Letter to the editor: Living with in our means
On this rainy Sunday, I would like to communicate with the community about the success of our 14 solar panels, that we have had installed for just over a year now.
My husband, Jim, and I were the first to receive a check from the Truckee-Donner P.U.D., and we were pictured in the Sierra Sun at that time. Just before the year anniversary of the startup of the system, we attained the four megawatt mark.
We have enjoyed watching the meter run backwards, and knowing that we were contributing to the grid.
We have taken several steps to live within our production. Our kilowatt-hungry television is on a power strip that is turned off when not in use. The one in the guest room is unplugged unless we have guests. The electric clocks are on extension cords, so that they can be unplugged easily when we leave for several days.
We use a gas dryer, and use an old fashioned solar dryer for the last stage of drying. We have insulated the attic ceiling and floor to decrease heating. We use CFL bulbs whereever practicable, and use LED ones at Christmas time. We have honeycomb shades that are open in the daytime for solar gain, and closed at night to retain heat.
We have six ceiling fans, four of which have a pull chain that allows only two of the lights to be used at a time The solar array, which was installed by Tahoe Solar Designs, has helped us both become more energy conscious. Our hope is to purchase a plug-in electric car when a four-wheel-drive model becomes available. We want to put the sun on the road!
We just received a nice income tax refund from the federal government, too.
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