Solar electricity and hot water can significantly reduce your consumption of fossil fuels and, at the same time, provide some economic benefit. There have been tremendous advances in technology since those large, bulky solar hot water panels started cropping up thirty years ago. Today's equipment is sleeky and much more reliable and efficient.
Owners of historic houses are sometimes reluctant to introduce solar panels for aesthetic reasons; they don't want to take away from the look of their houses. That's a fair point and one with which we're sympathetic. There is a trade-off. We recently incorporated photovoltaic (electricity-producing) panels on the roof of a ca. 1800 Federal style house in Milton, MA. Because the house has a shallow hipped roof, the panels are not that noticeable from the ground. In fact, this house also has a rooftop balustrade, which further conceals the panels from below.
Not every old house lends itself quite so readily to solar panels, it's true. Sometimes panels can be placed on barns or other outbuildings. But sometimes the best choice, for environmental or economic reasons, is to go ahead and install them even if they are visible.
Interested in solar, but not sure if it's the right thing for your building? Give us a call and we'll work with you to determine if solar is right for you.