Family Discovers Energy Savings in New Home Thanks to Solar Energy System & Features

Posted: May, 14, 2024 | Categories: Green Living

If you’ve never lived in a home with a solar energy system, you might wonder what all the hoopla is about. You might also wonder if you’ll really save on energy costs with solar. Joe Mauer, a homeowner at McCaffrey Homes’ Savanna neighborhood at Tesoro Viejo, has a lot to say about the savings – and the benefits – of the solar system on his home, as well as other McCaffrey Homes energy-efficient features. 

Joe and his wife, Kendra, moved from Coarsegold to Madera in 2022 to be closer to work and take advantage of area schools. It didn’t take long for them to experience significant energy cost savings thanks to the pre-owned solar system on their one-story home in the Savana neighborhood. 

“We thought the house was perfect, and we noticed a significant change in our energy costs compared to PG&E costs in Coarsegold. We were saving 60% on our PG&E and gas bill in the winter, and 50% to 55% in the summer.” 

The savings were confirmed by their True-Up Statement that summarizes net utility use and identifies whether a homeowner has an energy credit or balance. Joe’s statement showed his family had a surplus of electricity that carried over to their natural gas costs – meaning they only paid a small service charge each month.

Eleven months later, Joe and Kendra took advantage of the equity they had earned and moved up to a new two-story home, also at Savanna, that better met their space needs and included a room for Kendra’s mom to use when she stayed over. Even in the larger house, they’re still seeing a 50% savings on their energy costs. 

Joe, who happens to be the landscaper for Tesoro Viejo, appreciates all of the other energy-efficient features in his McCaffrey home, like automated light switches, exterior lights with atmospheric timers and a tankless water heater. 

“The automated lights are great with little kids, and the exterior lights are set on a timer from dusk until dawn,” Joe explains. “I just love the tankless water heater, which has netted additional savings, and the high R-value insulation keeps the house at the perfect climate, even on the second floor.”

A smart thermostat, controllable by mobile phone, also helps keep the temperature just right. 

Joe and his family also appreciate the Tesoro Viejo master-planned community. “You feel like you belong. It’s really a village and it’s great to be a part of it,” Joe says. “There’s always something going on, from farmers’ markets to concerts to events on Fourth of July and Easter.” 

And Joe’s concerns about missing the views and wide-open spaces he had in the Sierra foothills have all but disappeared. “We’re surrounded by open space at Tesoro Viejo, and I can even get views of the high country.”

To learn more about McCaffrey Homes’ solar energy and green program, visit our EarthSense page and read more about all the features included in our homes. We invite you to tour our model homes with four new home collections: The Boulevard, Poppy, Savanna, and Ivy, all at Tesoro Viejo, the award-winning master-planned community in Madera, minutes north of Fresno.