Posted by:

mgs5055

Pairs perfectly with our plug-in electrical vehicle, and would be wonderful addition to any home with normal electrical usage.

What You Need to Know

Description:

19 panels that we expect to fully cover our electrical needs this year with a bit of an extra cushion in place for anticipated increased electrical needs in future years. Fully turn-key solution that required little work from us and has been producing consistently since January 2018.

Other Benefits:

Financially, even without the SRECs, the system would pay for itself in about 6 years. With the anticipated SRECs (which have changed to lump sum in Illinois), we expect to see return on investment in just over two years. As importantly as the financial ROI, all of our electrical usage will now be through solar, rather than coal and natural gas. In Illinois, this is particularly important, as about 65% of our previous electricity (from supplier) came from coal, with much of the rest from gas and only small portions from renewables.

Maintenance Requirements:

Very minimal, even in the winter. Small amounts of snow (an inch or less) melt off in the sunlight (much faster than on grass or even asphalt) within hours, and larger amounts can be brushed off with a squeegee attached to a roof rake, which was, for me, kind of enjoyable. During the summer, an infrequent light cleaning to dust off pollen is all we anticipate.

Efficiency or Sustainability Improvements:

Improved insulation and new windows to replace the originals from 1963. Our heating is gas, but we supplement it with space heaters to minimize gas use - and now, the electric space heaters will heat using renewables from solar.

My Motivation:

1. Environment and climate change. 2. Electrical use increased dramatically with purchase of a plug-in hybrid (Chevy Volt). 3. Finances - an unexpected but in retrospect huge financial upside in only a few years.

Advice:

Pairs wonderfully with electric vehicles or climate control. Our electrical use was too low for it to make sense for many years, but adding the panels almost immediately when our use increased (approximately tripled to an average of 30kW/day) made sense. Get a few different quotes, don't be scared off by finances, and enjoy!

Experience with Installer:

Absolutely fantastic - couldn't recommend GRNE more highly.

Additional Notes:

For those motivated by climate change, installing solar panels can be a catalyst for others in your social group/family/neighborhood. Both my parents and neighbors are now exploring options for solar - so although we play a small part in offsetting climate change by ourselves, the cumulative effects from that one decision can be powerful.

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