Berkeley Homes
Ira & Carol Serkes
Pacific Union RE
Berkeley, CA USA


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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Electricity From The Sun!

Here's more on our PhotoVoltaic System!

We're generating electricity from the sun! Our 24 panel photovoltaic electrical system went live a few weeks ago, and we're delighted to no longer be part of the problem!

I've been thinking about doing this for a long time. Last year decided it was time. We called up Sun Light & Power and they did a superb installation on our roof

When I first looked at the meter, it was moving backwards just a bit... and thought "That's not very exciting". Then I realized what I was seeing... we were generating ALL the electricity we needed, and has enough left over to send some back to PG&E!

Are you considering a system? Here's some things which weren't obvious to me:

1: You need to have a battery backup for it to operate during a blackout. If you don't have a battery backup, the system shuts down during an outtage because it would be feeding live power into a short

2: The batteries only work during an outtage. I initially thought that I'd recharge the batteries during the daytime, and draw down at night. That's not how it works

3: Depending on your energy usage, you might have a 10 year payout.. or more.. or less. I figured that the money we save on electricity will pay the interest on a loan to purchase it... and also pay the loan down. If you think you'll be in your home for 10 years or more.. it might not make sense to NOT do it

4: I wanted our system to be as inobtrusive as possible, so was willing to trade off some efficiency for aesthetics. That's a personal choice

Want more information? Call 510-526-6668 or email ira@berkeleyhomes.com


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