Energy raising in the US

It's a Saturday morning that's perfect for staying in bed or making pancakes. Instead, three-dozen New Hampshire residents prepare for a day of manual labor in Kevin Frank's back yard in Holderness, New Hampshire.
They are putting up a solar collector array which will provide radiant floor heat as well as domestic hot water."

By the end of the day, his new solar water heater will be helping save the planet, and he'll have saved thousands of dollars in installation costs by using volunteer labor instead of professional plumbers and contractors.
It sounds like a great deal for Kevin, but there's payback in store for his workforce too.

"We're eventually probably going to be going to everyone's house that's here today and putting in a system," says Peter Adams, Co-founder of a nonprofit called the Plymouth-Area Renewable Energy Initiative, or PAREI. The group's mission is to make solar more affordable for more homeowners by reducing the up-front investment necessary to buy a basic system, which can run well over $10K.
On Saturdays, the members help install solar water heaters at one another's homes; they call these group efforts "Energy Raisers". "We certainly kinda stole that saying from the Amish, with the whole concept of barn raising," says PAREI Co-founder Sandra Jones.

Some critics have questioned whether this concept would work elsewhere in the country, such as in large cities where people are not as close to the environment they're tying to takes steps to protect.

But while New Hampshire might have a higher per capita rate of carbon consciousness than other states, this group counters that Energy Raisers should be doable for anyone with a roof, some friends, and maybe some coffee and donuts to help entice them out of bed on a Saturday.

The volunteers form an assembly line
View the Slideshow PAREI