Posted by:

kenn_dai

Our home is powered by the sun, with the full reliability of the eletrical utility grid to back us up.

What You Need to Know

Description:

Black on black solar panels mounted on roof, facing toward the southwest. Panels are visible from the front of the house.

Other Benefits:

Snow melts and slides off the panels faster than off the roof itself.

Maintenance Requirements:

No maintenance required so far. Snow generally melted or slid off within one day of snowfall, even after the record 2015 snowfall. After dusting of pine pollen appeared, the next rainstorm cleaned off the panels.

My Motivation:

1) benefit the environment 2) tax benefits 3) reduce monthly expenses on energy, given recent increases in the cost of electricity

Advice:

After price per W, I also considered the types of panels in use (level of efficiency). I also considered the type of product that would be used to mount the solar panels, as roof penetrations can be done erroneously or with materials that will not last as long as the roof itself. Finally, I also wanted as much warranty period as possible (solar panels generally warranted for 20-30 years, inverters range from 5-20 years). A bonus is having the installer or other company get the applications done with an SREC trading company, in order to receive solar energy credits that get traded to power companies for additional payback on the solar panels.

Experience with Installer:

I liked that the installation was relatively quick, in terms of house work. Only one entry to our home was required, and the whole installation was completed within 3 days of town approvals. I considered both purchasing the system, as well as having it installed, by a local company, but found the best value through the national company that then vetted and contracted local installers.

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