One Nebraska Man Goes Off the Grid with Solar Power!

J-tech Solar is your neighbor in green energy. Our goal is to help provide for the future by helping Nebraska residents install safe, affordable, and environmentally friendly solar panels, improving our great state while helping our customers cut down on their energy costs. One Bellevue man has recently become out state’s greatest example of going green. Learn more about the zero-waste hero in this week’s blog!

Don Priester posing in front of his solar panels

Who?

On October 4th of this year, the Omaha World Herald reported on a Nebraskan citizen who went above and beyond in his quest to go green. Don Priester, a Bellevue City councilman, hasn’t set out a single bag of trash in 3 years. He was recently recognized by the American Solar Energy Society for the use of his 8.4 kilowatt, grid-tied system which powers both his 2,000 sq. ft. home and his electric vehicle. Installation on the system was finished in 2016, and he’s only gotten greener since the project wrapped up!

How?

Aside from relying solely on solar power for living and transportation needs, Priester has gone fully zero waste. As we mentioned, he hasn’t put out a trash bag in 3 years! Instead, he recycles what he can, and puts the small amount of trash he does create in “energy bags.” They are sent to a Kansas-based company which creates plastic building materials similar to lumber by breaking down petroleum-based products. Even his lawnmower is fully manual, meaning he uses zero gas.

According to the Herald, Priester installed his system for around $20,000. However, after receiving $8,500 toward the system due to the federal tax credit and a system rebate, he expects the system will make him his money back in the $1,200 per year he is no longer paying in electric bills. To add to his savings, the article reported that, like many solar users, Priester’s system produces more energy than he needs, so the excess is bought back by OPPD!

a backyard array of solar panels

Why?

Priester, like many Nebraskans, recognizes the dire circumstances our environment is battling. With scientists reporting that a climate crisis could be on our global doorstep as early as 2040, we should be looking to examples like Don Priester and encouraging our local, state, and federal governments to realize the importance of utilizing clean energy before it’s too late. Priester even stated in the Herald article that he would be willing to give up his individual solar system in favor of community solar farms (an idea we’ve discussed in a previous blog).

Forge Your Own Path

Are you ready to start your solar adventure? Call J-Tech Solar today to learn more. Maybe you’ll be the first zero waste family in Lincoln!