Billings food truck uses solar energy to save on costs | Business

Matt Melvin is harnessing the sun’s energy to help power his new food truck business, but he’s mostly focused on making good food.

Rudeboys joins Billings’ growing food-truck scene but adds a unique feature. Three solar panels are attached to the back and side of the truck, allowing Melvin to tap into a secondary, renewable power source to cut energy costs and, ideally, also boost production.

“I’m really just trying to figure it out and get it off the ground,” Melvin, 34 of Billings, said.

The Goal Zero solar panels and generator cost about $3,000, which Melvin said he expects to make back this summer in energy cost savings. He uses the sun to power his point-of-sales system and the lights.

The rest of the truck, including the refrigerator, stoves and oven, is powered by propane. Melvin said he needs a reliable, secondary power source to keep the food cold and comply with health regulations.


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Melvin attaches a solar panel to his food truck. The Rudeboys owner, who uses the sun to power his point-of-sales system and lights, said the Goal Zero solar panels and generator cost about $3,000, which he expects to make back this summer in energy cost savings.


The biggest advantage of solar on the food truck will be during festivals and events in the…

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