Solar energy installations in the Pacific Northwest are proving their worth, despite persistent public misconceptions that winter’s overcast skies make solar technology useless.
Chris Herman, owner of Winter Sun Design in Edmonds, concedes winter solar rays aren’t as good as summer ones, but he knows that cloudy days still collect solar energy and that the region still can gain benefits from solar installations.
“People don’t realize that a passive solar home in Western Washington can still get 50 percent of its space heating from solar features, while adding less than 2 percent to the cost of home construction,” Herman said.
Credentials behind his views include his 25-year business venture designing houses with passive solar features, sustainable “green” building design and consulting services. He founded Solar Washington, the Northwest Eco-Building Guild and Sustainable Edmonds, and is interim president of the Edmonds Community Solar Cooperative.