(3) 250 Summit Road

“We’re electrifying our entire lifestyle, so our car, hot water, heat, cooling are all coming from the sun.”

Name
Catherine and Rob Koning

What motivated you to install solar?
Mostly, concerns about climate change and the devastating environmental, social and economic effects of fossil fuel extraction and burning, but also a desire to reduce costs in the long run.

How many panels do you have, and if you know, how much energy are you producing, percentage of your electric usage.
We have 24, 325-watt panels. Since we installed it in August 2019, we have produced about 400 kWh. According to PVWatts, this system should generate about 10,081 kWh per year.  We use between 4,500-5,000 kWh per year. In 2019 we spent $964 on electricity, giving us about a 17.5-year payback, not counting the 26% tax credit. I was fairly horrified to realize that we are paying $0.21 per kWh for electricity, I hadn’t really realized how expensive it is!

What has been the biggest benefit so far? What are you excited about?
We have wanted to have photovoltaic solar for 17 years, so the biggest benefit is the feeling of satisfaction, knowing that we are contributing to solving the problem of climate change. Electrifying our entire lifestyle, so our car, hot water, heat, cooling are all coming from the sun. Over the 25 year lifespan of the panels, we are estimated to be preventing about 136 tons of CO2 from entering the air.

What were the obstacles to installing solar and what did you do to overcome them?
The first obstacle was financial, of course.  After that, it was challenging to understand the process for city approval, the utility approval, and lastly the Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), which we are still struggling with. Every time I went in they told me there was something else I needed to have on the application. The city should have a checklist of information and items needed. For Rob, who did the installation himself, there were numerous technical challenges which he faced with assistance from many people.

New in 2020, Keene offers resources for homeowners who wish to install solar including a checklist of everything you’ll need.

What advice do you have for people considering installing solar?
Ask a lot of questions of potential installers, they aren’t always very clear at explaining what might be needed on your roof when they give you a quote (that’s how we ended up with ground-mounted PV, we found out late in the game that our roof needed structural enhancement to accept roof-mounted panels). Work with an installer you trust!

Anything else you want to share?
Over the 25 year lifespan of the panels, we are estimated to be preventing about 136 tons of CO2 from entering the air.