Solar leverage people’s extensive expertise to get a good price.
Andy – Indianapolis
System size: 5.67 kW
Why did you decide to go solar?
To save money and to help the environment.
Did anything surprise you about going solar?
I learned about getting a certificate of appropriateness from the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission. I learned about SRECs and SolarCoin. I learned that cost/watt is only useful when comparing two systems of the same size. Otherwise it’s best to compare total savings over the life of the install. I learned about automatic shutdown of the solar system. I learned about needing an interconnect agreement with IPL. I learned about federal tax credits and net metering, and how long they will last. The installers discovered a cool way to connect the roof to the inverter using an unneeded heating vent.
Do you have any data about your solar system performance? What electricity savings have you seen since going solar?
I provided a graph about my energy usage, combining electric and gas over a full year. Note that not only did we add solar generation, but we moved our water heater from electric to gas and we started cooking much more at home.
What advice would you give to someone considering going solar?
Find a way to do it sooner rather than later, because you’ll almost certainly save money and the sooner you do it, the better federal tax credits you’ll get and the longer you’ll have net metering.
Anything else you’d like to add?
A co-op is a great way to leverage other people’s expertise to get a good price. You’ll need to stay on top of the install process, though, as SUN, for instance, can’t necessarily keep track of the progress of the chosen vendor on everyone’s install.