(12) 214 Washington Street

My son believes that setting a good example is the biggest benefit so far. He says the kids coming out of Franklin School see our house, see the panels and can grow up seeing renewable energy possibilities.

Name
Ruth Sterling

What motivated you to install solar?
At the time of our installation, my 30+ year-old son Harley thought it would be wiser if his mother spent money on solar energy than to continue to buy things for Pumpkin Festival. We agreed that if he did all the research and project management, I would try to provide the funding. 

Harley expected changes in metering laws and the federal rebate program and thought time was of the essence. Our dental hygienist and her husband had recently gone through the solar installation process and decided on a contractor so we learned from their experience. 

Everything coincided and it seemed like the time was right.

My son Harley Sterling did all the arrangements for our solar installation and is the most informed about it all. I work at a label manufacturer in Milford, N.H., and we have a 310-panel array here that we are proud of. We tout that we “make labels with sunshine.”

How many panels do you have, and if you know, how much energy are you producing, percentage of your electric usage.
23 panels, taking a big chunk out of each month’s bill, except February, which has the smallest collection. Our pool filter increases our usage in July and August considerably; but the solar pays for more than half the increase.  We guesstimate our annual savings are half what our electric bill would be without solar.

What has been the biggest benefit so far? What are you excited about?
My son believes that setting a good example is the biggest benefit so far. He says the kids coming out of Franklin School see our house, see the panels and can grow up seeing renewable energy possibilities. We are glad we worked with a local company who used high quality panels. For me, feeling like I’m responding to Greta Thunbergs’s challenge to do what we can, is a relief. We can always learn more and do more.

What were the obstacles to installing solar and what did you do to overcome them?
It’s a commitment to get all the information together, for the project and for the rebate. One portion of our roof needed improvement before we could move forward.

What advice do you have for people considering installing solar?
It is a decision whether or not you want panels on your house. There are other ways, for example the community solar field installation in Putney, and Macdowell In Peterborough, that accomplish similar renewable energy goals.

Anything else you want to share?
We are happy that we are continuing to sustain a house built in 1791 by Eliphalet Briggs using innovation and the best current practices available to him. We believe Eliphalet would be as proud of his 229 year old brick house today as we are.