(10) 26 Barker Street
What motivated you to install solar?
We had southern-facing rooftops just begging to turn that heat into useful energy! We are trying to reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible.
How many panels do you have, and if you know, how much energy are you producing, percentage of your electric usage?
We have 8 and make about 75% of what we need, more or less.
What has been the biggest benefit so far? What are you excited about?
I love to check out what we’re making on a sunny day in May or November when the surrounding trees are not fully in leaf. I like that our Eversource bills are low and that our electricity is less dependent on burning fossil fuels. We’ve made about 5.5 megawatts since the fall of 2017!
What were the obstacles to installing solar and what did you do to overcome them?
Our lot is small and we really struggled with the issue of a particular tree. We debated the ecological impact of a large shade tree versus more light on the panels. We found that the tree was distressed and was losing increasingly large branches. So we did take it out, and this increased production. Today we’re hitting 2 mW for 2020, and 6.6 mW since September of 2017 (and, sorry, but we don’t miss the acorns).
What advice do you have for people considering installing solar?
Remember that if you’re using the roof that the panels need to go over a good surface, so for us this added to our project budget. We might have gone bigger – if we had 10 instead of eight, which could just fit, we might have some months with bills in the negative numbers as opposed to just low but that would have made it tougher to afford getting started. Keep up on state and federal rebates so that you can get paid back. We had to come up with the costs but within a year got about 40% of the total back. Also, get ready to be driven crazy by big roofs you see everywhere without panels just soaking up the sun, wasting away!