UPDATE: Net Zero Housing Project Breaks Ground in Mount Dora

Architectural rendering of completed net zero units.

Architectural rendering of completed net zero units.

The project broke ground on April 29th and is on schedule to be completed later this year.

The project broke ground on April 29th and is on schedule to be completed later this year.

The Optimus Solar team is excited to announce that we have broken ground on our Net Zero housing project! Located on Parrotte Court and within walking distance of the restaurants and parks of historic downtown Mount Dora, these two units are the first 100% solar-powered rental units in Mount Dora. Fully equipped with electric vehicle charging, home automation and available to rent as “all-in” homes, these units remove the normal hassles of monthly bill paying, deposits, grass cutting, etc. 

As Mount Dora continues to experience economic growth and municipal expansion, and as more young professionals move to the area, we hope that this project will be a prototype that successfully matches the housing market to the modern job market, which is more fluid, mobile, and environmentally conscious than ever before. 

Hegstrom Homes began construction on these custom units last week. They will be powered by SolarTech Universal solar panels, manufactured in Florida.  When paired with a fully electric vehicle, these homes will provide 100% of their electricity and 100% of their resident’s fuel from the sun, saving the average person more than $2,400 per year!*  

Construction is expected to take 6 months.

*Savings based on $100 per month in gas savings and $100 per month in electricity savings.

Net Zero Homes Coming to Mount Dora

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Picture living in a home that has no electricity bill, includes backup power during outages and real-time management of power use. Add to that a home that provides 100% of your car’s fuel for free plus no landscaping bills, no water bills and no sewer bills.  Now, picture renting that home maintenance-free with no long-term commitment. Sound idyllic?  We believe this model is the future of urban housing in the United States, and are bringing our prototype to Mount Dora!

We are strong believers in the power of local production and local consumption.  To prove how valuable this is to residents, communities and Florida, we are building the first 100% solar-powered rental units in Mount Dora, fully equipped with electric vehicle charging, home automation and available to rent as “all-in” homes, without normal hassles of monthly bill paying, deposits, grass cutting, etc.

While our primary business is residential and commercial solar installations, Optimus Solar is also a company seeking to have a broader impact on sustainability. One of these efforts includes better matching the housing market to the modern job market. The modern workforce is more fluid in their employment, moving frequently and thereby benefitting from less long-term physical obligations.  Cities and towns are more vibrant when those working and living near town are engaged in the full economic life of the city, and Optimus believes housing like this supports that reality.

We will be working with Hegstrom Homes to construct these custom units, and they will be powered by SolarTech Universal solar panels, manufactured right here in Florida.  Additionally, their battery systems will provide critical load power during storm or other outage events.  When paired with a fully electric vehicle, these homes will provide 100% of their electricity and 100% of their resident’s fuel from the sun, saving the average person more than $2,400 per year*!  This turns the old equation of importing fuel into Florida on its head, allowing us to produce what we use locally, providing a 25+ year economic multiplier to our area.

Construction is expected to take 6 months, and when fully operational, these rental homes will serve as a model for how we can better live and build as a community, bringing economic, environmental and civic value to residents, tenants, businesses and the City.

 

*Savings based on $100 per month in gas savings and $100 per month in electricity savings.

Why Do We Give?

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On this Giving Tuesday, it is appropriate to reflect on corporate giving, the reasons for it and what it can mean to an organization.

While opinions differ on whether companies should donate to charity, or distribute the maximum amount of funds to employees and shareholders and allow those individuals to donate as they see fit, today, we would like to explain why our company chooses to give.

At Optimus Solar, a portion of every job is donated to Conservation Florida, a land trust that focuses on the conservation of natural and open places in the State of Florida. Optimus Solar is passionate about the idea that a company is more than a vehicle to serve shareholders. Companies need to serve clients, employees, owners, the community and the environment.  This is the main reason we are formed as a partnership, helping to create an alignment of interests between owners, employees and clients.  In addition to a business, we view solar as a critical link in preserving the beauty and availability of Florida land for future generations.  By donating a small portion of each job, we can play an expanded role in this process, in addition to installing solar panels, ensuring decades of local energy production versus imported production. Giving to a cause like Conservation Florida is reflective of our value set and the culture we strive for as an organization.

A worthwhile exercise for any organization is to reflect upon their giving ethos, and how this behavior matches their mission and vision statements.  We are appreciative of the opportunity for work to allow donations to occur, and look forward to the solar industry playing a key role in the preservation of the Florida we all cherish.