The Zanes: A Family That Saves Together, Thanks to Photovoltaics
With all the solar energy providers out there, how do you decide which company to go with? And what’s it really like to have a system installed for your home? Here is one family’s story.
Chris Zane, a network engineer, and his wife, a physical therapist, purchased their first home in Kaneohe in 2009. With two small daughters (now ages 6 and 4), fairly minimal use of air conditioning and no swimming pool, their electricity consumption was about average. Electric bills came in around $120 per month, sometimes as high as $150 per month. Rates, however, continued to creep up with each bill, to the point where opening that envelope each month was becoming a little stressful.
After carefully researching his options and soliciting bids from three local companies, Chris chose Alternate Energy Inc. to install a hybrid system, including a solar water heater and 12 PV panels.
“I knew it was crucial to get a solar water heater as part of my package, since an electric water heater accounts for around 40 percent of a family’s power usage. AEI has been doing solar in Hawaii for decades,” he said. “I was impressed with the fact that their installers aren’t sub-contractors, but are actually employed by AEI, so I know the warranties for both the work and the materials are rock solid. I even went up on the roof with them when they did the install. They were careful, friendly, honest and fast. The job was done in about half a day!”
Best of all, when that electricity bill comes in the mail these days, it’s actually fun to open because the bills have been as low as $18.
Today, the Zane family is celebrating its one-year anniversary with its AEI solar PV system. At this rate, Craig’s system will pay for itself in only four more years. After that, he and his family will be enjoying virtually all their home’s power needs courtesy of the sun.
Address: 1111 Dillingham Blvd., #H3, Box 112