Solar Hot H2O Systems in Western MA Could Help '13 Home Energy Needs
A consumer-owned renewable energy cooperative in Western Massachusetts is pushing for more locally generated, clean energy in 2013.
West Hatfield based Co-Op Power's Lynn Benander says saving money and burning less gas and oil go hand in hand. And she says one of the most cost-effective ways of doing both, is to swap electric hot water systems for solar powered ones. Benander says the photovoltaic panels these systems use can be mounted on a pole in the garden or installed on the roofs of individual homes.
"And there's copper piping that goes from the roof down to where the hot water tank is -- usually in the basement -- that stores the water that's being heated by the sun to use for showers and washing and dishes."
Benander says the equipment can be installed any season of the year. She adds the days are getting longer now -- even if by just a few seconds a day. And that means more sunshine.
"When the sun is just beginning to come back, people are thinking about using the sun to bring more energy into their home in a more clean and sustainable way, so it's a great New Year's resolution."
Benander says Co-Op Power is two-thirds of its way to the goal of installing around 400 solar hot water systems in Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden counties.