Littlestown Veterinary Hospital

  • Location:

    Littlestown, PA

  • System Size:

    24.675 kW

  • Estimated Monthly Production:

    2,460 kWh

  • Projected Savings This Year:

    $3,400

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Veterinarians Julie Holland and Gary Kubala take care of cats, dogs, rabbits, ferrets, pocket pets, reptiles and birds in the 100-year-old barn they purchased for their practice. While they briefly looked into solar when they first purchased the building, it wasn’t until Julie’s father Don Lindsey heard about the state solar grant program that they realized solar power was an affordable option. They quickly appointed Don their solar project manager.

Don started with a four-page list of the state’s approved solar installers and selected five at random to contact for more information. He checked out the companies with the Better Business Bureau and made a spreadsheet to capture all of the proposal details to share with Gary and Julie. “The folks we worked with at Astrum Solar were very professional. They didn’t run down any other company, they just sold their company as a better situation for us,” says Don. “If you have a good product, you just sell it on the merits.”

The folks we worked with at Astrum Solar were very professional. If you have a good product, you just sell it on the merits.

“Several companies mentioned the shadow on our roof created by the power lines and how it would cut down the energy production,” continues Don. “Astrum Solar uses microinverters, so when the shadow went across a panel it was the only one that was affected in the solar array. They also had a better warranty and offered U.S.-made panels, which was important to us.”

“Initially, the system we went with was not the least expensive system, but you do get what you pay for,” says Don. “Out of the blue, Astrum’s incentives department let us know about a possible USDA grant that we might be eligible for. They handled the application for us and helped us get an extra $20,000 to offset the cost of our system.”    

Don was particularly appreciative of the installation team’s efforts, noting that the July weather gave the barn a “hot tin roof.” “The installers did a great job. They did not disturb anybody and we were able to keep the vet hospital open the whole time they were here,” says Don. “They knew what they were doing, they came up and did it, and then they were done.”

The hospital, whose system is easily visible as cars drive by, has become a destination for others in the community interested in solar. “We think it is good stewardship to use as much renewable energy as possible,” says Julie. “Clients that come into the vet hospital ask about the system frequently and we show them the savings and talk to them about the benefits of solar energy.”

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