Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Solar Energy Raising – The New Barn Raising

Last weekend I attended a solar photovoltaic energy raising in Durham, NH. Never heard of an energy raising? Well, you’re not alone. An energy raiser is much like an old fashioned barn raiser. People from the community get together and volunteer their time and services helping their neighbor install a solar hot water or photovoltaic system. The idea is to pay it back or pay it forward. Volunteer at 3 and you’re up. Already had a raising at your home – volunteer at someone else’s. It’s a pretty simple system. Although, the installation requires some skills.

The idea started about five years ago with a group in Plymouth, NH called PAREI (Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative). To date, PAREI has installed over 119 solar hot water systems in their area. Recently, people in the seacoast area of NH and ME have started their own, SEAREI, (Seacoast Area Renewable Energy Initiative) based on this model.

Interested in checking one out? There’s a hot water raising this weekend in Epping, NH and you can contact SEAREI through their website.


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