We took advantage of CT's Solar Lease program. There was no upfront payment, and the monthly lease fee is about equal to what we were paying on a monthly basis for electricity. So, while there was no immediate payback, there was no cost either, and we are so proud to be producing enough solar electricity to offset 100% of the electricity that we use at our house.

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Pole-mounted 5.5 kW system located about 200' from our house in an open field (some shading on our roof made us choose to do the pole-mounted system).

Maintenance Requirements:

We've never had any maintenance issues. On rare occasions I hose down the panels, but typically the rain takes care of it. I adjust the tilt of the panels about quarterly to more directly face the sun during different seasons.

Efficiency or Sustainability Improvements:

In our old colonial house, we have installed new windows and some doors, and have done extensive air sealing. We also upgraded a pellet stove and increased air circulation so it heats more of the house. So far, these measures have driven down our oil use by almost 50%, and we are considering a solar hot water system to drive it down even further.

My Motivation:

Certainly benefiting the environment was an important motivating factor for us. And, though there was no immediate payback, we chose to move forward as a hedge against future electricity price rises as the lease effectively locked in our monthly electricity payment for 15 years, and will reduce it even further after that.


Solar is an increasingly good value, and there are a number of low- or no-cost ways to install it. Every property owner with a south facing roof or exposure should be seriously considering it.

Experience with Installer:

We had an excellent experience with our installer (Alteris Renewables which has since been acquired by Real Goods Solar).

Open House Info:

We are happy to discuss our experience and we welcome you to take a look at our system on October 5, 2013 between 12-4pm. If it's wet, keep in mind that the system is in a field behind our house - wear boots.

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