Joanne and Paul Go Solar in South Burlington
Unlike most of us who don’t have to think about where our energy comes from, Joanne Heidkamp who works at Green Mountain Power, is in touch daily with what it takes to keep our lives electrified. She was one the first people to sign up in March after our launch and has been a wonderful fan and customer to work with. Joanne and Paul are hopeful that their experience will inspire others to go solar. We thought you might want to hear what makes them proud to be new SunCommon solar homeowners!
What had kept you from going solar previously?
We had been interested in installing solar panels for a long time. However, we were not interested in taking out a loan to do it. Also, we had a large maple tree in front of our house. Last fall the maple tree died, and in the spring we learned about the lease option through SunCommon!
What advice would you give to future solar homeowners?
First, have patience, the process takes time. Second, having a roof that will not need work for the life of the panels is very helpful.
You are one the first in your neighborhood to go solar – how does that feel? Do you enjoy your new celebrity status?
Celebrity…not quite. But it is gratifying to see the genuine interest that people have in understanding the potential for solar on their homes in our neighborhood.
What are you most excited about?!
Joanne is excited that we’ll be putting electricity on the grid on hot summer afternoons when demand for electricity is highest. If enough small solar projects come on line, it means that Green Mountain Power won’t have to turn on their dirty, expensive fossil fuel burning peaker plant in Berlin. Paul enjoys monitoring the panel’s electric production on sunny and even on cloudy days!
What is the most important power device your panels will be charging?
We cook a lot, so powering the stove and the oven is important. We also use our laptops a lot, so its nice to think that some of the juice powering them is solar generated.
Even with all this information about solar, you may be wondering the most basic, how does solar work? I thought it was too cloudy in Vermont to have solar panels? Do I still pay a utility bill? The basics of solar are relatively simple. Find out how solar works by clicking below.