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Friday, July 27, 2007

Westporter Goes Solar

By Ed Kiersh

It barely matters to Westport’s David Yarmoff that his Stone Drive neighbors think he’s a “kook.” Image
The house on Westport’s Stone Drive has become known as the “solar house.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

The 43-year-old carbonated juice salesman saw Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” and after discussing the earth’s countless environmental challenges with his teenaged son, he installed solar panels on his house.

“I drank the left-wing Kool Aid, and ultimately felt it was time to make another sort of switch to renewable energy,” said Yarmoff, admiring the “optimum” conditions for such a change outside his colonial-style home built in 1998.

“I have the best setting for solar panels. We face almost due south, we are at 176 degrees.The pitch of my roof is 36 degrees, and there are no trees blocking the house. Al Gore’s movie was scary, so I believe in helping save the planet.”

Other numbers also led to the decision that resulted in a $90,000 installation bill.

He immediately gets a $46,000 rebate from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, $4,000 in tax relief from the state, and potentially a 30 percent tax credit from the federal government if pending bills are passed this August. He is also saving $2,700 a year in electricity costs.

“The money wasn’t the point for me,” said Yarmoff, who expressed the hope his trail blazing will influence others “to do the right thing.”

“Renewable energy has taken on new prominence recently, and I want to provide the right example to my three children and to other people.”

Yarmoff, who now wants to sell his SUV, only installed photovoltaic (or solar electric cells composed of various semi-conductor materials) to provide electricity.

He did not dig geothermal holes into the ground to heat and cool the house. That’s his “next step,” along with buying a hybrid car.

But in the meantime he is immensely proud of his “showcase” solar installation.

“I am number one, the largest residential solar installation in Connecticut, with a system that is 11.5 kilowatts, not the typical 10-kilowatt systems,” said Yarmoff, who’s equally enamored with Switch, a 100 percent sugar-free juice.

“We did the side-to-side paneling on the (asphalt shingle) roof for aesthetic reasons. This is a showcase for Sunlight Solar (the installation company) and hopefully for all of solar’s attributes. It’s the future.”


Posted 07/27/07 at 05:45 PM  Permalink


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