Solar Champion Stories

Shining a Light on Savings and Sustainability in New Hampshire

Paul Austin from Wilmot, New Hampshire knows firsthand what a new report from the US Energy Information Administration indicates: energy costs in New Hampshire and Maine are still the highest in the country despite prices dropping somewhat from last year. The latest stats show that NH residents can expect to pay up to 44% more than the rest of the country on monthly household utility costs thanks to the cold winters and a heavy reliance on expensive heating fuels. Driven by a desire to stabilize his own energy costs and cut back on his fossil fuel usage, Paul did his research and saw solar as the answer.  

In 2020, the Austin Family partnered with ReVision Energy to install a 9-kilowatt solar array on the roof of their rural NH home. When propane costs skyrocketed during the pandemic, Paul decided to increase their solar capacity by installing a 6.8-kilowatt ground mount array in his backyard.  

“I wanted to produce as much energy as we were consuming,” says Paul. “The initial investment seemed steep at first but then I realized we are going to have the loans we took out for the investment entirely paid off in six years, in addition to getting off fossil fuels.”

More Electrification  

Paul Austin Ground Mount (2).jpgPaul also invested in energy-efficient air source heat pumps that use the electricity produced by his solar arrays. Conveniently, these also provide cooling in the form of air conditioning in the hot summer months. 

“It’s so satisfying in the summer to enjoy my cool house and walk out my front door and witness sun being converted into power before my eyes.” 

Continuing his sustainability momentum, Paul was inspired to install the ground mounted solar array as a proactive step towards eventually buying an electric vehicle. This addition means he'll have the capability to charge his electric vehicle at home, utilizing the sun's energy, effectively at no cost and without spending any money on gas.  

Now, with his solar arrays and heat pumps, everything in his house is electric; his annual propane usage has plummeted to as low as 20 gallons. His numbers speak for themselves: in 2022, his family used 10,773 kWh, and generated 15,344 kWh. To those considering solar, Paul's advice is clear: "It's one of the best investments I've made, both emotionally and financially." 

If you want to learn more about other solar champions like Paul benefiting from the power of the sun, click here.