Our Projects

Babkirk's Self Sufficient Solar Home in Sanford, ME

  • sanford-me-solar-babkirk.jpeg

Anne and Cliff Babkirk's 2,875 sq. ft home is fueled almost entirely by the sun. It is heated using electric heat pumps, which in turn get their electricity from their grid-tied solar PV array. The array consists of 35 Conergy-P solar electric panels, capable of producing a total of 8225 Watts of electricity at peak output, or, annually, around 10,281 kWh of clean, renewable electricity.

An all-climate air source heat pump provides all heating and cooling needs year round. The Babkirks use a whole-house energy monitor to keep track of their home's energy production and consumption, and call pull the information up in real time on the web! They decided to explore solar in 2008 after paying a punitive amount of money to heat their home with oil, and expanded to their full array size in 2011.

Solar Exceeding Expectations

“Our goal was to be producing around 500 kWh/month with solar and so far the system has exceeded our expectations,” Cliff Babkirk says, “The best part is that the energy I’ve paid for today with my solar panels is never subject to a rate change. I’ve locked in the cost of a portion of my electricity for the next 20-25 years at a rate below current utility prices. In addition, through the benefits of net-metering, CMP gives me a credit on my bill for excess electricity produced by the array that I don’t use.”

More Solar Power on the Horizon

While he’s made great progress already, Cliff plans to take his 26% federal tax credit from his first PV array and use it to buy more panels. “My goal is to get to 50% of my energy use being offset by PV,” he says. He and his wife plan to stay in their current home – overlooking a pond in Sanford, Maine – well into retirement, and so the idea of getting control over their utility costs is immensely comforting.

“We like the idea of reliable systems and predictable costs,” he says, “Currently our oil boiler is nothing but a fancy hot water system and a backup source of heat when we lose power or should the Acadia system require maintenance… And once we can find an alternative backup heat source I like even better, we will finally have a fossil-free house.”

In the meantime, Cliff can expect to generate over 6,576 kilowatt hours of clean, renewable electricity annually, while offsetting roughly 8,812 lbs. of CO2 emissions that would be generated from coal, natural gas, or liquid fuel power plants.

Home Projects

View All Projects