Going Green Seeing Red

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Friday, August 27, 2010 - 10:47am

Couple says glare from neighbor's new solar panels is unbearable.

A Pennsylvania couple is seeing red thanks to their neighbor's efforts to go green.

Jim and Judith Armour bought their window-filled house 15 years ago so they could let in sunlight.

In late May a second blinding sun began beaming directly into their house from across the street when their neighbor, whom they like very much, finished adding solar panels to his roof.

The Armours say the solar panel glare made it impossible for them to stay in certain rooms during the day and even burned out part of the front yard.

They called their neighbor, who called the panel's manufacturer and installer.

"Their first response was, well, why don't we buy you some drapes? Or, possibly, plant a tree!" Judith says.

East Bradford Township's Code Enforcer, Brenden Beaumont, says he's heard of solar panel glare issues out west, and he says they're bracing for more glare side effects here as the panels are used in more populated areas.

"It's kind of a wake up call for everyone," Beaumont says. "It's another thing that we'll have to make sure we address, but certainly we encourage the technology. That's a good thing."

The township is now requiring glare studies before anyone can install solar panels.

The homeowner across the street did not wish to comment, but the Armours say he's exploring some sort of anti-glare coating or changing the tilt of the panels.

Anything, the Armours say, is better than having to wear sunglasses in the living room.
 

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