Case Study: The Foust Residence - Harnessing the Sun's Bounty in Bozeman

Project Introduction:

In the picturesque city of Bozeman, Montana, where sunny days are abundant, Karen and Jan Foust embarked on a sustainable journey by harnessing the power of the sun for their water heating needs. In March 2014, they partnered with Liquid Solar Systems, based in Bozeman, to install a solar hot water system. The 35,000 BTU solar hot water collector, combined with a 60-gallon solar storage tank, transformed their home into an energy-efficient haven. The total project cost was $5,900, with financial support from federal and state of Montana tax credits, making the transition to solar energy an economically sound choice.

A Solar-Powered Dream:

For the Foust family, solar energy was an appealing prospect. Their existing water heater relied on propane, and the idea of using abundant, free solar energy to reduce their propane consumption resonated with their eco-conscious values. Bozeman's ample sunlight, offering more than 200 sunny days each year, made solar water heating a compelling choice.

Karen Foust expressed her enthusiasm for this sustainable endeavor, saying, "Solar is a gift from God. As much as we can use it, it's free!" Their journey towards solar water heating began when they connected with Todd Hoitsma, the owner of Liquid Solar Systems in Bozeman.

Upon assessing their needs, Todd Hoitsma recommended a solar hot water system that could deliver a peak output of 35,000 BTUs, combined with a 60-gallon solar storage tank. This system was expected to supply approximately 10,000 gallons of hot water annually, meeting about 70% of the Fousts' yearly hot water requirements.

Sustainability with Savings:

The Fousts' solar water heating system came at a total cost of $5,900. A key incentive for their transition to solar energy was the availability of both state Alternative Energy Tax Credits and federal tax credits, significantly offsetting the system's cost. Karen noted that these tax credits played a pivotal role in their decision, stating, "We don't make a lot of money, and [the tax credits] were one of the things that sold us."

A Solar Success Story:

The installation was completed in March 2014, and years later, the Fousts continue to enjoy the benefits of their solar water heating system. Karen regularly checks the temperature of the solar-heated water, finding delight in knowing that even on a chilly February morning, the sensors reported a tank temperature of 115 degrees. This warm water, courtesy of the sun, has been a gift that keeps on giving, aligning perfectly with the Fousts' vision of sustainable living.

Project Summary:

Contact Information:

Embracing the Sun's Gift in Bozeman:

The Foust family's journey to sustainable living in Bozeman, Montana, serves as a testament to the power of solar energy. With the support of Liquid Solar Systems and available tax credits, they successfully harnessed the sun's energy to meet their hot water needs. The Fousts' story reflects the essence of sustainable living, where ecological responsibility meets economic savings, all while enjoying the bounties of clean, solar-heated water.

Bozeman Project

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