Oct 30, 2013
06:02 AM
The Connecticut Story

Solar Power a Viable Option For Some Connecticut Homeowners

Solar Power a Viable Option For Some Connecticut Homeowners

Submitted photo

A view of Scott Mitchell’s Durham house, which has 44 solar panels on its roof turning the sun’s energy into usable power.

With the winter season just around the corner, conversations about rising energy bills are starting to heat up.

But thanks to a new website recently launched by the Clean Energy Finance & Investment Authority, one option of addressing those issues has come through the use of solar energy panels. A couple of Durham residents are taking advantage of the technology that’s also proved viable from an economic standpoint.

One of those residents, Scott Mitchell, is well-rounded and knowledgeable about the benefits that come with using solar energy. After learning about it through a program titled “Solarize Durham,” Mitchell, who is also an environmental advocate, said he was motivated by the benefits to the environment solar brings and had 44 panels installed on the roof of his home last summer by a local business called “BeFree Solar.”

“The big part of it for me is that it’s green and good for the environment,” said Mitchell. “We have control of our own power and are somewhat removed from having to rely too often on power outlets such as CL&P.”

Mark Shadle, who’s lived in Durham for five years, also took advantage of the solar energy program by having several panels installed on his Haddam Quarter Road farmhouse in November 2009. Shadle has noticed a difference in his energy bills, saying he’s saved about $300 a month since making the switch to solar.

“Solar is non-polluting,” said Shadle. “There’s no power lines and it’s not distributed anywhere. There are definitely a lot of good things coming from using it.”

Both Mitchell and Shadle said they found their inspiration through the Clean Energy Finance & Investment Authority’s new website, GoSolarCT.com. According to Kerry O’Neill, director of residential programs for the Authority, the site is aimed at building awareness of the money-saving benefits for homeowners seeking to go solar. It also includes a new online tool that allows homeowners to obtain specific data regarding their home’s suitability for solar and to compare energy and cash savings for solar leases and loans.

“It’s a great [time] to go solar,” said O’Neill. “Prices in solar have gone down over the last few years. The technology is really stable.”

Sunlight warms whatever it comes in contact with, and that alone serves as the premise for solar energy. According to NASA, solar modules use light energy from the sun to generate electricity through the photovoltaic effect, which is the creation upon exposure to light of voltage or electric current that can be used as electricity. The solar panels take the sunlight and convert it into a usable form of energy that runs through a unit installed on the outside of the residence and hard-wired into the electrical outlets or fuse boxes that power electricity into the home.

Shadle is considering adding more panels to his farm, especially since they’re built to last over three decades.

For more of this article, visit the Middletown Press.


Solar Power a Viable Option For Some Connecticut Homeowners

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