Archive for the ‘Solar and Sustainability Events’ Category

Solarize Kearsarge Sparks Great Interest at Launch Event

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Solarize Kearsarge NH MeetingAn audience of more than 160, mostly from Andover, New London, and Wilmot, filled Clements Hall on the Colby-Sawyer College campus on October 18 as representatives from Vital Communities, a Vermont-based nonprofit, and ReVision Energy, an Exeter-based installer of solar-electric systems, told them of the benefits – economic and environmental – of owning their own solar electricity-producing installations.

Among the reasons to act now, Gregory said, is that ReVision is offering a sliding-scale pricing structure that, put simply, will mean that the more residents who sign contracts for system installations between now and the end of January, the greater the installer’s discount for everyone. He offered a table showing all incentives, rebates, and discounts for a system designed to meet the electricity needs of an average New Hampshire home.

Full article available here:

200 Year Old Barn Receives Sustainable Upgrades by a Custom Shoemaker

Monday, September 15th, 2014

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For the past 40 years, Robert and Barbara have shared a love affair restoring this wonderful barn. To prepare it for solar, they pooled their resources together with the talents of their son, Eben, who grew up heavily influenced by working alongside his parents during their restoration efforts. Now a highly skilled craftsman and professional restorer himself, specializing in antique barns, he’s able to add his own preservation expertise. “He was very helpful in analyzing the structural condition of our barn and preparing it for the photovoltaic panel installation. By using vintage timbers, repairs were made to the frame without them being noticeable,” says Barbara, reflecting on the project, “It has been wonderful for us to work with Eben on this project, which has been a goal for many years, and we couldn’t have done it without him!”

Many old barns were built to take advantage of passive solar opportunities, since many might otherwise lack an alternative source of heat and light. A large roof expanse and south facing orientation are common ideals for a solar system. The Mathews barn in particular, is oriented opposing the quaint little road it lives on, so one might have to look closely to see the solar array as they pass by.

Their collective efforts entailed re-roofing nearly 2,000 square feet with metal before a 7.8 kilowatt solar electric array was mounted at the south facing center. This system is designed to offset their entire electric load for both the house and business, producing over 9,500 kilowatt hours annually, thus removing almost 7,000 pounds of CO2 emissions every year.

Their passion for sustainability began during Jimmy Carter’s Energy Program in the 80’s, where they installed a solar hot water system. They continue to garden organically and heat primarily with wood cut from their land. “We have three grandchildren, with a fourth due at Thanksgiving, so we are thinking about the world we will be passing on to them. With all the concern about the environment and climate change it’s hard not to want to help in some way,” says Barbara.

A little about your hosts, Robert and Barbara Mathews:
Robert began his career at an early age, deeply influenced by the traditions of his shoemaking family. Today he works closely with his wife Barbara, who contributes her talents for color and design. Together they have created a unique business, all while raising a family and restoring this antique farmstead.

“Custom Shoemaking is all about our clients”, says Barbara, whose process includes a deep understanding of the needs of people and their feet, since many clients are looking for shoes to accommodate a wide range of foot issues. “We work with each individual client to fulfill their personal fitting requirements and design ideas and find it especially gratifying to help people with foot problems be comfortable and happy in their shoes, often for the first time in their lives.” Other clients simply seek a high quality, handmade shoe with special leathers or colors. And then there are those who have all of these goals for their shoes. ”Being able to create something with our hands that contributes to the well-being and satisfaction of others is the inspiration for our business.”


ReVision Energy is honored to collaborate with The NH Preservation Alliance*  for an open house scheduled for Thursday, September 18th from 5-7pm. Light food and drink will be served, followed by a session on solar energy and tour of the barn.

Please RSVP for address to Kimry at 603 679 1777 or

*The Preservation Alliance is New Hampshire’s non-profit, membership-based organization committed to the preservation of historic landmarks, communities and landscapes through leadership, education and advocacy.

Small library gets big grant to go solar

Friday, August 1st, 2014

lincolnville-library In the middle of summer, the small library in Lincolnville is getting ready to beat the cost of winter. The library is installing a full solar electric system, which they say should power all the lights and a heat pump to heat and cool the building.

Dunham says they’re hoping the combination of building insulation, passive solar from the south-facing windows and the heat pump will make the library a “net zero” building, meaning it will generate at least as much power as it consumes. John Luft of Revision says they can structure the billing so any excess power credits can be given to other town facilities, such as the school or town office. Librarian Sheila Polson says they hope the library will also serve as an example to the community of what can be done to reduce energy consumption and costs.

Full article and video is available here:

Solar Home Tour Gives Glimpse of History-Technology Blend

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014


A 116-year-old house may seem like an odd fit for cutting-edge energy innovations, but a Munjoy Hill couple found a way to blend history and energy efficiency.

In February 2011 the couple purchased the home, which is equipped with solar panels on the roof — the only external indication of anything different about the residence.

Baston, who works with Revision Energy, a renewable energy contracting company in Portland, said the two-unit townhouse brought challenges and opportunities. In February 2011 the couple purchased the home, which is equipped with solar panels on the roof — the only external indication of anything different about the residence. Baston, who works with Revision Energy, a renewable energy contracting company in Portland, said the two-unit townhouse brought challenges and opportunities.

The second unit was “gutted” when they bought it, “so it was a good opportunity to do a lot of insulation and install a whole new heating system.” The couple invested in a solar hot water system for both units, and a small solar electrical system. A new high-efficiency gas boiler runs on natural gas, and they use wood heat in the main unit, where they live. The other unit is a rental.

For full article, click here:

Advocates push bill to restore solar rebates for Maine

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

solar-billSolar energy advocates, state lawmakers and companies that install solar-energy systems said Tuesday that Maine should catch up with the rest of New England. The group, including Natural Resources Council of Maine, touted a bill that restores a $2,000 rebate for those who install solar-energy systems.

For homeowners the news on solar is good, too, said Fortunat Mueller who noted that the cost of solar installations over the past five years have dropped by 70 percent, triggering record growth in solar energy in the U.S. in 2013 with 4,300 megawatts installed. “That’s enough to power about 850,000 homes,” Mueller said. He said the industry employed 143,000 full-time employees in 2013, a 13 percent increase from 2012.

“This incredible market-transforming growth is happening because solar energy doesn’t pick winners or losers,” Mueller said. “It’s available to anyone who wants to make an investment to control their long-term energy costs.” Homeowners who took advantage of the state’s rebate program before it was eliminated said the rebate made it possible for them to finance their solar systems.

Representative Melvin Newendyke said the rebates, which are paid for by a surcharge on electricity bills in Maine, cost the average ratepayer 5 cents a month or about 60 cents a year.

“I think the rebates make sense,” Newendyke said. “Normally, I’m opposed to subsidizing, but in this particular case the subsidy is very minor — that 5 cents a month can turn into about $11 million of economic activity within the state — that’s a huge return.”

For the full article, click here: