The principle behind Gustavo Hermida’s environmentally conscious Restored Digital Solutions is a simple one: provide office equipment including multifunctional copiers, printers, fax machines and business solutions such as cloud computing, networking, IT solutions, document management and more in the most affordable and energy efficient manner possible.
Recently, the “green office” trailblazer put his money where his mouth is when he converted his Palmetto Bay house into a green home through a program called the Ygrene Clean Energy Green Corridor. He hopes his example will inspire others to do the same.
“It becomes overwhelming if you think that one person could change it all,” he said. “But if you lead through example and everyone follows, before you know it. you’ve created a wave of change.”
After seeing that a neighbor had installed solar panels, he began seeking information on similar upgrades he could make to his own home.
He analyzed his family’s electric bill, saw they already would be saving money by switching, and approached Raul Vergada’s Cutler Bay Solar Solutions. Vergada examined the property and its needs, explained the program and, after Hermida applied for a federal tax rebate through 2016, they set to work.
“I said, ‘Wow, this makes perfect sense,’” Hermida said. “For me, it’s one more thing that you can do to help the environment. I run an ecologically friendly and conscious business and in my personal life I try to do whatever I can to be consistent in upholding those values.”
They installed solar panels on the roof, foam insulation in the attic, converted every light bulb in the house to LED and set the water heater on a timer to produce hot water during peak hours and enter a standby mode when not in use. The home entered the 21st Century in another way as well — the system is completely controllable through a convenient smart phone app.
“We are just now starting to enjoy the benefits of solar energy and we expect to reduce our expenses substantially,” he said. “My anticipated electric bill is going to be about $8, because that’s what FPL charges as an administrative fee.”
Homeowners and commercial property owners who qualify for the program can make thousands of improvements on their homes — many of which lower energy costs, improve comfort and raise property value — through the Ygrene Energy Fund, which offers 100 percent financing on upgrades in energy efficiency, renewable energy, water efficiency and even hurricane and wind protection. The financing is done through property tax, spread out over up to 20 years, without affecting your credit. There are no upfront costs or any charges for up to 17 months, and credit scores, proof of employment and financial statements aren’t factors in determining eligibility.
“I would definitely encourage any homeowners, especially if they fall into the Green Corridor, to look into this and do their own analysis,” he said.