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Solar energy firm installs 1,000th panel

Shannon Haggett’s new solar-panel installation in Vergennes.

Shannon Haggett’s new solar-panel installation in Vergennes.

— Waterbury-based solar-panel installer SunCommon, marked a milestone last week. The company installed its 1,000th photovoltaic panel.

According to spokeswoman Andrea Ochs, the firm—which is active locally—plans to install number 1,005 in Addison County.

“I’ve spoken with dozens of Addison County residents about solar since we launched in October. Everyone has a different reason for making the switch – whether they need to lower their living expenses or they’re concerned about climate change. The commitment from our community to local, clean energy sources is just amazing,” Ochs said.

Owners of 53 Addison County homes and farms have had the company install solar-electric panels in the last four months, Ochs said.

SunCommon, which has done aggressive marketing in the area, has several respected local installation firms as competitors, including Bristol Electronics, among others.

Vergennes homeowner, Shannon Haggett, appears to be pleased with going solar.

A rooftop solar system will supplant the Haggett's Green Mountain

Power bill. Haggett said SunCommon’s financing program meant she paid nothing out-of-pocket for a new solar system. But not everyone finds “going solar” smooth sailing.

A Middlebury homeowner, who prefers to remain anonymous, said SunCommon couldn’t install solar panels at her home because of rooftop skylights.

“The cost of removing the skylights just isn’t it worth it,” she said.

“Plus, to install the panels on the ground, I’d have to cut down a row of beautiful trees at great expense. In my case, I wasn’t willing to make the changes.”

But in Hagett’s case, the change to solar was an easy one.

“We partnered with SunCommon to install a solar system this past fall,” Haggett said. “The installation of the panels was quickly and professionally done, and the system was designed to be aesthetically respectful of our home and property.”

A Lincoln church community has also gone solar with help from SunCommon.

“Our church’s parsonage roof wasn’t a good candidate to host a solar system,” said Rev. Jim Brown of the Lincoln Congregational Church.

“Using this group setup, we worked with SunCommon to install a larger system at my home that replaces both our household’s and the church’s parsonage energy use with solar.”

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