The Houchin Family Alpaca Farm

Heyworth, IL

Project Details

38 roof mount panels
17 micro inverters
10kW power production
21' x 48' roof

Project Description

The Houchin Family (and their alpacas) were looking for a way to lower their monthly utility bills and reduce their overall energy usage. Since they live on a working alpaca farm, they have a high energy load, resulting from the heated buckets in the winter, the fans in the summer, and the lighting for their barns. In 2009, the home was converted to be 100% electric through the installation of a geothermal heat pump. In the spring of 2019, they decided to add on a solar array. By adding solar, they will be able to make over 80% of their annual energy usage. See their family farm at

Installation Details

The Houchin Family wanted to produce the energy needed to heat, cool, and meet their home and farming needs through sustainable technology. Since they have taken the proper steps and started consciously looking for ways to reduce their energy load (installing a geothermal heat pump and switching to LED lightbulbs), they have lowered their utility bills even more. Their hope is to reach net-zero with the addition of the solar array. To them, installing solar was a natural progression that only made sense. The geothermal reduces utility costs, while the solar array produces the energy needed to operate the geothermal system and other electric appliances on a net-zero basis.


Annual Utility Bills for Farm and Home - $3,000

Projected Annual Utility Bills with Geothermal + Solar - $750

Energy Reduction with Geothermal, Solar, and LED Lights – 90% energy reduction


Bratcher Heating and A/C
2010 Fort Jesse Road
Normal, IL 61761

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