Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Amish Leading Solar Energy Consumers, Ohio Amish Country, Berlin Ohio

Drive around Holmes County, Ohio and you will see photovoltaic panels attached to houses, barns, and sheds, or simply set near the ground where sunlight can be captured.  It is estimated that 80% of the Amish community in Holmes County harnesses solar power which they allow for utilitarian purposes only.  Stricter orders such as the Swartzentruber and Tope sects have not veered from their traditional use of windmills and diesel engines.  However, the Old Order and New Order Amish are on the cutting edge of implementing solar energy.  The Amish allow technological changes only so much that these changes do not violate their conscience nor erode the cohesiveness of the society.  It is ironic that this "folk" society, distinctive for maintaining nonconformity to the world, finds itself leading solar energy consumers, on the cutting edge of Ohio's "green" technology.


The Amish use solar power to recharge buggy batteries, power answering machines (in telephone booths); and, at a cost of about $500, a man can provide power for his wife's sewing machine and light so that she can sew at night.  Solar power is much more convenient and effecient than the use of a generator diesel engine.

There are a number of Amish solar retailers and installers in the area.  One such shop is locatd at 5044 County Rd. 120, just 1 mile south of Berlin, Ohio.  Mr. Miller's answering machine phone number is 330-893-3261.

In Ohio's Amish Country, near Berlin, visit the Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, where owners Paul and Loretta Coblentz can direct you to sources for your solar needs.  Remember, the Amish typically do not have websites and operate from their rural locations.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
March 23, 2011

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