Husband and Wife Take "Going Green" to New Level

Published 10/15 2013 02:04PM

Updated 01/09 2014 10:49AM

Have you ever thought about putting a windmill in your backyard?  For this week's Going Green, we take you to Grabill where a husband and wife are doing more than just using wind power.  This couple's taking "Going Green" to a whole new level.

For Bill Richter, living a truly sustainable lifestyle has been a dream of his for decades and now 35 years later, his dream is coming true.

"It's a wind win situation."

It all started with installing his very own wind turbine, but just that wasn't enough.

"I'm mowing my yard with wind power.  I'll be making power all day with solar.  We burn wood to heat our house.  We store our food in the freezer from our organic garden.  I had my truck converted to run on biodiesel.  Next, will be my electric car."

Richter gave WFFT a tour of his green lifestyle.

Besides showing us his zero-turn all electric 48 volt rechargeable deep cycle lawn mower, Richter also showed us the different uses for his wind turbine and his new solar panels.

Although his wind turbine can provide plenty of energy, it is grid-connected: meaning it gets shut off by the electric company when the power goes out.  This led Richter to explore new energy sources and he began the installation of his solar panels.

"It's like an add-on to my wind turbine.  When the sun peaks everyday, it's gonna be 4140 watts...everyday."

With all his money saved, Bill Bargo, Owner of Bergey Windpower, explains that this would be made affordable to anyone.

"You get a $30,000 rebate, so if you did spend $20,000 you would get $6,000 back so your expense would be $14,000."

"For anyone that's wanting to put in a back-up generator, if you're gonna put 10 grand into one of those, but you're never gonna use it, this is something that will give you a return and payback everyday."

Unlike generators, these panels have 20 and 30 year warranties.

"This is gonna be my legacy to my son and his family.  he's going to inherit this.  This is the future and this is now."

This solar-powered house has a bright future and as for the Richter's, more power to them.

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