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Felker Residence

Project Information

System Type: Ground Mount
Panel Type: Mitsubishi 175
Panel Count: 72
Inverter Type: 2 - SMA 5000
System Size: 10.08 kW

Location Information

City: Escondido
State: California

Ecological Impact

The Felker Family's solar power system will produce enough clean electricity to offset any one of the following over the 25 year life of the system:

The carbon sequestered by
5,106
seedlings grown for 10 years.
The CO2 emissions from
22,324
gallons of gasoline consumed
The CO2 emissions from
8,297
bottles of BBQ propane burned.

HelioPower solar newsletter article, May 2009
“Solar Power is a high return investment in my diversified portfolio”

Dave and Edie Felker live on 5 acres of land in Escondido, CA. They have an electrically powered well which pumps water to a grove of trees.  Their home is entirely electric. They use a lot of energy!

Prior to purchasing a solar power system, they had to build the home it would power.  So not knowing what their electric bill would be, they talked with Steve LoRusso of HelioPower. They then built their home, lived in it a year and contacted Steve again with a year of electric bills to mitigate. It was not unusual for them to have a $600/month utility bill.

Dave, who is an experienced investor, said he knew their electric bill would increase in the future. He said he knew the price of electricity was going to go up and that the more you use the more expensive it becomes.

So they invested in a 10 kW system that began operation in January 2008.  He was able to take full advantage of the 30% uncapped Federal tax credit for a solar power system and state and utility rebates.  Of the $90,000 system cost, he ended up with an investment of approximately $50,000.  Today, with a year of data, he says he is getting about 1.2 % return every month.

“We’re getting  about 14% after tax return,” said Dave Felker.  “A solar power system is a consistent, predictable and risk free investment.  Very few investments these days can be described in these terms, much less deliver the kind of financial benefits we are seeing on an annual basis.”

“I’m 110% happy with our investment in solar power.   We’ve controlled our costs, created a hedge against inflation and diversified  our  portfolio.  My wife and I have a sense of independence as we generate our own electricity and even create a credit with excess usage during peak hours.  We also feel good about what we are doing for the environment,” he added.  “There is almost a sense of decadence in our ability to run our air conditioning as much and as cold as we want, because we create our own electricity!”

Dave explained that he looked at solar power as a component of a diversified investment portfolio.  This investment will deliver returns for a long time – “ when I’m 75 years old, it will be nice to not have to pay an electric bill.”