Long Island Solar Tour Reveals Trends in New York Solar Energy
EcoOutfitters was so impressed by the recent National Solar Tour and Green Buildings Open House in our home region of Long Island, New York. We visited homes from shore to shore, across the Island, from Nassau to Suffolk County, and met homeowners who are as passionate about solar power as we are here at EcoOutfitters.
A Few Long Island Solar Showcase Homes
We met people who had solar arrays installed purely for the cost savings, and others who were interested in the environmental benefits. Mark Bartosik of Bay Shore, New York, prides himself on being a green pioneer. His roof boasts four different types of solar panels, including cutting-edge technology where the roofs shingles are actually the solar panels, a geothermal heating system, even a solar-powered washing machine! His basement is a showcase of renewable energy and he was happy to open his home to all the curious Long Islanders who dropped by.
Anthony Rector, a Long Beach-based home and building contractor, also has an extensive solar system, with two separate SunPower Corp. solar PV arrays on two roofs: a 5200 kW system on the south side, and a 3,200 kW system facing west. Rector had the system installed about seven years ago, and will have earned back the full investment in about a year. So far, he’s offset 57,000 lbs. of greenhouse gasses and generated 42,000 Kwh of electricity.
Our last stop took us to the home of Denise Schieren and David Pace, new solar converts who just had their system installed this summer. They have seen their electric bills drop from $370 to $22! They can monitor their solar system directly from their iPads, making their Island Park home one of the higher-tech examples on the tour.
Solar Trends on Long Island
If the national solar tour taught us one thing about solar energy trends on Long Island, it’s that there really are no trends. We saw people who’d had their solar arrays for years, and other homeowners who had their array mere months. We visited big homes and small homes, homes in high-income areas right on the water and homes in middle income towns. We saw homes out on the East End with acres of land, and other houses packed in tightly next to their neighbors in Nassau County. Some homeowners went with several systems to supply all their electricity, while others were just beginning with one solar PV array, with plans to add more in the future.
All shared one thing in common: lower electric bills and the knowledge that they are helping to reduce our nation’s dependency on fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources. They are all making a significant difference in our world — and they were all kind enough to open their homes in the hope of educating and inspiring others to make a difference, too.