Living on Sunshine

You’ve probably heard about the rotating skyscraper cloaked in solar panels that’s being built in Dubai. Basically it’s an unmatched feat of architecture and engineering, a sci-fi modernity that makes the suburbs seem otherworldly.

Still not impressed? Consider this: it’s the first skyscraper that’s also a power plant.

The Rotating Tower is what happens when possibility gets more attention than practicality… and what happens when what’s most practical gets incorporated into the what’s possible daydream.

Although Zan Dubin Scott’s house is less than 1% what the Rotating Tower will be, her passion for alternative energy is just as big.

Zan and her husband Paul have added solar panels to the rooftop of their Southern California home and started literally living off sunshine.

“My husband survived bladder cancer, and we decided we didn’t want to put off our life’s dreams anymore,” said Zan. “Having solar panels was on the top of the list, so on his 50th birthday, we had them installed.”

The completely hidden solar panels on the roof of their modest home give Paul and Zan all the electricity they need to run their washer, power their computers, light their rooms and even charge their electric car.

And, as an extra bonus, they’re actually making money of their investment.

“I took a look at the numbers and they actually made sense,” said Paul. “You actually make money with these. It’s an investment. If you put money into the stock market, you expect to get a return. We put money into solar panels, and we’re getting a really high return on our investment.”

Paul and Zan financed their solar panels and expect to have them paid off in less than 10 years (assuming 100+ mph winds don’t blow by and steal them). At that point, they’ll never have to pay for electricity again. They won’t have to worry about Enron scandals or blackouts because they’ll have their own energy source stored neatly on their roof, soaking up rays and turning it into power.

So what’s the biggest burden that comes with solar panels? Hosing off the bird poop once a year.

With companies like Solar City stepping up to the plate to provide leasing options for solar panels and cloudy countries like Germany proving that it doesn’t require year-round sunshine for solar panels to get the job done, electric companies are starting to offer energy alternatives to keep people from skipping off the grid. All you have to do is call and ask for it and agree to pay a couple cents more per kilowatt hour. Or, if they don’t offer clean energy options, demand that they start.

“The whole idea is to break down the barriers to widespread solar adoption,” said Zan. “You know, we’re sitting on this tremendous asset — our own roofs, which can be producing our solar energy.”

MORE TIPS & TOOLS

Soul Crushing
See Zan and Paul in action in Who Killed the Electric Car?

Join the club!
Want to find some like minded electric car fans? Take a look at the Electric Auto Association and get info on how to rally for the cause.

A Trusted Advisor
Get the latest news and advisories on green automotives through Edmund’s Green Car Advisor.

Public Relating
Find out more about Zan through her business website.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: