Solar panels on a home in Westport, Connecticut

“From ground level, the SunPower panels look like a black rectangle, which fits in well with our architecture.”

– Sam Hartnell, Homeowner, Westport, CT

When Sam and Janice Hartnell were building their new home in Westport, CT, they decided to install geothermal heating. The Hartnells knew they wanted to achieve an oil-free life, but they also knew that geothermal would use more electricity than other heating systems. This presented a significant challenge: one the Hartnells chose to overcome by adding SunPower solar panels to their home’s rooftop. With the help of SunPower Premier Dealer Sunlight Solar Energy, the Hartnells now have a solar solution that generates more than enough energy to keep their geothermal system online.

New Construction Incorporates Renewable Energy Sources

“The water that comes out of the ground at 50 degrees still has to be heated to 90 degrees to make it all work,” says Sam Hartnell. “The active ingredient in that process is electricity. It occurred to us that the house is facing due south; this dovetailed nicely with our wish to use solar power as another way to reduce our electrical bills.”

Sunlight Solar Recommends SunPower

The Hartnells evaluated several solar installers, eventually deciding on Sunlight Solar Energy. Sam says he was extremely pleased with the caliber of service provided by the company. “Sunlight did a fantastic job,” he says. “They really knew what they were doing, they were responsive to my phone calls, and were very helpful.I have very high praise for everyone we dealt with.” Sunlight Solar’s sales team recommended the Hartnells install SunPower solar panels; a decision Sam says was ideal for his new home. “The SunPower panels have brackets and tracks,so the installers were able to place them right next to each other. From ground level, the SunPower panels look like a black rectangle, which fits in well with our architecture,” he notes.

High Hopes During Low Temperatures

In June of 2008, the Hartnells officially powered up their SunPower solar panels. They were eager to see the impact of their SunPower solution on their energy bills during the cold East Coast winters and encourage other homeowners to consider a similar investment in renewable energy sources. “Our neighbors and friends think our solar installation is really cool,” says Sam. “There were no heartaches during the installation process, and we’ve had no glitches whatsoever. So far everything’s working just great.”

Project Overview

Location:    Westport, Connecticut
System size:    5.74kW
PV Surface Area:    364 sq ft
Number of Panels:    28
Products:    SunPower® 205 Solar Panels

  • SunPower installation is projected to save the Hartnells more than $1400 per year with clean solar power
  • Electricity usage will be offset by 45 percent
  • Attractive design integrates seamlessly with rooftop
  • Solar solution will reduce carbon emissions by 317,398 lbs over 30 years, equivalent to planting 32 acres of trees or not driving 313,000 miles.