In the January 20, 2016 issue of the Duxbury Clipper, in his "Thinking Green" column, Dick Rothschild laid out a number of reasons why either having solar panels installed on one’s roof or property, or buying electricity from a solar source, will beget two handsome paybacks—one financial and the other, the personal satisfaction that comes from doing good
On Thursday, February 25, 2016 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, a free Solar Energy Panel presentation, jointly sponsored by Sustainable Duxbury and the Duxbury Free Library, will be moderated by Duxbury’s State Representative Josh Cutler. Speakers include Andy Belden, Director of Solar PV Programs at the Mass Clean Energy Center; Vikram Aggarwal, CEO of EnergySage; and Duxbury residents Jim Kerkam, Jeanne Penvenne and Pam Magnarelli who have solar panel systems installed on their homes or property. Kerkam and Penvenne’s experiences with solar are covered in this article. Magnarelli’s and several other residents’ will be included in the third “Make Your Own Electricity” article in the February 17th edition of the Duxbury Clipper.
For Jim Kerkam, the increasing cost of electricity motivated him to investigate PV (photovoltaic) panels. All of his research on efficiency of panels, manufacturers and local distributors was conducted online. He notes that if one wants to install a solar system, payback might not materialize if the house is sold within five years. He also recommends asking Duxbury’s Building Department to check the structure of one’s roof to see if it can support the system.
Kerkam’ s panels generate 75% of his electrical needs and while installing an owned solar system like his was expensive he really enjoys looking at his monthly electric bill to see how little electricity is being used as compared to prior years. He adds, “It’s also a good feeling to know that I am helping the environment.”
Duxbury resident Jeanne Penvenne took a very different approach to installing a solar panel system. Like Kerkam, she was interested in saving money and diminishing her carbon footprint. Because she did not want to take down a wonderful old tree that shades her house, she decided to install a 20-panel ground-based unit that would fit easily on the acre of property she owns.
Because she knew that the panels would be visible, and in consideration for her neighbors, she contacted them to anticipate any objections to a solar panel installation in her yard. Her neighbors had no objections. From a financial viewpoint, the Penvenne’s system breaks even or generates a surplus of electricity.
If you are interested in lowering your electric bill and want concrete information on installing a solar system, mark your calendar for Thursday evening, February 25, 2016 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm in the Merry Room of the Duxbury Free Library, 77 Alden Street, Duxbury. For more information contact Mike Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out www.sustainableduxbury.org.