Most electrical contractors can easily talk the talk when it comes to promoting environmentally friendly electrical energy solutions, but not all of them actually walk the walk. Guarantee Electrical does both. Solar panels on the roof of the contractor’s Granite City, Ill., office, which is located within the greater St. Louis metropolitan area, are generating 10% of the building’s electrical power needs. Spurred by electrical rates that are around 50% higher in Illinois than Missouri and solar energy initiative funding, Guarantee Electrical Vice President Dennis Bertelsman initiated the pilot solar project, giving his company a client’s perspective on new technology adoption.

Eight months after the April 2010 installation, Guarantee says it reduced the facility’s energy costs by 10% and is taking an active role in educating clients about economical options.

“We have a hatch and viewing spot in our office for those interested in exploring solar panels,” Bertelsman notes. “Clients can come watch our power generation in action.”

Comprised of 33 3-ft × 5-ft solar panels installed in rows adjacent to two exterior walls and bracketed at 10° to 30° angles for maximum solar gain, the 7kW system is producing more power than expected — more than 9,000kWh annually, which Guarantee uses for its own needs. Over the system’s anticipated 25-yr life, the company says that it will reduce greenhouse emissions from coal-fired electricity production by 155 tons of CO2. Full payback is expected within nine years.

Source: Guarantee Electrical