Solar energy used in Habitat homes - | WBTV Charlotte

Solar energy used in Habitat homes


Things are looking up for a family living in a Habitat for Humanity home in West Charlotte. The sounds of construction might as well be music to home owner Deo Thapa's ears. 

"I heard before the solar energy they put on this house, so I'm so excited and happy," said Thapa.

Deo and his family moved into the home - which he helped build - about a month ago. Today, he's watching from the ground as volunteers work to harness energy from the sun, and gain valuable job skills in the process.

Vince Weisenberg is a student in the sustainability program at Central Piedmont Community College. This is his first job installing solar panels, but says it's not too difficult. "Once you get everything situated and the way you want it and follow the process it's very simple."

Vince is working under the watchful eyes of instructors from CPCC, and alongside Goodwill Construction Skills Training students. Providing ground support are volunteers from Bank of America, which is footing the bill for this energy saving project.

"The neat thing about it is affordable housing is getting even more affordable for this family," says Habitat for Humanity Charlotte's Phil Prince.

The Habitat home was already energy efficient; today's construction is taking savings to a new level.

Sixteen solar panels are being installed on the house. When they're in place, the family should be able to save about 75 percent on their energy costs, all thanks to the power of the sun.  That's money that Deo can use down the road, as his family continues to grow.

After installation of the solar panels is completed, it takes about 2 weeks to go through the permit and inspections process.  That means the Thapa family should be running on solar power in early August.

This is the first of nine new Habitat houses in Charlotte slated for solar installation this year.

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