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Green Power Switch News

Going green

It’s easy and it makes financial sense, says MTEMC member

photoWhat started as a potential financial disaster for Middle Tennessee Electric members James and Lisa Smith is now expected to pay them dividends.

After a water pipe burst in their business space in downtown Franklin’s historic district, the Smiths thought their investment was ruined. But several months later, they’ve turned their misfortune into a potential profit.

“We knew we were going to have to rebuild most of the house as it was totally flooded,” James Smith said, “so we saw it as an opportunity to rebuild and adhere to the most energy-efficient standards in the process.

“We decided what we wanted was a zero-carbon-footprint structure, and we chose to go with MTEMC’s Energy Star®, Green Power Switch, and Generation Partners programs to help us with the effort.” They spent about $27,000 above what traditional construction costs would have been to install the solar panels and other green elements in the building.

“The real payoff comes on the back end,” Smith explains. A financial guru who makes a living crunching numbers, he put his pencil to paper and came up with some very convincing figures. “Our utility bills used to total about $4,000 a year. However, with all that we’ve done, we’re expecting to spend only about $1,000 a year, which includes our solar credits on our electric bills — roughly a 75 percent reduction in energy costs.”

When he figures the property’s appreciation value over a five-year period combined with his projected energy saving costs, Smith expects a 450 percent total return on his investment. “I understand that not everyone can go this far, but I recommend everyone do something to go green,” Smith said. “One of the quickest and easiest ways is to purchase blocks of green power.”

(Adapted with permission from an article by Todd Palmer of MTEMC.)

Spring 2009


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