Sewickley's Historic Review Commisson recently made the news when it voted to allow installation of solar panels on the roof of a home located within the town's historic district. With the rising costs of electricity, increase in residential energy consumption, and possible tax incentives and utility discounts, solar panels are an attractive solution. What isn't so attractive to some are the panels themselves. This aesthetic issue can be further emphasized when dealing with a historically and architecturally significant building. The purpose of photovoltaic panels is simple: they convert solar radiation from the sun into electricity, reducing electrical energy consumption from the grid.
For those sensitive to aesthetics, one alternate solution are DOW Powerhouse Solar Shingles. These shingles can be used in either new or existing construction, are made to blend in with the rest of the roof, and come with a sophisticated monitoring system that shows how much energy the system is creating, how much is being used, and the savings that are being generated.
A home with DOW's solar shingles
A home with standard solar panels
There are other energy saving measures that can be taken in lieu of - or in addition to - solar panels. Lighting controls with dimmers or occupancy sensors, Energy Star appliances, better insulation, and high-performance windows can all contribute to increased energy efficiency.