Create a personal power plant to better meet the demands of today’s uncertain world.
Follow along as President Greg Garrison goes solar in this mini-blog series.
Thinking about Solar?
Have you been thinking of going solar for a while now, but are not sure how to get started? Or perhaps, like me, you’ve been tossing around all the reasons you can’t do it — why it won’t work at your house, is too complicated, or too much of an investment — for so long that you put it on a shelf awhile ago, only to have it nag at you for a second look.
I have been an employee of Northeast Solar for twelve years and its owner for eight. In that time, I have assisted thousands of clients go solar, but have not gone solar myself — until now.
There were several reasons for this, probably some of the same ones many valley residents have not gone solar. For many years, I couldn’t see beyond the potential challenges, most particularly a poor site and an older roof. Plus, I had my excuses; there were other things that seemed more essential than solar to invest time and money into. But things have changed.
The deepening uncertainty brought on by the pandemic, accelerating climate change, and my own life changes, however, have shifted priorities. I now feel like security is a priority — both economic and physical. The war in Ukraine showed how dependent we are on existing forms of energy (not discounting the physical threat caused by the war). The energy disruptions in Europe are already affecting world energy costs. Our local utilities are filing for significant increases in what they will charge for electricity and gas. These increases are not temporary. The excuses, therefore, end this year.
Starting in September 2022...
I finally began practicing what I’ve been advocating. I started to prepare my home for installing solar, with additional components to maximize my system:
- Solar Electric
- Energy Storage
- Air Source Heat Pumps
- Air Recovery Ventilation
- Car Charger
In the end, the decision was easy, and I am excited to connect to my energy usage beyond paying bills. I will be able to monitor energy consumption and energy production, while making decisions on how best to use the energy my power plant will produce and store.
Northeast Solar is in the process of installing each of these components. In this installation, I have become the client. My role as owner provided no scheduling preference; I executed the same contracts, interconnection agreement and permits. But because this is the best team I have worked with in my thirty-one years in business, I had no anxiety about the quality of the installation. I will be experiencing this installation as our clients have — an opportunity for me to tune in and listen more intently to the client side of things.
There are several reasons for me to move forward. The first is security. I am transitioning from my day-to-day engagement in NES’s business into more of an advisory role. The team here can fully manage the company for our valued clients. As I transition from a full-time work schedule, I am looking to spend more time with family and enjoy more adventure afar. When I am away from home, I want security in knowing everything is okay and operational. I will be able to monitor my heating, cooling, and energy consumption — and if the power goes off, I will know that my refrigerator, heating, and internet are still operational.
The second reason is stability. At a time when the Ukrainian war is fueling energy price volatility, it feels more important than ever to stabilize my energy costs. This includes heating, cooling, electrical, and transportation. The energy improvements inherent in this project will reduce my electric bill to nearly zero — and cut my heating costs by seventy-five percent.
The final reasons are all related to the incentives that state and federal governments are providing. While customers individually file for federal and state tax credits, Northeast Solar does file on behalf of our clients for net metering, renewable energy credits, and MassSave rebates and loans. The savings can be sizable. In total, I will realize approximately $120,000 in electrical savings, reduced heating costs, and incentives over the next 20 years.
In the next blog...
Since committing to this project, I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to share my experiences, reasoning, and economics with the hope that it might help others in their decision-making process. I will be outlining the specifics of the project over several future blog posts. The next post will be about the steps I’ve taken to prepare my home for this energy conversion. Since solar is a 30-year product, the house and property need to be prepped for that timeline.
I hope you will join me — and reach out with any questions along the way.