St. Louis City’s First “Net Zero” Home

Solar energy installation produces as much electricity as the home uses from the grid

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SAINT LOUIS – When Jim and Phyllis Young of St. Louis City decided to put solar panels on the roof of their house, they knew they were doing something exciting. But as it turns out, their project is even more exciting than they realized since it is believed to be the first “net zero” residence in St. Louis. “Net-zero” is used to describe a home that has zero net energy consumption because it will generate as much energy as it uses.

“When we decided to get the solar panels, we knew we were taking a step to help the environment and we thought that we might save some money on our electric bill,” said homeowner Jim Young.  “But we were blown away when the team from Microgrid told us that we would actually be producing more electricity than we use and that we’d actually be putting power back onto the grid.”

As a result of a state net metering policy, Ameren Missouri will credit the Young’s electric bill each month for any solar power produced that is not used by the house at any given time and which is put back on the grid.

The Young solar project comes in the midst of a major growth in interest in solar energy in the St. Louis area.  This growth is fueled by reduced costs and generous incentives that can reduce the upfront cost of solar by 75% or more.  “With energy costs continuing to increase, the declining cost of solar is making it an excellent option for many home and business owners in our region,” said Microgrid CEO Rick Hunter.

The office of St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay was excited to hear the news of this milestone for the City.  “The City has made a major commitment to sustainability in the last year,” said Catherine Werner, Director of Sustainability for the City.  “But we are always excited to hear about companies like Microgrid Energy and residents like the Youngs investing in the City and doing their part to help make St. Louis more sustainable.”

As for how the Young’s home looks with its new 3.36kW solar array, Microgrid President Marc Lopata noted: “We love seeing the combination of the new and the old – the high tech solar panels and the beautiful historic Victorian home’s architecture.  It really shows that solar makes sense just about everywhere.”