In Asheville, environment and economy go hand in hand. For Mike Diethelm, that combination makes solid business sense as well. Diethelm is the President and Founder of Solfarm Solar Co., which specializes in the design and installation of solar systems for residential and commercial properties in the Asheville area. His business was borne out of a concern for the environment and a desire to impact it for the better, and Asheville, with its general commitment to sustainability, was the perfect place to get started.
While solar energy may be an easy sell for the environmentally-minded, Diethelm sees it as a smart buy for nearly everyone. “It’s free fuel,” he says, when asked what makes solar power so special. “How many times can you buy a piece of equipment and have it run for 30 or 40 years and have free fuel? It’s amazing.”
Solar power can also be confusing for customers who have little experience with it, but Diethelm has a relatively simple way of making it clear. The solar grid, he explains, acts as a self-charging battery. During the day, when power is being produced, it is either used immediately or returned to the grid, where it will essentially “spin the meter backwards.” At night, when power is being used but not generated, the meter spins the other way, creating a “net meter effect” that, ideally, brings the net energy used and produced to zero.
This ability to create a self-sustaining power supply is motivation enough for many to move towards utilizing solar power but, for those who need another reason to invest, Diethelm points to a bill recently passed in North Carolina, which will provide financial incentives for those who incorporate solar power into their homes or businesses. “That’s going to be a game changer for the solar industry around here.”
While the specifics of the bill are still unknown, it will likely provide a cash-back rebate per kilowatt, helping to justify the initial cost of a solar power system.
With or without a rebate, Diethelm still believes that solar energy is an excellent investment. “If you have a system – that is free energy for the lifetime of the system – and it pays back in five or six years, that seems like a pretty good bet to me.”
To learn more about Solfarm and the benefits of solar power and sustainable energy, visit their website at Solfarm.com or call 828-332-3003!
Video With Mike from SolFarm! Listen to the episode at Asheville Real Estate News