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Sticking With Solar in NY…For Three Decades

August 28, 2012 by Amy Bowman in Solar Stories with 0 Comments

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.

The Hursts have used solar energy in New York since the 1970s“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.”

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  • Leasing cost speculation - Smart Car of America Forums : Smart Car Forum: [...] While we're on the subject ... Contest where you can win a smart electric drive (3 year lease) plus a solar recharging station which is pretty cool ... only negative I see is that it's limited to who all can enter ... as I don't personally live in any of those states I'm out. Have often thought of adding solar panels to offset my electricity cost but being in the Midwest as well as house facing the wrong way and the looong payback I'll stick to my soon to be new 4.96 cents/kWh fixed rate which isn't 'free' but not bad ... "The sweepstakes is open to residents of CA, CO, CT, MA, NJ, and VT age 21+, and runs through September 30, 2013 at 6:00pm PDT." Real Goods Solar Smart Electric Sweepstakes | Real Goods [...]
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  • Harry Simmelink: I agree, but people need to understand that adding Solar to their home is an asset that will increase the actual value of their property if / when they choose to sell. With the environment the way it is going we are unable to ignore any product that offers free energy at no cost to both the buyer and more significantly the earth!
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  • Carina Whitham: I loved how Sera explained the benefits of solar! I am going to show this to my five year old who I am also teaching about the value of renewable energy. Great video!
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