Commercial – Clubbo Records
Solar Powered Recording Studio
In 2005, Elise Malmberg and Joe Gore installed a solar system on their Noe Valley home/office. The system powers not only their home, but also their home-based business - Clubbo Records - a “fictional record label” and recording studio, multi-media, and music composition company that Malmberg and Gore operate out of their basement. “Because we use so much electricity in what we do, it seemed like the right thing to do,” said Malmberg. “The savings were the justification, not the impetus.”
When deciding what size solar system to install, Malmberg and Gore’s goal was to bring their energy use down to the level where they did not exceed PG&E’s baseline tariff. After upgrading to Energy Star appliances and re-insulating their roof, Malmberg and Gore decided on a 3.4 kW system, which cost $18,000 after rebates and was installed by Marin Solar. One of their neighbors installed solar at the same time, so they were able to take advantage of some economies of scale and negotiate a better deal. Previously spending $100-150/month on their electric bills, they now pay only $200-300/year. As a result, the system is expected to pay for itself in about eight years.
When asked about maintenance of the system, Malmberg answered: “What maintenance? Twice a year we hose it down and use one of those window wipers and that’s all the maintenance there is.”
Malmberg is now working on convincing other businesses in the neighborhood, including a local pilates studio, to install solar. She is also looking into solar water heating for their own building. “The sun provides energy whether we tap it or not, so why not take advantage of this resource? I don’t know why more people don’t go solar.”
Additional Information for Commercial – Clubbo Records
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