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TFS_Shefali_Gavin_November17_2013_BFP_32_web Gavin Milczerek and Shefali Milczerek-Desai, the proud parents of two adorable young kids, chose to install a solar electric system, a solar water heater, and rainwater harvesting cisterns at their home primarily out of a concern for the environment.  Initially, they were only interested in rainwater harvesting.  Shefali explained that, “It didn’t seem right to use water for our landscape, unless it was harvested rainwater. The family first thought of installing a water harvesting system when their close friends, who also happened to be some of TFS’s very first water harvesting customers, had a rainwater harvesting system installed the year prior.  Shefali was interested in installing her own water harvesting system, so she read Brad Lancaster’s book, Rainwater Harvesting for the Drylands and Beyond.

Shortly after reading this book, they installed a 170 gallon polypropylene tank. Smiling, Shefali said, “quickly, however, we realized that a 170 gallon tank was not going to cut it. So that’s when we decided to look for larger water harvesting systems that could handle the amount of water that pours of the roof, when it rains.”

According to Shefali, “We decided to work with TFS, because it was important to us to work with a company that is very local. TFS_Shefali_Gavin_November17_2013_BFP_143_webWe wanted to work with people who are a part of the fabric of our community.”  She had heard positive word of mouth about TFS, and she said, “We wanted to feel like we were making these sustainable moves along with the people in our community.”

Shefali had a solid understanding of water harvesting; however, when it came to solar she had questions. “After talking to Kevin during our site visit, we saw that he really understood all of our questions, and that’s when we decided to move forward with solar.”

Although they were driven by environmental motivations initially, it was important that these systems made economic sense, as well.  As Shefali explained, “We wanted to be the type of people who took steps to reduce our environmental impact. If that means taking our money in that direction, then we’ll do it. It isn’t like we took this decision lightly, it was something that we needed to plan for and save -- so that’s just what we did.  Even with the upfront cost of the system, especially in this economic climate where everybody would like to have a little extra [money] lying around, I have never regretted our decision to have these systems installed."TFS_Shefali_Gavin_November17_2013_BFP_93_web

Shefali and Gavin enjoyed working with TFS because they were very helpful and knowledgeable when it came to the financial incentives, tax credits, utility rebates, etc. They explained, “If we had questions, [TFS] got the answers for us. Also, the contract we received from TFS was helpful in that everything was laid out and very easy to understand. TFS was always there to help us navigate the entire process.”

“I like all three of the systems equally. After installing the systems, it has made us more cognizant of the amount of resources we’re using, both in terms of the electricity and water.  I like knowing that we are contributing to energy independence in this country and lessening our environmental impact.  It really matters,” explained Shefali.