Using energy wisely is a priority for Anbu Varatharajan and Durga Nallathambi. When they purchased a newly built home in 2012, they chose one with energy-efficient features. As customers of PGE and NW Natural, their ENERGY STAR®-rated Northwest Portland home was eligible for and earned an EPS, Energy Trust’s energy performance score.
While their home wasn’t equipped with a solar electric system, generating solar power was on their radar. Durga, who has a Ph.D. in sustainable energy, was especially interested in putting renewable energy to work, but the couple wasn’t sure if it would fit their budget.
When they saw SolarCity, an Energy Trust trade ally, installing a solar electric system on their neighbor’s roof, they got curious. They quickly learned that solar was in reach thanks to Energy Trust incentives and a solar lease plan.
“We thought adding solar would be very expensive until our neighbor went through the process,” said Anbu. “We were able to work with our contractor on a solar lease plan, which meant no out-of-pocket cost for us right now. But we can still make a positive environmental impact and, of course, an impact on our energy bills.”
The process was simple. Before they knew it, their rooftop system was installed and generating clean, renewable energy.
“The experience working with SolarCity was great,” said Anbu. “They were very systematic and took care of everything except our homeowners association approval.”
One detail made their system stand out among the rest: it was the 5,000th residential solar electric system installed in Oregon with support from Energy Trust. Energy Trust has now helped Oregonians avoid adding 7,100 tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere—the equivalent of removing 1,250 cars from Oregon roads for a year.
Anbu and Durga are happy to be part of the growing trend. After following in the footsteps of their neighbor, they’re now seeing other neighbors look to the sun to generate their own energy.