My name is Gary. I live in a modest 1,400 sq ft. home in Sharon, MA and I’ve always thought that my house would do well with solar panels. The roof over my kitchen faces the south and there are no trees nearby to shade it. As you can imagine, the kitchen can get pretty hot in the summertime, especially when we're cooking.
In May of 2011, I received a postcard from California-based solar provider Sungevity and they offered to lease solar panels to me. For no up-front investment, they would install 28 solar panels on my roof and save me a net $31 per month. It didn’t sound like a lot, but it got my attention.
Following the old axiom that owning is usually better than leasing, I looked into purchasing solar panels and the more I researched, the more excited I got. After months of research and proposal gathering, I finally purchased a 5 kW solar panel system to generate about 60% of my electricity, reducing my NStar bill by $82 per month. And after the federal and state tax credits and state rebate with moderate home value adder, what started out as a $25,000 investment only ended up costing me $10,740. And through the state’s SREC-II program, I will be paid an average of $1,700 annually. The net result is that I will recoup my entire cost in a little less than 4 years!
But the incentives are always decreasing as people realize what a great deal solar is. Starting in January 2012, the state cut the size of its Commwealth Rebate in half. And then in May 2014, the SREC-II program began which reduces SREC payments 5% annually beginning in 2017. And in January 2015, the Commonwealth Rebate expired completely. But even with these reductions, since the cost of panels themselves has decreased the same size system can still be purchased for less than $15,000 and your payoff time is still under 6 years. But only if you act soon!
And just as exciting, I’m increasing my home’s value by $20,000. There are very few investments you can make in your house that allow you to recoup 100% of your investment costs when you sell your home, yet my solar panels are going to yield me a 180% ROI! Solar panels are even exempt from both sales and property taxes so that $20,000 increase is tax free.
But saving money isn’t everything – I’m also saving the planet. Over the next 25 years, my new solar panels will reduce my carbon footprint by 100 tons of CO2, the equivalent of planting over 800 trees.
And I’ll tell you what, that feels great!
As I told my friends and family about how excited I was to “go solar”, many of them expressed interest in learning more and asked if there was a website they could go to that explained everything they needed to know, but I knew from experience that there wasn’t. Before I purchased my panels, I did a lot of research to understand the different credits, rebates, the SREC market, etc. so I could make an informed decision. There was a lot or work involved as the information was spread over many different websites.
So that’s when it occurred to me to create my own website to give Mass. residents one place to get all the information they needed about the costs and benefits of going green with solar panels. Plus, I have arranged referral programs with many solar providers that will allow you to receive up to $500 off your purchase and net me a similar referral fee. Actually, what I’ve done in many cases is take their existing referral fee and split it in half to share it with you as I would do with a friend or relative. So we both win!
I hope you find this website helpful. It is in my best interest to make this website as useful to you as possible and hopefully you’ll tell your friends and family. [Please click that little facebook like icon at the top to tell your friends and family! ]. And if you have any suggestions or if you cannot find the answer to any question you may have, please feel free to contact me.
Also, please subscribe to my blog for frequent updates about my experiences with my solar panels, including maintenance, electricity production, and ROI.
As a disclaimer, my role is to provide unbiased information to help you make the decisions that are right for your situation and I would never compromise my position by accepting advertisements from any solar companies directly. I may display Google ads at some point, but I have no control over what products or services they advertise.
So please read on to see if your house qualifies for solar panels. Or, if you’ve been here before and are ready to save up to $500 on your solar panel investment, then check out the solar company referral discounts.