The Hope General Store had 20 solar panels mounted on its roof on April 6.

ReVision Energy of Liberty installed the 4.6 kilowatt solar unit for Andrew Stewart, owner of the Hope General Store.

Stewart said the price for the panels was so good that he couldn’t pass it up. Besides the environmental benefits, one can also receive state and federal credits for using solar power, he said.

Stewart will still rely on Central Maine Power but expects to save 20 to 30 percent on his bill. He hopes to see a payback on his solar power venture in about eight years.

Stewart has already made a few energy and money saving changes to the building, which was constructed in 1832. He has a monitor in the refrigeration unit so that it will draw cold air from outside in the winter. He said the condenser for the cooler is in the basement and the heat that radiates from it helps to heat the store through vents. It also helps keep the basement warm and dry.

ReVision Energy also installed a solar hot water heater at Stewart’s house in Hope.

Home owners and small businesses can apply for state and federal grants to get help with the purchase of solar units. Stewart said when he went to turn in his grant application the stack of paperwork was at least a foot high and the clerk told him the pile represented just the last hour’s worth of forms turned in. He said his application was denied.

Stewart has owned the Hope General Store for almost five years and said he is considering having a celebration to mark the occasion.