The Yes Solar Solutions team met the Gordons at their Irregardless Cafe in Raleigh, NC at a Green Plus event they were hosting. Considering one of their hot water heaters had just quit, it was a challenge, but they rose to the occasion. After the breakfast meeting we discussed solar thermal energy for their hot water, and ended up doing an energy audit which listed energy efficiency recommendations, one of which was solar thermal energy. A year and a half later, the other hot water heater quit and it was time to go solar.
Their new system has a 500 gallon hot water tank, with a booster tank for the diswasher, and 10 solar collectors on the roof. Considering they use about 1500 gallons of hot water a day, this will have considerable impact on their energy costs. Being sustainable is nothing new for Irregardless, from chef Arthur Gordon’s use of local seasonable food from the Farmers Market, to their early adoption of recycling, to their support of local musicians, to their commitment to the environment and community. Irregardless Café became Green Plus certified about the same time that Yes! Solar Solutions did, and it was the first project of the Green Plus Partner Discount. Among their many awards over the last 37 years (Happy Anniversary!) was the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce Pinnacle Award for Lifetime Sustainability. Congratulations to the Irregardless Cafe and the Gordons for yet another step in setting the bar for Raleigh green businesses. “It’s not a trend, it’s an institution.”