“Greening America” One Home at A Time
By Frederick Sullivan:
My wife and I recently renovated our 19th century home. Committed to reducing our carbon footprint and to participating in the fight to mitigate global climate change, we decided to explore the feasibility of powering the house using solar energy.
We prepped the house during renovations for the system, i.e. conduit was run through the walls from the basement to the roof for wiring, a high level of insulation was installed, as well as high efficiency electric appliances, and three zones of electric heating and cooling. I have to admit I didn’t know much about the process, but I could see that our home was positioned to capture solar energy. An energy professional evaluated the roof and determined it was ideal for placement of solar photovoltaic panels.
I submitted design and system specifications to the city and received a grant to partially fund the installation. Eighteen solar panels were installed, which are expected to produce at least 5,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of alternating current each year.
The now fully-functioning solar energy system will last 30 years and produce close to 100 percent of our annual household energy usage. Any unused electricity generated by the system is sold back to PEPCO.
We expect to reduce our family’s carbon dioxide emissions by about 8,000 pounds annually. This is equivalent to planting two or three acres of trees! My family is thrilled to be taking part in the greening of America. I want to invite anyone from the court family who may be interested in this type of project to contact me for any assistance or information needed to get started.”
Fred is now planning to get about 40 panels for his home in St. Mary’s County, hoping to mitigate his heating and air conditioning expenses with solar energy.