On a hot summer night, there is nothing better than an ice cream cone with sprinkles. At Gravity Alley Ice Cream Shop, located on 106 6th St. in Honesdale, Wayne County residents can get an ice cream cone created using simply the power of the sun. Since November of 2009, Gravity Alley Ice Cream Shop has run on solar energy produced by 144 PV panels on its roof.  The shop generates enough energy to power itself, due in part, to their energy conservation practices. “We like to save energy because it saves us money!” says Martin Young, owner of Gravity Alley & Ice Cream Shop. “Going green is the right thing to do- for the planet and for people. Everyone knows that. It is also very cost justifiable right now.“

Gravity Alley is one of the 11 businesses in Wayne Businesses Conserve, a pilot project sponsored by SEEDS, Wayne Workforce and PPL Electric Utilities.

Young says that before installing solar, he cut the electricity use of his shop by 50% by implementing a number of changes including increasing the insulation in his walls, using high efficiency furnaces and turning down the thermostat. “Installing a programmable thermostat was probably the easiest conservation measure I’ve taken. I can set it to turn down the heat in the winter to 40 degrees when no one is around which saves us both energy and money,” says Young. The biggest challenge was figuring out just how long it takes to bring the bowling alley up to 65 before bowlers show up, but Young says he just about nailed it down. 

Having already taken many of the quick, easy and cost-effective energy conservation steps, Young plans to install an additional 100 solar panels on his roof to offset most of his remaining energy needs. When he’s not at the ice cream shop, Young can be found on local rooftops installing Photo Voltaic and Solar Thermal arrays for businesses and residents alike. Gravity Solar has installed over 100 solar panels equal to roughly 250 kilowatts of energy in northeastern PA. Young and several of his installers were trained in the SEEDS Renewable Energy Installation and Maintenance Courses, held last year.  

Gravity Alley on 106 6th St. in Honesdale, PA

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