mtvSolar Completes 7th Habitat for Humanity Solar House
Homeless Veterans Benefit
Mountain View Solar (MtvSolar) of Berkeley Springs, WV continued its mission of helping to make solar renewable energy affordable by installing its seventh West Virginia Habitat for Humanity solar energy system last week in Martinsburg, WV. The new owner is a formerly homeless U.S. military veteran who served in the Iraq War and is a single mother of two.
At the new home’s dedication ceremony on Sunday, MtvSolar President Michael McKechnie explained the value of installing solar on Habitat-built homes: “Habitat for Humanity provides a nice home for a comfortable mortgage. But since operating costs, especially energy consumption, are the next largest expense, capturing free energy from the sun can be part of the affordability equation.”
The first of the seven Habitat solar installations also took place in Martinsburg in Nov 2012, followed by four in Huntington, WV in Dec 2012. During the Huntington installations, MtvSolar also trained Habitat volunteers to install additional systems. Two additional solar installations are planned for new Habitat homes in Morgantown, WV before the end of this year.
In May 2013 the second Martinsburg Habitat solar installation also benefitted a homeless U.S. military veteran. That system consists of 8 solar panels (1.88 kW). Randy Swartz of Home Efficiency Solutions, LLC was involved in evaluating the home’s energy efficiency. He estimated it will consume approximately 10,000 kWh/year and produce approx 2,200 kWh/year, meaning the solar system should produce as much as 25% of the home’s energy annually. All of the solar installations planned for the WV Habitat homes are 8-panel systems.
For the three Martinsburg Habitat homes, MtvSolar arranged for partner SolarWorld to donate the panels while MtvSolar donated all other materials and installation labor. For all the other installations in the state, SolarWorld and MtvSolar donated the panels and labor, while all additional materials were deeply discounted at approximately 70%.
Colin Williams, VP of Sales and Marketing at MtvSolar, pointed out the value of adding a small additional cost to a low interest mortgage when the savings in annual electricity costs will far offset the expense. He was quick to add, “Habitat for Humanity builds affordable homes. Solar makes those homes more affordable to live in.”