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"Go Green" Home The Future of Building

By Mike Hickman

Mike Hickman - Polk County, FL Go Green BuilderIf you happen to be driving on West Pipken Road in South Lakeland, enjoying the scenery of homes and open spaces, you might notice one home that stands out amongst the many. Not just for its broad, south facing, light colored roof, but for the array of high tech solar panels that adorn it. This is the Polk County Builders Association Foundation "Go Green" Showcase Home and these solar panels are the cornerstone of the home that will be unique to Polk County; a home that will be the future of new home building.

Within this array of solar panels will actually be two different systems: one is a series of Photovoltaic (PV) modules combined to convert sunlight into electric energy. These PV modules contain solar cells which are hybrids of single crystalline silicon surrounded by ultra thin silicon layers. This system is connected to the “grid,” with a direct link to Lakeland. The excess energy that is created is used by the utility company and credited back to the homeowner for their overall electric consumption.

The other system is a solar hot water panel that simply circulates and stores water. This water is heated by the sun’s rays and made available for everyday household hot water use. Combined with a tankless gas water heater at the “Go Green” Showcase Home, the homeowner will be able to enjoy hot water with virtually no electric consumption and a significantly reduced monthly electric bill.

The combination of solar hot water and PV panels in this home will not only save the homeowner hundreds of dollars a month in utility bills, but upon purchase of the home will make them eligible for federal, state and local tax rebates, estimated at over $10,000. And this is only part of what the “Go Green” home has to offer!

The “Go Green” Showcase Home, at Morgan Creek Preserve, will have its first open house on June 25, with its “Behind the Walls” reception. For more information about this home, its green features and our upcoming open houses, contact the Polk County Builders Association at 863-665-0844 or Hickman Homes at www.hickmanhomes.net. The home is for sale and all of the proceeds will go to the Polk County Builders Association Foundation, a 501(c)3, for the support of their Future Builders of America program and student scholarships.

Mike Hickman is President of Hickman Homes Inc. and 2009 Chairman of the Future Builders of America.