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Janet and Woody are two published authors and returned Peace Corps volunteers who made a few upgrades to the solar panels they had installed 10 years ago. Building Energy entered the picture in September 2022 after lightning indirectly struck their home. Since then, our team of solar professionals has helped them upgrade their solar system to be more efficient and bring everything up to the most recent codes.

The Stone Home and Solar Panels

Built in 1980, the home has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a basement with a portion of it sectioned off that serves as winter quarters for their four egg-laying hens. They love that the materials used to build their home came from the property.

The house has an oil furnace with hot water baseboard heat, but they use that as backup only and heat mostly with wood. Since purchasing the home, they replaced all the windows and doors with an eye to better energy efficiency and added 30 solar panels to their roof.

Janet and Woody were able to add their solar panels in 2012 with financial incentives offered by the State of Vermont and the Federal Government.

How We Helped

While Building Energy didn’t install the initial photovoltaic system on their roof, we did help bring it up to current safety codes after what is believed to have been a lightning strike.

There are two kinds of lightning strikes: direct, which causes physical damage to what is hit, and indirect, which causes damage to ground-based electrical systems.

An indirect lightning strike induces high voltages into the system, which breaks down the conductors, solar panels, and components. Janet and Woody’s solar inverter was damaged from the high voltages, and Building Energy replaced it with a new inverter from SolarEdge.

Their solar panels were in good shape, but the code had changed since 2012. Building Energy added DC optimizers at each solar panel that takes DC energy, regulate the output of the module and deliver energy to the central inverter for final DC-to-AC usable energy conversion.

Everyone we contacted was interested only in installing a new system; they didn’t want to fix what was already there. Building Energy was the only company both willing to do the needed repairs and large enough to get the job done

Woody S.

Further Improvements

Since reaching out to Building Energy, Janet and Woody have scheduled an energy audit to discuss with our auditors what steps they can take to make their home more efficient.

We were really impressed with Building Energy and are happy to help with anything! They’re just easy to connect with and very professional. Nik was just here checking in on our system after he discovered something was amiss.

Janet G.

Are you looking to take the leap and go solar? Schedule an energy audit with us! It’s the best first step you can take to understand your home’s energy consumption and how you can help improve it!

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