Part of the National Solar Tour
3 Donnelly Drive home from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6.
WALPOLE – A local family will open its doors to the public this weekend as part of a nationwide effort to promote solar power.
The Conner family is set to host a solar open house at their 3 Donnelly Drive home from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6. Participants will be invited to see the home’s solar array and learn more about the options available to them.
Penelope Conner, who is also chief customer officer at Eversource, said her family had set up the array during the “Solarize Medfield” drive, in which the town partnered with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and the state’s Green Communities Division to lower local installation costs.
“We were thrilled to be a part of that campaign in 2016,” she said. “New England Clean Energy, which installed the panels, will be on-site (Saturday). They will be allowing folks to see the installation on the roof, as well as the equipment in the basement.”
Conner said she had invited the other participants of Solarize Medfield to the open house to share their stories, and that Eversource energy efficiency experts would be there also, discussing subjects like efficient appliances and how best to weatherize one’s home.
Conner said she and her husband had been interested in adding a solar array to their home for a long time and, when the time came to replace their roof, they chose to go with a metal roof to make installation easier.
“There are two ways it gives back. There’s the reduction of our energy bill – we’re saving $1,800 a year on energy,” she said, adding that placing the solar energy on the market qualifies for a clean-energy certificate. “We’re compensated for that – it generates about $1,600.”
Many people, said Conner, ask about the system’s payback. While a solar system is a large investment, she said the benefits could generate a payback in about seven years.
“If you’re thinking about replacing your roof, you should probably wait until after that (to get solar),” she said. “People also ask if we had to cut some trees down – indeed, we did.”
Conner said she was unsure how many people might attend the open house.
“I certainly sent out a lot of invitations,” she said. “I would love to see 100 people there.”