Logan County, West Virginia— Susan and Roger Perry made the decision to go solar – with battery backup – a little while after the derecho came through our area a few years back. When the storm hit, they experienced long-term power outages that left them feeling unprepared and vulnerable.
“The worst power outage we’ve had here was during the derecho – and it was longer and more sustained than any other outage we’ve had. We didn’t have solar then, but that’s when the idea came to us that we needed to do something because it was miserable!”
They considered going with a generator, but generators required more maintenance than they were up for, and they didn’t like the idea of having to rely on access to fuel, “A generator just didn’t seem like a good choice for us.”
“It was one of the things Roger was adamant about — for emergency preparedness, we needed to have that battery. If the power is out for an extended period of time we know we’ll be able to take care of ourselves.”
The Perrys decided to include battery storage with their solar. Keeping the kitchen powered, so the fridge didn’t spoil was their primary concern. “It was one of the things Roger was adamant about — for emergency preparedness, we needed to have that battery. If the power is out for an extended period of time we know we’ll be able to take care of ourselves.”
Susan shared a story of a time when the power went out and their battery kicked on. During the outage, their son happened to be in town for a visit, “He came downstairs and kind of skeptically asked, ‘Well, what’s this solar thing doing for me?’ I said, ‘Right now, it’s making your coffee!’”
Does solar work in winter weather?
A lot of folks are curious about how solar works in snow and ice and Susan loves to help correct any misconceptions folks may have. One of the many wonderful things about solar panels is that the energy they absorb comes from the sun’s light, not the sun’s warmth. In fact, solar panels are actually more efficient in colder temperatures!
“Yes, my solar panels work in winter – even sometimes when it’s snowing. What I want to say to people is, ‘What is your roof doing? Because mine is producing power!’”
Susan and Roger decided to go solar for their own sense of security and independence, but Susan doesn’t pretend there’s one solution that will work for everyone, she feels strongly that having more diverse sources of energy is a good thing for consumers, “A more robust mix of energy could save consumers a lot of money and provide more reliable power for all of us.”