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The after shot

By: Jackie Boat

Last time I left you all with the story of my pre-installation excitement. Now I can finally say that our mission is accomplished! Installation day has come and gone and the work went more smoothly than I had hoped. Ben and Roger from RREAL made the trek down to Anamosa, Iowa and showed some weatherization crew members and me what it means to be solar installation rock stars. You know that feeling you get when you hear your favorite guitar player lay down some tasty licks? That is what was going on inside my head as I stood in a dusty basement watching the whole thing go down.

In all honesty, the installation process isn’t much to look at. It is a straight-forward procedure of cutting strategically placed holes in a wall, mounting the panel on a rack, and then connecting the duct and electrical work. Both homes were finished in a day and a half! The simplicity of how the system works makes it all the more amazing in my mind. It means that it is accessible for many people who would like to start their own installation program. I think I may have found a future training path for myself and hopefully have enabled further replication within HACAP’s weatherization program.  

Most importantly, two families are now supplementing their homes with solar heat. Score for self-sufficiency! I am very grateful to the people at Hawkeye Area Community Action Program and these families for opening themselves up to this new technology and helping to make it a reality. I hope that these new clients will stay plenty toasty on the cheap thanks to our work. I have learned so much along the way about working within various communities, and that has been a priceless experience for me.

When my service year is completed, I am looking to go to school for solar installation training or finding other nonprofit work.