Solar Powered Auto Shop in Bee Cave
Wayne Epps founded Epps Body & Paint in 1988 and grew it into a well-respected Bee Caves business. In 2011, Wayne asked Steve and Melissa Takamatsu to continue his tradition of fine auto body repair and add Epps to their already established, nearby repair business, Lawson Tire and Automotive. So, Melissa agreed to handle the body repair at Epps with her capable team while Steve handles the mechanical work at Lawson with his team.
Steve Takamatsu has always been environmentally conscious and installed solar on his home several years ago, but solar had to work on its own financially in order to be a viable investment for his business. When NATiVE approached him in 2015 he was pleasantly surprised to learn how quickly the investment would pay for itself on the commercial scale with the current low cost of solar panels and available rebates. “It’s a win, win” for the environment and his business he says.
Steve got a few bids for the project, but ultimately chose NATiVE because of the skilled commercial team and their endless encyclopedia of knowledge. NATiVE “aren’t just sales people, they knew their product and what’s current in the solar industry.” Steve, a trained accountant, was impressed with NATiVE’s ability to navigate the maze of beneficial tax implications and utility incentives for this project.
NATiVE installed a 22.1 kW system on the Epps Body & Paint building in late 2015. When the first electric bills started arriving after the installation, Steve was instantly impressed that they had been cut in half as soon as the system was turned on. Steve reports that he has “cut into the demand charges” as well as the typical kilowatt-hour usage. Since the solar installation, Steve has added additional roof space, and is planning to put more solar on to it. “The payback for a capital kind of investment is, really, very short.”
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