Shortly after we submitted the final paperwork for our LEED certification, we made the decision to install solar panels. On a whim, I asked Richard if he thought it would wreak havoc to amend our submission. I don’t think it created havoc but it certainly slowed the process. We figured we should at least ask if a platinum rating was within reach. In order to even be evaluated, we had to submit an entire year’s worth of production data! So in essence, we withdrew our 2015 application, watched the electric meter spin backward, and waited. When it was all said and done, our solar production placed us within a few points of platinum. We had to go for it!
Here are some pictures of the solar panel installation:
There are 9 panels on the upper roof and 4 on the front porch roof. The panels are designed to operate independently of one another so that if one panel is shaded, only that panel is affected.
Dominion Power installed a special meter that runs backwards as the panels produce energy. We receive credit for the power we put into the grid. It is possible to install batteries to harness the power for individual use but we didn’t go that route. On average, we produce close to 50% of our energy needs through solar power.
Below is one of my favorite photos of the house last winter. Even when there is snow on the ground, we can make power as long as the sun is shinning!
From the beginning of this process, Patrick and I agreed to select only those design features and fixtures that we loved and wanted part of our daily lives. We passed over things that were point-worthy but did not necessarily appeal to us. Adding solar power positioned us so close to platinum that we revisited a few of the features that we had originally ignored. In order to gain the final points, we added timers to each of the bathroom ventilation fans and undertook verification testing of the water flow of each faucet and toilet. In a couple of those fixtures we had to add flow-restrictors. It was definitely worth the effort. We made it!
We have the certificate to prove it!
Richard had a nice bronze plaque made for Honor’s Corner.
Honor’s Corner also received an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Richmond Golden Hammer Awards for Best Residential Renovation.
This is likely the final post on Shifting Corners. Thank you for reading along!
MA & Patrick