National Grid raised rates by 37% in 2014; N-Star will be going up 27% in 2015… Here is what you can do!
“If your all done in the bathroom, shut off the light!” I’m sure we have heard something like this in our childhood, and with the recent hikes in electric bills, I’m sure we can all relate to our parents nagging. If you own a home in Massachusetts and want to off set these spikes in service, you should consider looking into some Solar programs for 2015. The DOER, (Department of Energy & Resources), is currently developing a residential solar loan program. The goal of the program is to reduce barriers for Massachusetts residents to directly own solar projects by facilitating access to loans by local banks. Another avenue to explore is the “Solar Lease”, with the state of Massachusetts allowing solar leases, there has been an emergence of homeowners who have gone solar. The cost of installing solar panels on a home is prohibitive with an average cost of over $15,000 for a brand new installation. But through a solar lease, the cost of installation of these solar collectors for a homeowner can be as low as $1,000 and in some instances, nothing at all. But according to the companies involved in the leasing, homeowners can recoup the initial cost of installation through the electricity savings within a seven-year period. They will also save more money by locking in the rate they pay on the electricity generated by the solar panels.
For homeowners in this state who want a solar lease, the steps are simple. A homeowner will call any one of the companies who offer solar leasing to assess the home and install the panels. The homeowner will then be charged a one-time upfront installation fee of approximately $1,000 (may vary depending on installer). The homeowner will then be charged a 20-year locked-in rate (with small allowances for inflation) for the amount of energy that the panels generate which, according to solar lease companies is considerably less than what utilities are. If the homeowner uses up energy that exceeds the amount then the utility is paid at those rates.
Throughout the 20-year solar lease, the homeowner does not have to worry about the upkeep of the panels. If any of the panels break, then they are replaced by the company at no extra charge. Since the solar leasing company owns the panels, they get the clean energy subsidies from the state. However, the homeowner does not have to worry about the details for the panels such as connecting them to the electric grid.
But how much is a typical homeowner saving exactly? Here is an example: a home that is obtaining 75% of its electricity from solar panels has a monthly solar payment of $75. If you add this to a remaining $50 for an electric bill for a total payment of $125. If the same home was getting all its electricity from utilities this would amount to $200. But it is also important to take into consideration that the cost of electricity in the state of Massachusetts increases by five percent annually.
When it comes to solar panels, there are certain factors that a homeowner must also consider. The most obvious being is the amount of sun on their property. The best place to install solar panels is on the south-facing roof where it gets direct sun. Another factor is that in the future, the price of solar panels will only decrease. Another factor to consider is if the homeowner wants to move and sell their home. He or she has three options. They can transfer their solar lease to the new homeowner, purchase the solar panels or buy out the contract. If you want a simple way to see if any of the above Massachusetts solar installers service your area with a solar lease, Solar Massachusetts can put you directly in touch with these and other reputable and professional Massachusetts solar installers who can help you go solar easily and economically.