As Ashe County Habitat for Humanity draws closer to dedicating the group’s first home this summer, the group celebrated the addition of solar panels on May 22, and the generous donation from the Mountain Dawgs, a local motorcycle club, on May 26.
“The Mountain Dawgs - they are just an absolute great group of folks,” said Ashe County Habitat for Humanity Vice-President Jeannie Tygielski. “This is the third year they’ve helped Habitat, and we truly appreciate it.”
The motorcycle club traveled to Buffalo Meadows and graciously donated the proceeds of its 4th Annual Wizard Poker Run for Habitat for Humanity held on May 4, in Glendale Springs. In total, the Mountain Dawgs donated $1,425 to Habitat on May 26.
Tygielski said many of the Mountain Dawgs also signed the walls and studs of the home, a form of blessing.
The Mountain Dawgs have been active in the High Country for five years, combining the fun of biking with serious efforts to help their neighbors in need. In addition to supporting Habitat, during the past year, the Dawgs have helped provide Christmas gifts for a family in need, organized an appreciation dinner for the Ashe County Middle School football team and cheerleading squad, and supported numerous other local fundraising and charity efforts.
Mountain Dawgs President Bobby “Sledge” Nichols presented the check to Tygielski and said, “We appreciate the efforts made by Habitat to make a difference in our community.”
Ashe County Habitat for Humanity is currently building its first house in Buffalo Meadows in West Jefferson. Friends and neighbors joined forces in 2009 to form the local affiliate and address poverty housing in the community, according to Tygielski. Habitat works to accomplish this by building homes in partnership with prospective homeowners and volunteers, and selling the homes at no profit with no-interest mortgages.
Tygielski said the Buffalo Meadows home is progressing nicely and will be finished this summer.
“Right now, except for the back deck and landscaping, we’ve pretty well finished the exterior,” said Tygielski. “We’ll soon hang the drywall, paint, and start the finish work on the interior. We had hoped to finish and dedicate the home by the end of May, but we’re not rushing to hit that timeframe. We’re taking our time and doing a good job.”
The group added photo-voltaic solar panels to the home on May 22.
“One of the keynote features of our Habitat home is the production of power using photo-voltaic solar panels,” said Ashe County Habitat for Humanity Lead Designer Gerry Tygielski. “With the help of a team of extremely qualified volunteers, we were able to complete the installation.”
Tygielski said the work was done over three days, and was made difficult by the slippery metal roof.
Brian Revell, a licensed electrician, his assistant Ralph Bergstedt, and Gene Cromeens, an alternative energy student, joined Tygielski on the roof during the installation.
“I want to thank Brian, Ralph, and Gene for their effort to make this all possible,” said Gerry Tygielksi. “Their volunteer work is bringing us one step closer to completion.
Gerry Tygielski said the new system will allow power output of 3,800 watts and will be grid-tied.
“This means that the power not used in the house will be sent back to the power company, reducing the electric bill each month,” said Gerry Tygielski. “Due to the drop in prices for the solar panels we were able to increase the amount of output of the system by almost 1,000 watts and still come in under budget. Hopefully our ability to pass on the North Carolina tax credits to donors will be a great incentive to get contributions to cover this essential feature.”
Tygielski said the Buffalo Meadows home is a near Zero Net Energy Home.
“The systems installed in the home will allow it not only to be super efficient, but also to provide power back to the power company,” said Gerry Tygielski. “These systems are eligible for North Carolina tax credits. Habitat as a non-profit can’t use the credits but can share them with donors.”
“If you make a contribution to Habitat and restrict its use to pay for the energy systems, you may deduct the contribution on your federal and state tax returns,” said Gerry Tygielski. “In addition, you will be allowed to take an allocated share of the direct energy tax credit on your return.”
As an example, if five people donate $1,000 toward the geo-thermal system, then each of the five may deduct a direct credit of $350 from their tax return as well as deducting the full amount of $1,000 from their itemized deductions on both federal and state taxes, according to Gerry Tygielski.
“The tax credit in North Carolina is 35 percent of the amount paid up to various limits for installation and cost of geo-thermal heating systems, photo voltaic solar electricity, and solar water heating systems,” said Gerry Tygielski. “The new Habitat home includes all of these. There are some caps on each type of system so all donors for a specific system will proportionally share the credit. Habitat will provide donors with their allocation for reporting. If you cannot use the full credit in the current year, it may be carried forward for five years.”
North Carolina is one of the leaders in the country fostering energy efficient sustainable systems for the average homeowner, according to Gerry Tygielksi.
“This tax credit is one way it is being done,” said Gerry Tygielski. “This tax credit sharing program allows you to gain maximum tax advantage while supporting Habitat in eliminating poverty housing in Ashe County.”
For more information about this Zero Net Energy Home or the tax credit contact Gerry Tygielski at firstname.lastname@example.org or (336) 877-1860. Presentations are offered for local civic groups and schools as well, according to Gerry Tygielski.