President of Madison Earth Care in Madison, Connecticut, Bob Blundon recently replaced his landscape company's gas-powered weed trimmers and blowers with electric ones."We're trying to put together a green trailer," he said. "Instead of going twice a week to the gas station, we’re going once every two weeks."
A shift to renewable power has been increasingly common for businesses across the state. "Solar ticked all the boxes," Blundon said. "Lower maintenance costs, greater reliability, reduced energy bills, less downtime for broken equipment--it all adds up to savings." The trimmers and blowers used about $10 a day in gas before; now they cost nothing to run. The mower would burn about $36 in fuel a day; now on propane, it costs closer to $22.
Trailer-based solar energy was a first for Aegis Solar Energy, the company that outfitted Blundon’s vehicles with panels, charging outlets and a lithium ion battery that holds about two days of sun power. The Stihl electric machines are lighter too, allowing Blundon’s crew to work for hours without tiring. "Labor is the most expensive product now," Blundon said. "There are so many compounded increases in efficiency and labor savings, and that's where the huge help is."