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Irregardless Cafe Goes Solar Thermal with Yes Solar Solutions

Yes Solar had an exciting week installing a 10 collector solar thermal system with a 500 gallon tank and a 100 gallon back up tank at Irregardless Cafe in Raleigh. With this installation, Irregardless became the first restaurant in Raleigh to use solar power to heat the over 1,000 gallons of hot water that they use each day.

“Irregardless caught my attention when I attended my first Green Plus event, hosted by the Cafe. Yes Solar was working on our Green Plus certification at the time. I met co-owner, Anya Gordon, and coincidentally their hot water tank had just died a natural death,” said Kathy Miller, CEO and co-owner of Yes Solar Solutions.

Getting solar thermal installed was a natural next step for Irregardless after receiving numerous awards for their leadership in sustainability including the Green Award from Triangle Business Journal (2009), the Environmental Award from the City of Raleigh (2010), the Pinnacle Award in Sustainability from the Chamber of Commerce (2011), and the National Green Plus Small Business of the Year Award from the Institute of Sustainable Development (2012).

“I learned that chef and co-owner, Arthur Gordon, had been going to the NC State Farmers Market daily for 36 years to choose seasonal fresh foods to base his menu on,” said Miller.

Irregardless was also the first restaurant in Raleigh to recycle (1975), the first smoke-free establishment in North Carolina (1985), and now the first restaurant in Raleigh to use solar energy for their hot water!

A year later, the Cafe installed 10 thermal solar panels to their system that was now financially viable due to the tax incentives of 65% (which made the payback period less than four years). 

This was a project that inspired passion in our whole team, partly due to how unique their project was. It required a custom built tank by local company, Holocene, but also indulging in our nerdy passion for food, eating locally, and eating well was a joy. Such a joy, that we decided to hold our Holiday team dinner at Irregardless Cafe.

Congratulations on the system and thanks again to the Gordons and Irregardless Cafe.

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