Gary, a homeowner and father from the Clayton neighborhood in Denver, has always been fascinated by alternative energy. “I always admired the technology back in the 80s and 90s,” he says, referring to the time when solar panels were first becoming popular. Gary received his solar array from GRID in 2013, which allowed him to fulfill his longtime wish of going solar. “I always thought about going solar when I was younger but it never was a reality because of the cost. It has always lingered in the back of my mind. Once I received the system from GRID, it was one of those dreams in the back of [my] mind that came true and, I am loving it!”
Prior to suffering from an injury that no longer allows him to work, Gary worked in the railroad industry. He describes passionate debates he had with co-workers about the importance of using solar energy as an energy source. “Coal is the bread of railroads, but eventually we have to get away from that hard fossil fuel,” Gary recalls.
Going solar with GRID sparked Gary’s passion for solar power and encouraged him to create several small solar arrays of his own. He remarked, “I loved the system so much after GRID put it in, I just went solar-berserk and started a couple of my own off-grid projects.” Gary has designed and installed a number of miniature solar arrays on his property; the systems power his outdoor lighting as well as computers and electronics inside the house.
Gary’s backyard solar endeavors and his commitment to extra energy-saving practices supplement the considerable electric savings he receives from the solar array installed by GRID. “I am currently paying about $349 dollars for everything, the total [energy bill] for the year,” he contends. Gary explained how receiving solar panels impacted his life. Before going solar, Gary consistently owed payments to the energy company, but now, he says that paying a public service bill is now the least of his worries. “The savings have been astronomical,” he says, “It [has] freed up extra money to get my daughter extra tutoring classes.” After his positive experience going solar, Gary continues to research solar panels and encourage their use by family, friends and neighbors. His 3.6 kW system is projected to save him more than $24,000 and offset 115 tons of greenhouse gases over the life of the system - savings for his family, and a cleaner environment for us all.
--Meredith Eastman, GRID Communications Intern