This 3 kW system complements a solar water heating system to significantly reduce the environmental impact of this northeast Tucson family. Mr. Flach says, "Whenever I hear about a social or environmental problem I like to look for something I can do personally to help rather than just talking about it and waiting for the government to fix the problem for us. Installing PV was an easy way to take real action on a number of environmental issues (global warming, mining, air pollution) instead of just talking about them. "When I tell people I have a PV system they often ask whether its 'worth it.' The funny thing is, when someone drops $10,000 plus on a kitchen or bathroom remodel, or a top of the line SUV, I never hear people asking them if it is 'worth it,' apparently because it's just understood that people spend extra for the best and coolest stuff. Owning a PV system gives me the same intangible pride of ownership that some other people get from owning a Hummer or a gleaming modern stainless steel kitchen. The best thing is, though, that after the tax breaks and the TEP program, having this cool PV system doesn't cost me anything in the long run, may save me money if electric rates go up, and helps the environment too."
The Flach's have installed three different sets of solar power: 3.0 kW in 2005, an addition of 1.58 kW in 2007 and a final installment of 1.58 kW in 2010. They also use solar hot water to reduce their impact on the environment.