Mike Sweet's House
Type of Project: Existing home update
Type of building: Single family residential
System(s) Electrified: Solar PV
When we put out the call for Electrify stories, Mike responded. We’ll let him explain the story of going solar - and dreams for further electrification projects - in his own words.
I’ve been thinking about a solar installation for a couple of years. In September 2021 I attended the Climate & Clean Energy Expo at Caras Park Pavilion. I think there were two things I learned from the education forums that tipped the balance for me:
We invested in a system with 13 panels and infrastructure to easily add 5 more panels (18 panels total) for future demand as we convert to more electric use supported by solar. You can see the 5 empty bays in the photo.
Our general plan going forward is to replace our gas boiler and gas water heater with hot water heat pump technology. Both these gas systems are about 8 years old. Given technological changes, policy changes, progress within the industry, and current supply chain disruptions we decide that we will convert to hot water heat pumps 3 years from now along with the installation of a battery system. Of course, we will take advantage of any change or incentive to move earlier should that occur. All of this is also incentive to invest in a small electric vehicle.
Out of finally getting solar installed, the biggest change for us has been in attitude. It makes a difference when I can look out our window and see what is powering our slow cooker or washer. There is a direct connection (no pun intended). I’m sure I would feel differently about electricity from fossil fuels if I saw the emissions from my use of electricity directly over my house.
The key to my success was attending the Climate and Clean Energy Expo and being able to talk directly with others who have installed or are thinking about installing solar systems (question and answer sessions), and the ease of talking directly with a local vendor about installation. It made the whole process easier. Now that we have moved in the direction of solar, I can only encourage others to learn and investigate true energy independence.
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