Tuesday Mar 17 2009
New Penryn business is all about being green
By: Gloria Young, Journal Staff Writer
Eco-friendly products include solar, rain harvesting systems
Owners of a new showroom in Penryn hope it will become the “go-to” place for eco-friendly products in the area. Eric Salci, ES Electrical and Solar, and Robert Lenney of Rain Harvesting Systems, are putting the finishing touches on The Green House this week for an opening celebration Saturday. “We decided to open the store to showcase products and have a place where we can talk to people and teach them how to conserve energy and go green,” Salci said Monday. “We want to be the one-stop shop for efficiency devices. We want to offer the whole thing.” Salci has owned ES Electrical, Inc. since the mid-1990s and made the move into solar power about a year ago. Lenney’s Gutterglove Gutterguard company, based in Rocklin, sells gutter guards nationwide and recently expanded into systems to harvest rainwater from the roof. The store will have a working rain harvesting system on display as well as solar panels and a solar system. Another feature is a big-screen TV where Salci can pull up a homeowner’s residence from Google Earth, do an analysis of how much solar it needs and if is solar friendly, and then crunch the numbers to see what the savings would be, he said. There are also high-efficiency mini-split-heat-and-cooling systems, whole-house fans and the E3 home protection and energy savings device. “(The E3) hooks up on the main electrical panel and reduces the amount of electricity it takes to run the pumps and motors in the house,” Salci explained. “We can reduce the amount of energy 10 to 20 percent with a $700 investment.” Located on a former car sales lot, the site provides the perfect amenities for the business — a showroom as well as an ample parking lot for Saturday “green day” vendor and educational events, Salci said. The collaboration between Salci and Lenney stems from a longtime friendship and shared interest in renewable energy products. For Lenney, his company’s expansion into rainwater collection took shape because Gutterglove is a component in the system, providing the filtration. “We got into it about a year-and-a-half ago because we saw a spike in sales from rain harvesting contractors,” he said. The system is available in sizes ranging from 200 gallons to 5,800 gallons. It can include pumps and even a water gauge. “Most folks like to collect the rain to irrigate their plants or vegetation,” Lenney said. “They generally will do that through natural gravity flow, which doesn’t require electricity. You can connect a drip system to the rain tank to water your plants, which is really cool.” Cost for a 5,000-gallon rain harvest system runs from $7,000 to $10,000, he said. Ophir resident Trish Cargile sees having a place close by to purchase environmentally friendly products a bonus. Cargile and her husband have three acres and rely on ditchwater for irrigation. With the three-year drought, a water-collection system could come in handy if it is cost effective, she said. “Especially in this area, with a lot of pasture and green spaces, we want to keep it as wet as we can,” she said. “That’s a huge concern for everyone in the area. Lots of people have wells or have ditchwater. Depending on (the availability of ditchwater), rainwater could be very useful.” The Green House’s opening celebration will feature a 40-foot bounce house, hot dogs and manufacturer and vendor booths. There also will be a special appearance from the Zap car — a 100 percent electric car. The Journal’s Gloria Young can be reached at email@example.com or comment at Auburnjournal.com.