Planet Earth doesn’t apperceive Don Preister exists.
He uses no gasoline, pays OPPD nothing, mows his backyard with one of those once-ubiquitous hand-pushed chiral mowers, puts out recyclables but no debris or backyard waste, and that baby bulk of abstruse debris — like acclimated artificial pens — gets placed into orange “energy bags” that are delivered to a Kansas bureau that break bottomward petroleum-based articles for re-use as “plastic lumber.”
“I accept not set out debris for three years,” Preister said Friday.
“I set out a recycling alembic every added week. I don’t anytime set out any affectionate of backyard waste. I don’t anytime set out debris now, so, about my carbon brand is zero.”
This zero-carbon-footprint accomplishment has bent the absorption of the American Solar Activity Society, which has included Preister’s home on a civic account of homes that on Oct. 6 will authority an Accessible Solar House. Organized locally by Green Bellevue, which Preister chairs, Nebraskans for Solar, and the Sierra Club, Preister will acceptable bodies to his home at 4522 Borman St., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
During those hours Preister, who is in his eighth year apery northwest Bellevue on the Bellevue City Council, will explain the technology that allows him to alive after account bills or gasoline.
It starts with a coffer of 28 solar panels he has installed in his backyard. The panels aftermath all the electricity he needs to balmy his abode in the winter, air-conditioned it in the summer, accumulate the lights on and accumulate the oven and refrigerator assuming their ytical duties.
In fact, those solar panels accomplish added activity than Preister needs, so OPPD does what federal law requires utilities to do — it buys the balance from him in the anatomy of credits.
The panels aftermath abundant activity to allegation Preister’s Nissan Leaf electric car, which he bought for $13,000 at three years old with 36,000 afar on the odometer.
His zero-carbon accomplishment may still be advised groundbreaking, but Preister said the technology that underlies his activity ability is rapidly acceptable boilerplate and will anon be taken for granted.
It is already the case, he said, that houses are actuality congenital with solar shingles and alike solar siding. They’re expensive, but like all new technologies amount plummets already accumulation assembly bliss in.
Preister spent about $20,000 to install his 28 solar panels, but is bound recouping the amount through $1,200 a year in vanished electricity bills, a $7,500 federal tax acclaim and a $1,000 rebate. The panels are affirmed for 25 years, 10 years best than Preister estimates it will booty to balance the amount of installation.
The electric auto is the added above basic of Preister’s acknowledgment of activity independence.
A distinct brief allegation grants the car a ambit of about 100 miles.
Other electric cars, Preister said, are alpha to attain a 300-mile ambit on a distinct charge, and a “quick charge” — the electric agent agnate of refueling — can booty as little as 30 minutes.
Charging stations are adding quickly, he said. Six are accessible in Bellevue and the electricity is about consistently free. A affection of Preister’s Nissan Leaf is a GPS action that tells him the area of the aing charging station.
For all his zero-carbon achievement, however, Preister said he would appropriately accord up his claimed solar acreage in favor of association solar farms that ability accomplish activity for absolute neighborhoods, and conceivably alike assorted neighborhoods.
One such solar acreage has been proposed for the old Sarpy County Landfill armpit at Cornhusker Road and Cedar Island Road, acreage which is abstract for any development purpose.
Some of the 5,000 acreage south of Offutt Air Force Base targeted for development by the City of Bellevue could agreeably become a solar farm, Preister said.
“I would rather do that than put it in my own backyard,” he said.
“Not anybody has advanced accessible admission to the sun like me.”
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