Great Solar story Willow Street PA

In November of 2015, Dan Mast contacted us to discuss an environmentally friendly way to offset electricity costs. Many customers come to us with the same request, one we love fulfilling. As with all of our clients, Dan’s particular property and situation created unique challenges. He wanted to reduce the amount of work involved with burning firewood by installing a heat pump. He also wanted to eventually add an electric vehicle to his household. Fortunately, Belmont Solar specializes in planning and installing truly customized solutions that benefit both individual households and the planet. (Compare solar panel installation options here.) We eagerly began the journey toward his goal of meeting all of his energy needs through solar.

Dan already appreciated the importance of reducing his carbon footprint and avoiding the environmental impacts of using fossil fuels or burning wood. Hoping to help the Earth, rather than hurt it, he worked hard at home to reduce his energy use. He changed his daily habits, incorporating many of the general measures we recommend for saving electricity.

For example, electrical appliances and devices, even when turned off, stay on standby, or in sleep mode, continuing to draw electricity. Plugging them into power strips that can easily be turned on or off (rather than plugging them into individual outlets) can reduce these “phantom loads” by 100 watts or more. The installation of energy efficient windows and an energy efficient furnace, adding weatherproofing, reducing hot water use, and switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs, are a few other positive changes that save money and help the planet. The most impactful change, however, is using solar energy. Dan was ready to make that leap.


Barn for Solar

The family thought about installing a ground-mounted solar panel array along the driveway, between the road and the house. They hesitated, because they were not sure they wanted their solar system visible from the road. The alternative would be a roof-mounted installation on an old barn next to the house. After discovering what it would take to bring the barn roof up to modern building code standards for maximum snow load, they decided to go with a ground-mounted design.


Solar in progress

Belmont Solar’s experts started looking at the land and found a good spot, but the chosen location would require the removal of two mature trees. Dan had a plan. For a long time, he had toyed with the idea of having an orchard. He decided to remove the trees and offset their loss by planting his orchard in a different area.


Ground mount solar

A 17 Kw ground mount system was built where the two trees were, the orchard was planted to off-set the loss of the trees, and Dan installed heat pumps that would use the generated electricity to heat the house.  No more carrying with wood, no more dust from the wood fires in the house. Just clean green and renewable energy to power all of Dan’s energy needs.


Ground mount solar

In February of 1917, Belmont Solar installed a 17 Kw ground mount system where the two older trees had been. Heat pumps would use the generated electricity to heat Dan’s house. He would no longer need to haul firewood inside or deal with the unhealthy particulates wood smoke produces, which pollute both outdoor and indoor air and create dust. His new system would provide clean energy, from the sun.



Electric transportation

Soon after this Belmont Solar installation, Dan bought a used Nissan Leaf for $9,000. He added another electric vehicle, a Tesla Model 3, in November of 2019. After going solar, his household is now fully electric. His system produces 17 Kw of power each year, enough for all of his household electricity needs, plus “electron fuel” for two electric vehicles.



The Results:
  • $185 per month electric bill reduced to nothing
  • no more firewood
  • no more ashes and dust in the house.
  • And so much time and hassle saved.
  • Just clean renewable energy out of thin air.