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 […]

80% clean electricity by 2035? Can We Do It?

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza Did you watch President Obama’s State of the Union address last night?  He talked about a number of green initiatives including green jobs.  The big green challenge he set forth was for the US to get 80% of its electricity from clean sources by the year 2035. Now, […]

Solar Hot Water Heating up in Massachusetts

Image courtesy of solarenergyfactsblog.com I’m really excited to see the new solar energy incentive program testing the waters in Massachusetts.  MassCEC is conducting a trial for a residential solar hot water incentive program.  Scheduled to begin in February 2011, the Commonwealth Solar Hot Water program will provide $12.50/sq ft of collector plus a $200 Massachusetts […]

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 […]

Holiday Light Trade-in and Recycling Program at Home Depot

Program re-instated for 2011 – More details! Do you have strings of old incandescent holiday lights around your house?  Do they even work?  Even if they don’t you can trade them in for a discount on energy efficient LED holiday lights at Home Depot from now until November 14, 2010. Home Depot will recycle 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 […]