Solar-Powered Home Surprises Energy-Efficiency Expert Mudit Saxena with Monthly Savings

“When you buy a house, you have so many expenses. You’re paranoid about any addition to your bill. Our biggest shock was to move into a home more than double the size of our last place and see our electric bills drop to the teens. I think the builders got the idea right by making these standard features. They’re making sure people benefit from the latest technology. And you really don’t have to sacrifice comfort at all.”

– Mudit Saxena, Homeowner, Carsten Crossings, Rocklin, CA

Energy-efficiency consultants, in general, prefer to live in energy-efficient homes. Mudit Saxena was no exception. The new home he and his wife Shweta found was practically perfect in every way. Located in the Carsten Crossings Development in Rocklin, CA, the 2,400-square-foot house had SunPower® SunTile® roofing built right into the roof and a fantastic layout plan. But there was a catch. The house was larger than what the Saxenas envisioned. They were concerned that maintaining it would exceed their budget. Fortunately, they realized the solar tiles would translate into big savings. Since moving in April 2007, the Saxenas only pay an average of $45 a month for electricity.

Energy-Efficient Home Impresses Energy-Efficiency Expert

With a degree in architecture and five years experience working to make buildings more energy-efficient, it takes a lot to impress Mudit Saxena. But Carsten Crossings homes in Rocklin did. Rather than simply installing solar panels on the roof—something he’d seen done before—these homes integrated energy efficiency right into the homes. “Solar power was a huge plus,” Mudit said. “Who would want to have a $200 electric bill every month when you could have a $12 bill?” The Saxenas decided to purchase a Carsten Crossings home because it promised such substantial energy savings.

Energy Features Result in Big Savings With Little Maintenance

Each home in the Carsten Crossings development includes energy efficiency features and a SunPower SunTile 2.4 kW roof-integrated solar power system. “We got the whole package,” Mudit said. “Our builder went the extra mile to make sure the building was energy efficient. Then, they put SunPower solar tiles on top to cover remaining power requirements.” The Saxenas appreciate that these features require little effort on their part. “The solar tiles need absolutely zero maintenance,” Mudit said.

Saxenas Pay About $12 For Electricity During Hot Summer Months

While the Saxenas expected low electricity bills, the extent of their savings surprised them. “Our first bill was $5,” Mudit said. “In the middle of the summer, we paid $12.Before, when we were renting a 1,000-square-foot apartment, we were paying $150in the middle of summer.” And, to those who believe being energy efficient means making sacrifices, Mudit begs to differ. “You end up gaining comfort,” he said. “There’s no switch, nothing requiring you to respond to. You just get an incredibly low bill at the end of the month.”

Project Overview

Location:    Carsten Crossings, Rocklin, California
Number of Homes in Community:    144
System Size:    2.4 kWp

  • Clean solar power saves the Saxenas about $120 per month in utility bills.
  • Design of solar tiles integrates seamlessly with rooftop and require no maintenance.
  • Solar power and energy efficiency will reduce carbon emissions by 150,000 lbs.over 30 years, which is equivalent to not driving the average car 185,000 miles.