are paying even closer attention to additional ways they can save energy in their home. They also like the way they can keep track of their daily production via computer, tablet, and smartphone.