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Advantages of Solar Powered Homes: Featuring TreeHouse

By Kristen Bosse

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

TreeHouse is a local home center and building supply retailer focused on health, performance, design, and sustainability. We work hard to curate our products to make sure that they are sustainably sourced, use water and energy as efficiently as possible, introduce no unnecessary health concerns to the buildings, and are produced at a high level of quality and beauty. Our foundation comes from our core principals, or our "Roots" which are simply, "People Matter. Communities Matter. Nature Matters. Quality Matters."

What are some of the services your company provides?

Related to services: We have the best, and perhaps only, turn-key residential solar program in town, we are just launching the "Ideal Residential Roof" program, we offer in-home performance & design consults, and we install flooring, cabinets, countertops, clay wall finishes, water heaters, and more.

In recent years, do you believe the demand for solar powered homes has increased, decreased, or stayed the same?

Absolutely increased. This isn't about belief, it's about facts.

Why do you believe that happened?

1) A tipping point happened with "solar awareness." People came to see and understand the value proposition of solar power and to believe it.
2) The technology of panels and inverters reached a point where both performance and price reached acceptable levels as regards residential installations.
3) Creative ways of paying for solar came of age like leasing programs and creative solar loans.

Can you please explain the general concept behind solar power?

The basic idea is this? the star at the center of our solar system is powered by nuclear fusion, one of the most powerful source of energy in the universe. Solar power is basically long range nuclear fusion. The panels convert the energy created by the sun's energy into usable electricity. Depending on how large an array you have, solar power can help you either lower your electric bill, or eliminate it completely.

What are some benefits of having solar panels?

1. An energy source that causes little to no environmental harm or degradation (something that few other energy sources can say).
2) An energy source that is, for all intents and purposes, unlimited and ubiquitous.
3) A distributed energy grid which is more resilient that a centralized one.
4) Locked in energy rates that are not attached to fluctuating commodity prices.
5) An energy source without so many dangerous geopolitical implications.

How many solar panels does a house require in order for them to be effective?

Any number of solar panels is going to be effective in some way. But an easier way to think about it is 24 panels would generate roughly $100 of electricity per month.

What are some disadvantages related to solar panels?

I'm not aware of any glaring weaknesses. They are a resilient, low-failure technology, they produce clean, cheap power, and they add value to a home. If I had to say something? I guess it would be that some people, sometimes don't like the way they look.

What is the best way for people to get in contact with you or your company?

They could email info@treehouseonline.com, call 512.861.0712, or come by the store in the Westgate Shopping Center on South Lamar.

You may also visit our website for additional information: www.treehouseonline.

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Kristen has written impressive content including press releases and feature stories...

Phone: 203-913-0483

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