The Boren Family – Dover, NH
By the numbers:
System size: 4.3 kilowatts (17 solar panels)
System output: 5,780 kilowatt-hours/year
CO₂ reduction: 9,031 pounds/year
Additional technology: Solar hot water heater + heat pumps + EV charging
A proud “conservative card carrying member of the sierra Club,” Mark Boren has a passion for protecting the environment that derives from a college Civics class. “The professor told me, ‘If you take one thing away from this class, it’s this: if you care about something, do something about it,’ and for me that something was the environment,” Mark says. “But it took a lot of years and buying my own home before I could do something big.”
The Boren’s home in suburban Dover, New Hampshire, has ample south-facing roof space to handle two flat plate solar hot water collectors and seventeen solar panels. Their solar hot water system provides 80% or more of their domestic hot water (for showers, dishes, laundry, etc.) from the sun alone, while the solar panels provide roughly 5,779 kilowatt hours of electricity each year.
Their air source heat pump draws from the solar energy as well and is capable of producing 15,000 BTU per hour and can operate in temperatures as low as -20°F. It can run in one mode for heating, or in the reverse to provide cooling. The Borens drive a Nissan Leaf, which gets up to 115 miles on a single charge. They can charge up at home, on free sunshine from their solar panels, or from one of the many electric vehicle charging stations available throughout New Hampshire.
Through their investments, the Boren family offsets over 9,000 pounds of CO2 annually, which is equivalent to the amount of carbon sequestered by 3.8 acres of forest in one year. Besides protecting the environment, the Boren family is also protecting their energy future, as they have limited their need for fossil fuels.
More photos of the Boren Family home solar project: