Meet Guthrie, one of our customers since 2011. Over the last decade, Building Energy has helped Guthrie make strides toward her goal of reducing her carbon footprint.
Back in 2011, we installed a 10-kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) system with a battery backup on Guthrie’s barn in Huntington. The system produces over 11,000 kW-hours (kWh) per year. The 40 rooftop solar panels generate “more than enough” power for Guthrie, with the extra clean energy helping power her neighbor’s home!
Flash-forward to March 2021 and our team installed a new Mitsubishi Electric cold climate heat pump in Guthrie’s beautiful home.
She reports that the system has already been “great to use.”
For both of these projects, Building Energy helped Guthrie secure energy rebates, tax credits, and solar incentives, amounting to $350 from Efficiency Vermont for the heat pump, over $15,000 in federal income tax credits for the solar, and $7,500 in state solar incentives.
Why did Guthrie go solar in the first place?
Generally, Guthrie aims to use as few fossil fuels as she can, noting:
“Little by little, as options are available and affordable, I want to be walking a path of living lighter on the Earth.”
She had been considering solar for a while but did not forge ahead until her friend Bill referred her to our lead solar engineer, Nik Ponzio.
How did the solar project go?
Guthrie remembered how Nik was very responsive and even increased the size of the solar PV system from 6 kW to 10 kW for a special discounted rate. Regarding the 40 solar panels gracing the roof of her barn, Guthrie said the solar system “fits perfectly.”
Almost 10 years later, the system is still working well and produces more energy than Guthrie needs, leaving her with minimal energy bills. Early on, Guthrie decided that any extra power generated would go to her neighbor. As someone “fortunate to be able to spend money on solar,” she is “happy to help neighbors” as well.
When did Guthrie know she wanted to add heat pumps into the mix?
Guthrie first heard about heat pumps 2 or 3 years ago on Front Porch Forum. More recently, she attended an event to learn more about heat pumps. At the time, she felt that she still did not have enough information to take the leap.
After her neighbor installed and recommended a heat pump, Guthrie could see for herself that they work well. She started to collect quotes, including one from our very own technical salesperson, Joel Jackson in late February 2021. In the end, Guthrie chose Building Energy. She liked that Building Energy is a local renewable energy business and a one-stop-shop for any service needs or questions.
What was the heat pump installation process like?
Our senior energy specialist and project manager, Russ Flanigan, was able to squeeze Guthrie’s project in quickly and was always friendly and positive throughout the project. The installation team, including Eric and Mike, was great and very respectful. Eric and Mike clearly explained any problems and how Building Energy would fix them.
The installation was completed by mid-March 2021, much sooner than Guthrie expected. Even this early on, she can already say how much she likes the heat pump. The warm air “comes out and it’s just cozy.” Guthrie was used to having a wood stove and has been enjoying that the heat from the system surrounds her, whether she is in the kitchen or going up and down the stairs.
Would Guthrie recommend Building Energy?
Regarding solar and heat pumps, Guthrie is “happy Building Energy did it” and said “Yes I recommend it. I did it. I did it with Building Energy and I would recommend that.
She even noted telling her friends, family, and neighbors about her experience, and who she still plans to tell! Thank you, Guthrie, for sharing your success story and working with Building Energy toward a sustainable future.