Hello and welcome to the monthly Sterling Homes Solar Update! Here at Sterling Homes, we are committed to giving you the best experience you will ever have building a home not just now, but in the future. For that reason, back in September of 2016, we had a solar array installed on the roof of the office on Hinesburg road to create our own renewable energy. Now, this isn’t the only thing we do to reduce impact; we aim to build in a way that is as efficient as possible. Even here in our office, important steps were taken in the building process that makes the solar panels much more useful. Our office building is a well-insulated, properly air-sealed and ventilated, and has low energy electrical components, which makes the solar array the icing on top of our “green” cake.
It seems like you see solar panels everywhere these days around Vermont and the country, but how many people really have them? In the state of Vermont, Brighter Vermont started a Community Energy Dashboard and Energy Atlas that can be found here. Developed with support from the U.S. Department of Energy, this interactive site has the ability to tell any curious person exactly where and how many renewable energy sites there are in Vermont. For example, in South Village, you will see there are 8 renewable energy sites (and one Net Zero home!) If you’re curious about your current or future neighborhood, check it out at the link above!
Back to our own offices in South Burlington. After installing 18 SolarWorld SW300 panels on our roof, we immediately started producing electricity and getting data back. Here are some quick facts:
- We first started generating electricity on September 7th, 2016
- Although we generated for just 3 weeks in September, due to the changes in length of day and cloud cover, we produced 164 more kilowatt hours than in October
- Predictably, December was our least productive month, due to shorter days, cloudy conditions, and snow cover typical during a Vermont winter
- This past May was by far our most productive month, producing a whopping 668 kilowatt-hours, which has the carbon offset equivalent of 12 trees
- Our most productive day this year, May 20th, produced 39.9 kilowatt-hours of electricity, which was more than 3 times how much was produced the day before
- With less than a year of solar under our belts, we have already produced 3.8 megawatt-hours of electricity (enough to charge your phone for 117 years!)
We are very excited to share our solar story with you, so make sure to check back in next month for the latest edition of the Sterling Homes Solar Update! Show it to your family, your friends, or a neighbor, and try to stay mindful of your own impact in our evermore connected world.