Check out Little Bay Root's energy production
Solar farms may not be a common sight around Oregon, but look close and you’ll spot those sun-gathering panels shining on roofs in Portland, Salem, all over the state.
I finally saw the light when I noticed that our partner, Oregon Screen Impressions, transformed its huge, flat roof into a sea of solar panels. What a smart way to offset a big chunk of their energy costs!
The process was easy.
Energy Trust of Oregon helped us get multiple bids and presentations from a few companies. Each group offered different options, including financing, battery back-ups, and arrays of panels that physically look or behave differently. It gets pretty technical with words like "micro inverters" being thrown around a lot.
In the end, we selected Elemental Energy of Portland (keeping it local, as usual). They had all their ducks in a row and their response time to questions and concerns was almost immediate. They offered the same customer service LBR gives its customers, so the choice was obvious.
The installers arrived (right on time!) during "Snowmageddon 2017" here in Portland. They were troopers and climbed our roof even on the coldest days to ensure that we would qualify for all 2016 rebates.
The results are great.
Unlike Oregon Screen Impression’s ample roof space, LBR could fit just 18 panels on our multi-level roof. But here's the amazing part: they've been in action for six weeks, and our electric bill already has been cut by a third! (And those were some dark, wet weeks, if you recall.)
As a designer, I love monitoring these little graphics that change with your production level. For example, on the sunniest day in February, this is how we did:
This infographic depicts just one day's production. Feb 13, 2017.
You can see all of our stats on our energy production here.
Installing solar panels is definitely a long-term investment. We opted to buy our system outright to start seeing returns immediately, but there are lots of financing options available.
In addition, we have cut our natural gas usage and are heating more and more with electric heat. Who ever thought we'd go back to that? Overall, the benefits of solar power are giving this Oregon-loving company a very sunny attitude.