Wethersfield Library Sponsors Workshop On Solar Panel Installation

August 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

ct home with solar panels

Home in Westport Ct, with solar energy installation,similar to most solar panels for residences.
(from website of solar energy installer sunlightsolar / August 9, 2012)

The Hartford Courant

5:04 p.m. EDT, August 10, 2012

Converting sunlight into low-cost electricity to power a home may make economic sense to homeowners thanks to state and federal rebates that reduce expenses.

That’s the message a local energy conservation group has about residential solar power, topic of a free workshop Aug. 23 at the Wethersfield Public Library.

The session is sponsored by the Wethersfield office of the Connecticut Neighbor To Neighbor Challenge, a nonprofit community savings program operating in Wethersfield and in 13 other towns to help residents reduce energy use by 20 percent.

The group offers low-cost energy audits of homes that include installation of weatherstripping, efficient light bulbs and specific details on how to make a structure use less energy. This is the first workshop the group is holding in town, said Erin O’Neill, staff volunteer coordinator with the Challenge office on the Silas Deane Highway.

“The average household should be able to generate enough energy from their solar panels to make installation economically feasible, particularly if the household takes advantage of the state and federal rebates and incentives,” she said in an email. “The best way to learn if it’s a good option for a home is to come to the workshop and get connected with an installer.”

The workshop starts at 6 p.m. in the library’s community room. Those attending can learn about residential solar opportunities and Connecticut rebates and tax incentives. Program-approved solar energy contractors will be present to answer questions.

People interested in attending can register online with Neighbor to Neighbor or by calling the office at 860-372-4406.

The amount of energy that solar installations can generate varies with the type and size of the devices used. A few panels can produce enough power to heat water for a family or supplement electricity used in the home.

Larger installations can power everything, produce energy to store in batteries for use on cloudy days and supply sufficient electricity to take the site “off the grid” and not require monthly purchase of electricity from a utility. Panels may be placed on a roof or unshaded land and even on the sides of buildings.

Government incentives and rebates lower the cost of solar energy units and homeowners have an option in some cases of leasing systems instead of purchasing them, according to information from state energy efficiency programs.

Other advantages include generating electricity without burning fossil fuel such as oil, natural gas and coal, reducing air pollution and improving property, according to the state’s Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority.

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