How about you taking charge of your home’s electricity needs? If your roof is looking at the sun most of the day, you’ve got a great opportunity to install a solar photovoltaic (PV) system and generate your own electricity. Doing so will cut your electric costs, increase sustainability and help the generation of local jobs.
And while you won’t say goodbye to NSTAR, you’ll be paying much less to them. And, yeah, I can hear you say, “sure, sound’s good, but with a kid starting college this year, I don’t feel like spending the money.” OK, understood, but keep this in mind: solar electric is an investment, not an expense: it will save money now and, once the installation cost is paid off, your electric bill will be nil for many years.
How do you do it? Solarize MA is a state organized program (MACEC) to simplify procurement and reduce the cost of residential solar PV. The program has been in full swing in Lincoln, Sudbury, Wayland, and has already more than doubled its goal (250 kW) of sign-ups since its start on June 1.
But, the time to think about it is soon, or, better, now. Solarize MA remains available in Lincoln, Sudbury and Wayland residents only through the end of September. Here’s the FAQ:
Q: Who’s the system installer?
Astrum Solar of Hopkinton. Astrum was selected in a competitive bid process held by the MA CEC earlier this year. (Astrum Solar)
Q: How much does it cost?
The systems are sized in watts and based the amount of electricity (kilowatts-hours) your house consumes. For example, if the cost is $3.45 per watt and your system size is 6,000 watts, the installation cost is $20,700. Whoa, that’s a lot of dough, so…
Q: What are the sources of revenue for this system?
- Federal tax credit of 30%: take 30% of the system cost off
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs); for every 1000 kWh your system generates, you’ll get paid at least $170 per SREC
- State of MA rebate: $2,000 off the system cost
- Savings on your electric bill: about $0.15 for each kilowatt-hour generated by your power plant
Q: How long to pay off the investment?
It depends on the financing option selected. The typical case for outright purchase is a payback of 5 to 6 years. See the Solarize MA on-line calculator: http://go.astrumsolar.com/solarizelsw/
Q: What are the purchase options?
There are lease options ranging from no money down to outright purchase. The more money down, the faster the investment pays back. See three ownership options (of the total of 4) on the Astrum on-line calculator: http://go.astrumsolar.com/solarizelsw/estimate/
Q: How do I know if my house is suitable?
It’s a no cost evaluation by Astrum
Q: Is this for real? Where can I see one?
Solar house tours and are scheduled for
- Sudbury, Saturday, Sept. 8., 1 P.M. to 4 P.M. at 61 Oakwood Avenue;
- Wayland, Sunday, Sept 9, 2 P.M. at Melville Place: come for a real close-up view; watch a solar array be constructed
- Wayland, Saturday, Sept 15, 1 P.M. September 15 (address coming).
See the calendar on (MACEC)