Appreciating the Beauty of Solar Powered Homes: An Interview with Steve Pitney of Alternate Energy

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

In 1973, as I was finishing college, I became interested in solar energy. While gathering knowledge, I began holding seminars in solar at local Audubon locations for interested people. While the emphasis of the seminar was do-it-yourself solar solutions, some attendees wanted me to design and install solar thermal systems for pools, hot water and heating.

What are some of the services your company provides?

We now primarily design solar electric and solar hot water systems.

Would you say that in recent years, the demand for solar powered homes has increased?

And why do you believe that happened? I do believe the demand for solar has increased. The reasons for the increased demand are government incentives, increasing electric costs and lower equipment costs.

Can you please explain the general concept behind solar powers (i.e. Do they completely replace your electricity bill or do they just help lower it? How do they work?)

The panels make DC electricity which is converted to household electricity. This is fed into the building's electric grid to either reduce the bill, eliminate it or make it negative.

What are the advantages of having solar panels?

Own your power supply, lock in low costs, or even get paid to go solar. Control your destiny. Keep cash in the local economy.

How many solar panels does a house require in order for them to be effective?

This varies according to the electric consumption. Every 1000W of panels generates up to 1200 KWhr per year.

What is the best way for people to reach you and or your company?

Go to our web site, email or call 800-327-6527.

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