Guilt-Free AC for a Solar Family in Franklin County, MA
When Susanne P. and her family moved into their Shutesbury, Massachusetts home in 2008, she took one look at the garage and knew it had the perfect orientation for solar – due south with no trees in front of it. As an architect with experience in sustainability planning for schools and universities, she knew the environmental benefits of a solar system were significant. She just didn’t know how affordable the system could be.
“Once I met with Andreas from Real Goods Solar and he designed a system that would produce a minimum of 80% of our monthly electricity needs AND provide income from solar renewable energy credits [SRECs] for ten years, I was hooked,” she explained. In fact, the first six months’ production indicate that the solar power system may well supply 100% of her needs.
The 7.6 kW solar system was installed, as expected, on Susanne’s garage roof in April 2012 by Real Goods Solar’s expert Western Massachusetts solar panel installation team. “I’ve spent a lot of time on building sites, so I know a good construction operation when I see one. From the care the installation crew took in working around our flower garden – which is directly under the solar panels – to the way they cleaned up the site every day, I could see they were high caliber. But even more than that, it was clear that installing our system was something that really mattered to them…it’s not just a job to them, it’s a personal commitment.”
Susanne’s 24-panel home pv array is comprised of high-efficiency SunPower modules. It includes a solar monitoring system so she can track its energy production as frequently as she wants, not only on her computer but on her smart phone too – even from India, where she was traveling last Spring.
When Summer rolled around, Susanne and her family were delighted to discover a totally unexpected benefit of their home solar system. “We ESPECIALLY enjoyed staying cool this year with our air conditioning units, knowing that our solar panels were providing all of the power…guilt-free AC!”