Local solar company partners with Habitat for Humanity to reduce home energy costs

Berkeley Springs solar company mtvSolar has partnered with Blue Ridge Habitat for Humanity as the installer of solar panels on five new Habitat homes in Winchester.

Adding five panels to each of the homes will help reduce electricity costs for the Habitat homeowners over several decades. More panels can be added through donations, direct purchase or a community giveback program. mtvSolar customers can choose to give a panel to community projects like Habitat for Humanity when they buy their own solar energy system.

mtvSolar President Mike McKechnie talks at a Habitat for Humanity event on March 19 while company crews from Berkeley Springs work in the background to prepare a roof for solar panels.
photo courtesy of mtvSolar

mtvSolar President Mike McKechnie said it’s important to make homes affordable for residents over the long term by fixing their energy costs. Installing solar panels essentially locks in electric costs, which normally rise steadily over the life of a home, he said. He spoke at a celebration of the Habitat partnership on March 19 in Winchester.

When mtvSolar began as a construction company, McKechnie’s crews donated their labor and time to help build Habitat for Humanity homes in the area. He said 20 years later, mtvSolar is still an advocate for affordable housing and is excited by the movement toward more energy efficient homes with a sustainable source of power.

Funding for the panels has come through GiveSolar, a Virginia-based organization that direct charitable donations toward solar installations for low-income and affordable housing projects.

Winchester Mayor David Smith said the renewable energy addition to the two-story homes is exactly what the city’s planners have in mind for the future.