The power of the sun

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Oct 03, 2012 - 12:40 PM

Photo: Among the nine Middle Peninsula sites that will be open for viewing during this weekend’s 2012 Hampton Roads Solar Home Tour is the Woodas Creek home of Jay and Lisa White in Mathews. Still under construction, the concrete-and-frame structure offers the latest in green technology and is expected to be EarthCraft certified, said Lisa White, pictured. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

Among the nine Middle Peninsula sites that will be open for viewing during this weekend’s 2012 Hampton Roads Solar Home Tour is the Woodas Creek home of Jay and Lisa White in Mathews. Still under construction, the concrete-and-frame structure offers the latest in green technology and is expected to be EarthCraft certified, said Lisa White, pictured. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

Solar energy isn’t just a thing of the future.

Some local residents use technologies that routinely turn sunlight into electricity to power their homes, while others benefit from architectural design that takes advantage of the natural power of the sun’s rays. Others are living green in a variety of ways, from installing geothermal-based heating and air conditioning to using rain barrels to capture water for lawns, and routinely buying used instead of new.

Tom and Susan Crockett of Gloucester, have lived with passive solar energy for 27 years and recently installed their first photovoltaic panels, while and Jay and Lisa White are still working on their state-of-the-art green dream home in Mathews.

Tim and Frances Hudgins recently finished renovating an old family home in Hallieford on Queens Creek, making eco-friendly choices, and Chris and Beth Bond are now living in a delightful Mathews cottage that sells back to Dominion Virginia Power nearly as much electricity as it uses.

These families’ homes and three more in Gloucester and Mathews will be open to visitors during this Saturday’s 2012 Solar Home Tour on the Middle Peninsula, which will include a variety of other green technologies, as well. A Middlesex home will have a ground-installed solar array available for inspection and discussion, while Waste Management in Gloucester will provide tours of its methane gas-to-electricity conversion facility.