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Solar Zealots

solar attic fan. Case Study: Solar Zealots
Liz & Robert of Maynard: Solar Electric, Solar Hot Water, Solar Attic Fan

“If nobody ever does this, we’ll never make any progress.”

If you called Liz and Robert solar zealots, they wouldn’t be offended. Between 2007 and 2009, they installed in their Maynard home a two-panel solar hot water system, a solar attic fan, and a 4,000-watt, 20-panel solar electric system. They did all of this a few years before the payback period for solar electric dropped to 4-8 years, but they don’t regret being “early adopters”.

As Robert said when he and his wife decided to go solar, “If nobody ever does this, we’ll never make any progress.” That commitment to lightening their load on the environment eventually led them to New England Clean Energy, which was recommended by a friend.

“We had recently built an addition on our house, so we were used to people traipsing through it,” recalls Liz, “but Mark and Bill were the first contractors to understand what that was like for us. They were so respectful, whether it meant cleaning up after themselves, or taking care not to spook our cat. After that experience, we weren’t about to go anywhere else when it came time for anything else solar – or electrical for that matter. We’ve used New England Clean Energy for electrical work, too.”

Liz and Robert are benefitting financially and environmentally from their solar power. Solar power is also helping with comfort: The regular electric fan in their attic was ineffective – it was too hot to even venture into the attic in summer. After installing a solar fan that is quiet, free to operate, and turns itself on at a certain temperature, it’s actually bearable to go up there in July, Liz says.

But the best thing of all is that they never have to think about their solar, except once a month when reporting production numbers. “It just works,” says Liz. “We pay almost nothing for electricity in the summer. I never need to adjust or maintain it. It’s just there, doing its job.”