"Why should I go green?”
Going Green In Hawaii
"Energy–Efficient Homes & Green Real Estate design are some of the fastest growing segments of the national real estate market..."
And for several good reasons…
1/ Families want healthier homes that are more comfortable to live in.
2/ To save money on rising energy costs.
Especially in Hawaii where electricity costs are 4 times the USA national average--and rising!
3/ Green Homes sell faster: Buyers will always choose green design homes over older style homes.
4/ Higher Re-Sale Value: Green is now mainstream & will usually bring higher resale values.
5/ Pride of ownership that comes from doing the right thing for yourself & for the planet.
You can create a more self-sufficient lifestyle that can include growing your own food as you join a community of neighbors becoming less dependant on products brought from outside Hawaii.
There are well established sources for alternative energy systems such as solar/photovoltaic & wind generators that make great sense in this vibrant tropical climate.
Hawaii's Energy Cost Are The Highest In The Country: Energy costs in Hawaii are among the highest in the country---so the money you save on your monthly utility bill gives you a very quick return on your investment in energy improvement.
Energy-Smart Is Now Mainstream: Power systems that used the sun or wind were once expensive and hard to maintain. Technology has changed all that. There are many of your Hawaii neighbors that have installed alternative energy systems so there is good availability of maintenance & serivce providers. It's all part of the Hawaii quality of life!
There are more and more sources of locally grown food---from fruit and vegetables to eggs, meat, nuts and even coffee. These are other healthy additions to our island community.
And click for >> Hawaii Green Radio
"Cool Idea…I think…But how is it to live Off Grid?"
----Living With Solar & Wind Energy Power by Forrest
About 8 years ago, I finally found the Hawaii land I had always dreamed of….it is secluded and quiet with great views--and right here in beautiful North Kohala. The problem was that it was an empty cow pasture with no roads, no electricity, no phone, no county water.
“Polishing my diamond in the rough…”
Then when Hawaiian Electric quoted us over $250,000 to run electrical power down to our homesite, it was the beginning of my days living “off-grid”---using solar photovoltaic panels to generate all the power we need. Such systems are so common now, we invite anyone to explore how the power of Hawaii’s spectacular elements of sun & wind can add clean power to your life.
Our solar system grew a little over time…from 6 panels (each producing 170 watts) with a 3,000 watt inverter and now to a 10-panel system that now seems just right for our needs.
While we do have a energy-saving refrigerator, all of our other appliances are standard household units that carry the EnergyStar rating that assures they are energy-efficient. Power saving appliances are now the standard out in the marketplace---so they do not have to cost any more than their energy-hungry ancestors.
We were able to bring in county water and telephone/high speed internet lines. It’s all pretty civilized.And when the power goes out in the rest of Kohala, we enjoy the luxury of light, music and movies.
“But isn’t it a big headache to live off the power grid?”
Not really…The main difference might be that we had to learn about caring for our solar system.
Because our off-grid system uses large batteries to store the solar panel energy, it requires 30 minutes each month to be sure the batteries have the distilled water they need to work best.
How important is this? Well about 3 years ago, I got busy and didn’t check my batteries for several months. As the batteries heat up and gain electrical charge, the water inside can cook off and run low. My batteries were ruined---and it was an expensive lesson.
For sure, there is a learning curve---but these systems are so well designed and supported by professionals, you can even have service scheduled to sure your system is well maintained.
“But isn’t it super expensive to set up an off-grid system?”
For me, it was an easy decision to go off-grid since running power company lines was going to be so expensive. But when you think about the cost of power over several years…the numbers look very good. First of all, power here on the Big Island is about 43¢ per kilowatt/hour---the USA average is 10.9¢.
Our power cost is 4 times the national average. So solar pays for itself faster than most anywhere in the country. Also, tax credits for solar systems are really substantial and take a big bite out of the cost of purchase. Finally, you enjoy the feeling of satisfaction as you harvest the clean power of sun and wind and gain a more intimate relationship with this amazing island.
“Walking my talk…” The next step for me? It was to explore how to shift my real estate business to help families enjoy the benefits of a more energy-smart and healthy-home lifestyle. So this was the spark for Hawaii Green Realty.
We offer all real estate services for conventional homes and land---but also specialize in helping people who want greener homes and land---from remodeling existing homes to building new. Our growing network of professionals includes solar/wind contractors, green architects, building & remodeling experts, energy raters and indoor air quality consultants…to name a few.