Client: David Lau, owner of Lau Repair and Trucking
Client Location: Summit, SD
CDFI: Grow South Dakota
CDFI Service Area: SD
Small business financing, with support from the OFN’s Finance Justice Fund and Renewable and Energy Efficiency Financing Grant Program
David Lau owns Lau Repair and Trucking in rural South Dakota. A client of community development financial institution (CDFI) Grow South Dakota (GROW SD) for the past 10 years, David most recently received a loan to refinance a higher-interest loan he used to install solar panels on his repair shop building. GROW SD was able to reduce his interest rate by 4% on this energy-saving installation.
Not only did GROW SD help David lower his interest payments, he is also seeing significant cost savings from his solar panels. Prior to installation, Lau’s monthly electric for the shop, house, and campground where his business resides totaled nearly $450 per month. Now his electric bill is approximately $75 per month and he was able to take advantage of tax incentives within the first year.
Although his costs for installation were higher than average, since he chose to purchase batteries to store excess energy from higher peak solar days to be used throughout the day or as needed in the future, he firmly believes it was worth the extra expense, especially during the tough winter this past year.
At one point, the ice built up on the units on the roof, but he was still able to generate enough electricity until the weather warmed enough to melt the ice off. However, in the summer months, he has excess energy that goes back to the grid and he receives a modest payback.
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