Dr. Vijay Katukuri and his wife, Dr. Mahathy Katukuri, are passionate about environmental conservation. So we were thrilled when this couple chose to build a LifeStyle Homes’ solar-powered zero-energy home.

The Katukuris selected LifeStyle’s Monterey home plan with some expansion modifications. Their Colfax Landing, Viera home has a roof-mounted 8.6 kilowatt solar system that garners an energy performance of 102 percent with a HERS score of -2.

Since the Katukuris moved into their new home in November 2013, the LifeStyle team has been in contact with them to ensure their system is performing optimally. We’re happy to report that in the months of February/March, the Katukuris banked 204 kWh with FPL, then banked another 234 kWh in the months of March/April. As a result, their electricity bills were $7.88 in February/March and $8.23 in March/April.

In other words, as we’ve now entered the months of peak solar-system performance, the Katukuris are only paying the unavoidable administrative fees associated with their Florida Power & Light (FPL) account!

We recently caught up with Dr. Vijay Katukuri for a Q&A regarding his and his wife’s experience building with LifeStyle Homes:

Why did you choose to build the Monterey & what do you love most about your home?
We picked the Monterey because of the open layout of the plan. We made some changes to the plan at construction to make it more open.

What made you decide to install a solar system on your home?
My wife and I are very eco-conscious and always think about planet earth before we do anything. So, highly energy-efficient construction and a solar system was a natural option for us when we were looking into building our home. We didn’t even know that there were builders who were building Net-Zero houses at the time of our house search, and we were in paradise when we learned about LifeStyle through our realtor.

Please describe your experience with owning a solar system.
It has been marvelous to say the least. The pleasure of looking at your electric bill and knowing that you are making money by doing such an earth friendly thing is a very satisfying experience. As far as the system itself is concerned, we don’t have to do anything. It does everything on its own. Finally, getting a huge chunk of money spent in the form of federal tax credit is just an icing on the cake.

On an average monthly basis, what are your electricity costs?
Our monthly bill started out at $89 in the first month Nov/Dec 2013, but is now $0 if you exclude the mandatory customer charges to keep the FPL account active.

What would you say to other home buyers considering “going solar?”
Go for it. You can’t beat living in a home that is so earth friendly, reduces you electric bill to $0, makes money for you, and provides a huge incentive in the form of federal tax credit.

What was your experience like building with LifeStyle?
My experience has been nothing but incredible with LifeStyle. Things were done in a timely manner. The only hiccup in the whole process was getting permits initially that got delayed due to no fault of LifeStyle though. If I build a new home in the future, I would choose LifeStyle without any hesitation. Thank you to all of you.

We at LifeStyle are ecstatic that the Katukuris are having such a positive experience with their solar system. Their testimonial reinforces the fact that building energy-efficient, zero-energy homes is the right thing to do. Enjoy your new home, Katukuri family!