15 Years on the Cutting Edge of Home Green Tech – Quinton’s Customer Story

Quinton recently completed a 15-year journey to make his family’s home, car, and lawn equipment net zero using technology ranging from solar panels to an electric lawn mower. He sees a net zero home as an opportunity to live his values as a climate activist.

“I’ve been a climate activist since I was 18, so I’m always thinking about these things. I definitely want to be leading by example,” Quinton said.

Quinton’s efforts to decarbonize his family’s home started with weatherization, replacing windows, insulating the attic and weatherstripping around doors. Once solar panel technology became powerful enough to make adding solar panels to his home cost effective, Quinton had solar panels installed, which now provide 70% of the electricity his home uses. The electricity he doesn’t produce, he buys from a municipal renewable electricity program.

“When I’m taking a nice hot shower and the sun is shining, that energy is coming from the sun.” Quinton said. “I think that’s a really nice benefit.”

Quinton now uses his combination of home-generated solar electricity and purchased clean electricity to power a whole host of electric home systems and appliances, including an induction stove, air source heat pump, and solar hot water.

Federal income tax credits helped make Quinton’s green technology purchases more affordable. He also paced his purchases to make them more manageable. Quinton treated the net zero conversion of his home as an investment in the ability to use less energy, produce his own energy and therefore save money in the long term.

“I knew we would make back the cost in savings, but we couldn’t afford it all at once,” Quinton said. “That’s part of the reason it took 15 years. We would do part of it, and then build up some savings to do the next part.”

Quinton sees not only environmental and financial benefits from his net zero home, but also quality of life benefits including improved indoor air quality and less noise. His gas boiler used to be right next to his bedroom, and he could hear it turn on and off at night.

In addition to electrifying his home, Quinton’s family’s car is an electric Chevy Bolt 2019. He largely charges the car at home. Quinton is happy to have less car maintenance to worry about.

“The maintenance is just so much simpler, because you don’t have to worry about oil changes, spark plugs or all of these components in a gas-powered car that can fail,” Quinton said.

Quinton, who worked in landscaping using gas powered equipment when he was younger, is happy to have an electric hedge trimmer and snow blower. He does not miss the fumes from the gas-powered equipment, nor as the challenging and occasionally dangerous task of pouring out the fuel.

As home appliance, electric car, and landscaping technology progress, Quinton is glad to see more people joining him on the path to a greener life. He wants to see more resources created so that more people can afford to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

“The cheaper it becomes, the more of a no-brainer it is for people who just adopt this technology,” Quinton said. “That’s where our focus has to be…We need to come up with more ways to help offset the cost.”

To learn more about Quinton’s clean energy journey and his activism, watch his Ted Talk.

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