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It's been more than two years since my husband and I installed solar panels on the roof of our home in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. As the months have passed, I've enjoyed watching the ticker continually rise on the amount of solar power our panels have generated. I love knowing that our home is more powered by the sun, and less by dirty coal mined by blowing up the beautiful mountains in Appalachia.

And across the U.S, I'm not alone! Rooftop solar power is expanding exponentially, and the Sierra Club just celebrated our 1,000th solar home as part of our Solar Homes initiative.

The Solar Homes Program is a partnership between the Sierra Club and the country's leading rooftop-solar providers to help members and supporters go solar, save money, and cut climate pollution. Plus, every time a home goes solar, the local Sierra Club chapter receives funds for its important work protecting the environment.

The partnership has been around for two years now and is operating in eight states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York.

Those 1,000 (now 1,027 as of today!) rooftop solar home systems have generated 169,423,388 kilowatt hours of electricity!

This clean energy equals 257,297,124 lbs of carbon avoided; the equivalent of taking 24, 314 cars off the road; and is the equivalent of planting 2,998,793 trees.

My colleague Jesse Simons was the major force behind  launching our Solar Homes initiative and he's excited to see the success of the program. He utilized the program to put panels on his roof as well.

"It just fits with my job and how I see myself -- I don't want to just advocate for clean energy, I want to make it part of who I am and how I live," says Jesse. "It also saves me $30 every month!"

He says the process was easy and loves that his plug-in hybrid is now powered by those panels as well. "I'm averaging 93 mpg right now and saving nearly $2,000 a year on gas."

Watching solar power expand so quickly across our country is inspiring, and I'm so happy our Solar Homes initiative is helping that happen. Jesse said it best when he and I were talking recently.

"It's important that people realize we aren't talking about the future - clean energy is here and ready now," says Jesse. "In fact, in 14 states solar is cheaper for many homeowners than dirty fossil fuels from the grid!"

Join us in the solar revolution!

Originally posted to DK GreenRoots on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 08:58 AM PDT.

Also republished by Kitchen Table Kibitzing.

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