Going for Solar – The First Year

Happy New Year! View from under our Solar PV Awning In our first full year with our solar awning, we generated 5,816 kWh of solar energy, which is 16% more than we expected.  I’m not sure if that is a normal fluctuation in the amount of sunny days we had this year or a trend […]

Going for Solar – Adding Insurance for Solar Array

Hurricane Irene 2011 – Photo courtesy of NASA With Hurricane Irene heading straight for Boston I finally got around to calling my insurance company to see if I needed to make any changes to my homeowners’ coverage now that we have this expensive solar awning on our home.  I’ve been meaning to do it once […]

Going for Solar – Becoming a Net Generator

Our March 2011 Electric Bill – No Payment Due That didn’t take long, it took longer to write and publish this post. As soon as the days started getting longer our solar awning started generating more and more electricity.  So much so that when we got our March electric bill (2/17-3/22) we were shocked that […]

Going for Solar: Your First Electric Bill (Step 12)

I cannot believe how excited I was about getting an electric bill.  I was eagerly anticipating our first electric bill after we turned on our Solar Awning.  Yeah, I’m probably a little crazy, but I was excited to see how low our net-usage was, that is, how little electricity we used from the grid. Here […]

Going for Solar: Flipping the Switch To Green Energy (Step 11)

We finally got the go ahead from the electric company to turn on our solar awning on November 19, 2010. It was a bright, sunny day and I took a quick break from work to run home and flip the switch. Usually your solar contractor gives you basic training on how your system works,  then […]

Going for Solar: Construction (Step 9)

Beyond the first few steps in the waiting process comes the real work, construction.  Every solar project will be a little bit different depending on the design, location and local building requirements.  Our solar awning project construction happened in three steps: Awning Construction – Step 9a – coming soonBecause our roof orientation and configuration was […]

Going for Solar – Waiting (Step 8)

After you have done all the hard work of planning, negotiating, selecting a contractor and signing all the papers, comes the hardest and easiest part of the process: The Waiting!  Waiting is easy because there is nothing to do, but wait.  Waiting is hard because there is very little you can do to accelerate the […]

Going for Solar – New Electric Meter (Step 7)

One of the steps to having a grid-tied solar installation is that you need to have an electric meter that can go both ways.  We are fortunate that we live in Massachusetts which has a long history of net-metering and our electric company, National Grid, quickly approved our application and installed our meter so effortlessly […]

Going for Solar – Paperwork (Step 6)

As with any big purchase in life, there is bound to be a few papers to sign. Solar projects are no exception. While this is not a fun part of the process, it is important. A good solar contractor like SunBug Solar, who we used, will make this process easy and do most of the […]

Going for Solar – Choosing Your Contractor (Step 5)

Installing a solar system is not a small investment.  In many cases it will be more expensive than buying a car and the contractor will be working in your home, so it pays to get a good contractor and one that you are comfortable with in the long run. For our project we sought bids […]