LAKEWOOD, N.J. - Dina’s Interiors & Leather in Lakewood offers some of the finest upscale and custom furniture in New Jersey. Its showroom holds living room sets, dining furniture, and bedroom suites, in a wide variety of styles. Spotlights flood its large floor space with light, showcasing the store’s array of furniture, but the owners are no longer worried about their power bill.

That’s because a New Jersey-based solar power installation company - Arosa Solar Energy Systems - has placed a state-of-the-art photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof of the showroom, effectively cutting the store’s substantial electric costs by more than 65 percent, said Arosa. The PV system harnesses the energy produced by the sun’s rays and converts it to electrical power, thereby supplying most of the store’s required power needs and reducing demand on the local power grid.

Dina’s doesn’t look at its new equipment simply as a cost-saving measure - it’s an investment. Not only is the furniture retailer saving two thirds of its normal energy costs each month, the power that the system produces is recorded and registered as SRECs - Solar Renewable Energy Certificates - that can be sold to generate additional income. The 41.3 kW PV system at Dina’s is expected to pay for itself in under four years, and after that the SRECs will yield pure profit.

In addition, Arosa Solar Energy obtained substantial rebates from the state, as well as federal grants, to help defray the cost of installing the system. Businesses that opt for alternative energy are eligible for several different programs, which makes it more cost efficient to install a PV system.

“Arosa Solar is excited about this installation,” said Shimmy Tessler of Arosa Solar Energy Systems. “The installation is replacing a huge amount of the energy for which this client depended on (and paid) the utility company. In four years, this system will not only be paid for, but all of the company’s energy will still be free - if you factor in the SREC income. Dina’s will actually be turning a profit every month from this system, and so many other businesses could, too.

“A lot of people don’t realize exactly how eager the state and federal governments are to help subsidize installations like this,” Tessler added. “People don’t realize that not only can they afford it - it’s actually a great business investment.”

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Publication date:04/19/2010