DEFIANCE (WTOL) - Many of us are becoming environmentally friendly by recycling or composting. One Defiance man is taking green to a higher level.
On the outside it looks like an old church, but Thom Blake decided to make it something else on the inside. "I thought it'd be a great antique center, so I originally bought it to put my antiques here," he tells us.
The antiques are now in Indiana. For the last 25 years, Blake and his family have made this church a home. With a big building, though, comes big bills. So Blake is turning to a higher power.
Thom made a living room where the pews used to be. Normally, it costs $1400 to heat and use the electric in building. With solar energy, Thom is hoping to get that bill down to $250 a month.
Panels on the roof are called photovoltaic cells -- a much larger version of the solar cells in calculators. Once in place they soak up the savings. TJ Kanczuzewski of VP Inovateus says, "These generate 4000 watts. So if he's only using 2000, that other 2000 watts is going to go back to the grid. The meter spins backwards, and the power company gives you a credit."
That's right, a credit on your electric bill.
The savings don't stop there. A different type of solar tube mounted on the roof heats the water in the house, including a swimming pool.
For Blake, he's taking a large green step for two reasons: "It's both the carbon footprint -- One unit is like planting 200 trees. Carbon footprint and savings is important."