Steve & Karen Koenig

Koenig Concrete, Corp.

The Time is Right for Solar

“We want to do the right thing,” said Steve Koenig, Founder - Koenig Concrete, Corp. “The right thing is investing in solar energy now,” he continued.

“It was an easy decision,” added Karen Koenig, President - Koenig Concrete, Corp., “besides the financial incentives, solar makes ecological sense.”

In August, Full Spectrum Solar out of Madison will be installing a 1,150 sq. ft. roof mounted 23 kW photovoltaic system on Koenig’s building located in Jefferson. The system will provide approximately 81% of Koenig’s electricity, cutting their electric bill by $3,480 or more.

Advantages of Solar:

  • Grants from the USDA, incentives from Focus on Energy, and a federal tax credit of 30% (currently until 2019) substantially lower system costs and provide tax advantages.
  • Solar PV has no moving parts aside from the electrons, creating the most reliable and efficient renewable energy system available.
  • Grid-tied systems waste very little energy because any energy that is not immediately consumed is fed into the grid and sold to other customers.
  • PV panels are sustainable - the silicon cells are crystallized from purified sand and can be recycled along with the aluminum and glass after a few decades of use.
  • PV technology continues to become cheaper and more efficient while fossil fuels generally become more difficult and costly to extract via techniques such as hydrofracking, tar sand refinement, and deep-sea oil drilling.
  • Current pricing on panels and inverters are near lows with intense competition among manufacturers.
  • ROI begins on the first sunny day.
  • Solar units have a lifespan of 25 or more years with little to no maintenance required.

“With electric bills increasing on average of 3% per year, solar makes sense,” said Mark Warnick, Project Engineer - Full Spectrum Solar, “think of it as hedging against rising utility rates…as rates rise, your savings grow.”

In addition, “the cost to install a solar unit today is less than half of what it was six to seven years ago,” he added. “When you purchase a solar system, you are in control of your electricity costs…technically, you’re buying your own power plant,” Mark concluded.

Financing the Project

Total cost of Koenig’s solar system installed is $59,000. Breaking from traditional financing, Karen chose a leasing program. “Leasing made sense for a number of reasons,” Karen said.

“We chose a lease to own plan, which we obtained through our local, community bank. Unlike a traditional loan which required a down payment, a lease didn’t,” she said. “In addition, we received an answer from the bank within days without filling out much paperwork. And, with a lease, we could roll in soft charges such as installation and the structural engineering survey into the lease. Our lease payments are fixed for 36 months – the time it will take to pay off the entire system.”

Doing the Right Thing

By installing a solar power system on their commercial building, Koenig’s are doing the right thing.

  • Securing reduced energy rates for 20+ years
  • Reducing their carbon footprint and protecting the environment
  • Increasing their energy independence
  • Serving as a role model for businesses and homeowners
  • Lowering costs by taking advantage of tax incentives, rebates, and grants.
  • Managing their budget by leasing to own versus a traditional loan.

Koenig Concrete, Corp. is a certified Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE). Koenig Concrete, started in 1990 by two guys and a bobcat, has grown to 20+ employees. They specialize in commercial and residential poured walls and flatwork, as well as decorative concrete options.

Steve & Karen Koenig

Koenig Concrete, Corp., 1401 S Industrial Drive Jefferson • koenigconcrete.net

Contributor: Full Spectrum Solar,  1240 E. Washington Avenue, Madison • fullspectrumsolar.com

Mortgage Ready Means: Carefree Financing

Homebuying Made Easy

Buying a home is fun as well as stressful, especially if it is your first time. One thing all people (not just potential homebuyers) should consider is building their Credit Score. A Credit Score shows potential lenders/creditors your financial situation. Having a good credit score (700-850):

- Makes it easier to obtain a mortgage or other loan.

- Lowers the interest rate (higher the score, lower the rate)

- Is a factor in securing utility services such as cable, water, cell phone, etc.

Establishing and Improving Your Credit Score

A Credit Score is built over time. If you don't have a credit history, it may be hard to get a loan or even a credit card. Now is the time to start. A good way to start is to apply for a credit card. Then use it and make timely payments.

Once you've started building your Credit, make sure you form good habits.

- Make 100% of your payments on time (including credit card and utility bills).

- If you carry a balance, make sure it doesn't exceed 30% of your credit limit.

- Avoid opening too many new accounts (a credit card at every store where you shop).

- Keep accounts open for as long as possible.

- Don't "max out" your credit cards. Too much outstanding debt hurts your score.

- Review your Credit Score to make sure it is accurate (at least once a year).

There is no "magic formula" for building a good Credit Score. A slow and steady payment history without too much debt wins every time.

Credit Ready: More than a Good Credit Score

Being "Credit Ready" tells realtors and home sellers that you are able to buy. Credit Ready requires:

- A good Credit Score

- Down Payment - 20% is best to avoid Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

- Reliable income to show you can pay back your mortgage loan.

Whether just starting out or ready to shop, we're here to help you get ready for your new home purchase. Turn your dream into reality...start building credit now.