Sticking With Solar in NY…For Three Decades
Many people think solar energy is just a recent innovation. Those people must not know Randy and Carole Hurst of Slate Hill, NY. From solar hot water to passive solar design to a solar electric system from Real Goods Solar, they have recognized – and taken advantage of – the financial and environmental benefits of solar for more than three decades.
This couple converted their first home in the 1970s to solar hot water. Their love for the environment and self-sustainability was so great that they built their second family home on a five-acre farm in 1986 from scratch and have been dedicated to turning it “green” from the very start.
“We both grew up in progressive families with a strong passion for the environment. We weren’t against saving some money here and there either. I was a social worker and my wife was a stay-at-home mother. We struggled just like many people do,” said Randy.
The couple incorporated a passive solar design into their home – a system where sunlight is captured without active mechanical aid. A passive solar design uses windows, walls, and floors to collect, store, and distribute solar energy in the form of heat in the winter and reject solar heat in the summer.
Over time, Randy and Carole continued to engage best green practices, as homeowners and as members of the board of directors of Orange Environment Inc., a local nonprofit organization focused on protecting the ecology and sustainability of Orange County, NY through civic intervention.
Carole furthered her dedication to the environment by starting a business out of her home selling biodegradable cleaning supplies.
The couple cemented their affection for the environment (and continued saving some green of another kind) in 2010 when they contracted with Real Goods Solar for the installation of 36 home solar panels. Randy said the federal and state governments are finally catching up with the times. “I applaud the Obama Administration and the Cuomo Administration for realizing the importance of alternative energy. Its dual purpose will serve us for generations to come.”