Posted by:

andrew.brydges

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.

What You Need to Know

Description:

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.

Advice:

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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