Solar Champion Stories

Passive & Active Solar Go Hand In Hand

When David and Susan Walecka moved to West Newbury, MA from Duxbury, they knew they wanted to install solar on the home they were building. However, as anyone who has dealt with house design and construction knows, things can get pretty overwhelming. They ended up designing the house with big windows for passive solar, and moved in.

In the first winter they lost power for 5 days straight. The combination of passive solar, quality insulation, and a fireplace meant that everything stayed decently warm, but they didn’t want to risk that again.

“We didn’t install a generator when we built the house,” said David, “and because of the erratic climate everyone has been experiencing I was concerned about losing power again during the winter.”

walecka_3.jpeg“Then we decided pretty quickly that we wanted rooftop solar as well,” Susan Walecka explains, “We got some other prices and quotes but we really appreciated ReVision’s hands-on approach.” Their 9.25 kw rooftop solar array now supplies energy to their ReVision-installed heat pumps and Tesla Powerwall. Susan especially loves watching the solar charge the battery – even when it’s raining, the solar still fills the battery up to 70% or higher. Since the install the power has gone out a few times, but it’s not noticeable because of the seamless switch to the battery.

In December of 2021, they bought a Tesla Model Y and charge that off their solar+battery as well, and they’re planning on buying a heat pump water heater soon; their home will soon be a real-life version of the 100% solar household model! Through the Mass Save SMART program, they get monthly payments for many of these clean energy technologies. But it’s not all about the money for the Waleckas – like ReVision they are also involved with the Merrimack River Watershed Council, and want to do their part to help out the local environment.

The surprising part to Susan was how quickly and smoothly the installs were. “ReVision was so detailed and hands-on. I thought there would be glitches, but it worked so well. The people who were here were wonderful.”