Solar Powered Music Booking Agency
In 2000 The Rosebud Agency, a music booking agency and management company located in San Francisco's Haight/Ashbury district, installed a 10-kW solar electric system, making it the first company in the music industry to go solar on such a large scale. The system, which cost roughly $90,000 before rebates and $55,000 after and was installed by Occidental Power, supplies 100% of Rosebud's electrical needs.
Before installing the system, Rosebud paid several hundred dollars a month for electricity. Now they pay only a minimal monthly metering charge. Owner Mike Kappus is happy not only with his reduced electric bills, but also with the value the solar system has added to his business and the building.
"I did this for environmental reasons but most people ask first about the economics. To them I say that, in addition to reducing or eliminating electric bills, think about the added asset value. I feel like the day after we did it, we could have sold the building for $100,000 more than it [was previously] worth. The payoff period comes and goes and the asset value is still there," said Kappus.
The Rosebud Agency was one of San Francisco's first businesses to be certified as a SF Green Business. In addition to installing solar, Rosebud uses primarily fluorescent lighting and plugs all appliances into power strips that can easily be turned off after business hours, uses 100% recycled paper and soy-based inks (and reuses envelopes and paper before recycling them), recycles unneeded CDs and DVDs, practices composting which maintains their own back garden (where they grow primarily native plants), and uses recycled printer toners. Rosebud has also installed on demand water heating and an electric water heater that runs on solar energy.
"Ideally what we do will become boringly common, but until then I am happy to talk about this wherever possible. I want people to know someone whose business successfully employs a solar system so that they realize that this isn't something with potential for some time in the future," said Kappus. "They can do it now."