Solar Complements Ground-Source Heat Pump for Helena Family

Solar Complements Ground-Source Heat Pump for Helena Family

Other Technologies, Rooftop Solar
When Katherine and Shahid Haque-Hausrath bought their home in South-Central Helena, one of their first tasks was to replace the antiquated, unsafe heating system. After considering their options they decided to install a ground-source heat pump. Ground-source heat pumps take advantage of the fact that the earth, just a few feet down, maintains a much more constant temperature year-round than the air. By using the ground as a heat source in winter and a heat sink in summer, ground-source heat pumps can heat and cool a home quite efficiently. The Haque-Hausraths liked the idea of reducing their heating bills as well as their environmental footprint, and the decision also made sense financially: after tax credits, the ground-source heat pump cost only a little more than a new conventional heating system.…
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Net metering study: economic impacts and cost shift analysis

Policy & Advocacy
At the January 15 meeting of the Legislature’s Energy and Telecommunications Interim Committee (ETIC), legislators continued to dig into Montana’s net metering statute, but stopped short of proposing changes to the law. Ben Brouwer, MREA’s Policy Director, and Orion Thornton, partner in Onsite Energy and MREA Vice President, both were invited by the committee to present information about the economic impact of the solar industry in Montana (download Ben’s presentation here). Legislative staff also presented a summary of the economic impacts of net metering. The staff report shared the experiences and perspectives of four Montana based solar installation businesses: Solar Plexus, Sundance Solar, Jordan Solar and Bozeman Green Build. In advance of the January ETIC meeting, three state agencies analyzed the available data on net metering in Montana and concluded…
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Onsite Energy

Penny Per Watt
A conversation with Orion Thornton [caption id="attachment_1038" align="alignright" width="300"] Orion Thornton and Conor Darby, owners of Onsite Energy[/caption]Orion Thornton, co-owner of Onsite Energy along with Conor Darby, talked to MREA in March 2016 about how he fulfilled his dream of building a career in solar in his home state of Montana. How did you get into the solar business? I grew up off the grid in Northwest Montana, which sparked my interest in alternative energy. In 2002, after taking a weeklong renewable energy workshop, I realized I could make a career of it. In 2006 I completed a two-year solar design and installation degree at San Juan College in New Mexico. After finishing the degree I came back to Montana to regroup, and was prepared to move out of state…
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