Why did we add solar panels to our building?
When Dr. Lathrop bought this practice in 1984 energy was cheap and we used very little of it. There was no air conditioning, and no computers used. Our staff was small (2) and we wanted to serve more pet owning families in Portland. In this arena we have been blessed with great success, but each step of growth meant that our electricity consumption would also grow.
As someone who grew up in Alaska, Dr. Lathrop saw plenty of evidence that the environment was changing due to human activity so he has always been inclined to try and find ways to reduce energy consumption. So, after re-modeling and adding lots of insulation, switching to fluorescent lighting, installing water saving devices, and switching to low energy consuming computers it was time to take the big plunge and install an 11 KW solar array in conjunction with a new reflective white roof to reduce heat gain.
Our working environment has improved, our total electrical consumption hasn’t decreased, but we are “making” much of it ourselves with the new solar panels. And it is fun to see the electrical meter run backwards on a nice sunny day when the panels are generating all we are using and more.