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Case Study: Being Paid to Go Solar

Case Study: Being Paid to Go Solar

Ben, Melissa & Family of Chelmsford, MA: Solar Electric

“We looked into solar because of its financial benefits, and doing our part to generate alternative sources of energy.”

Sure, the hype on solar sounds good. But does it really deliver? Ask New England Clean Energy customer Ben, who had us install a 5,886-watt solar electric system on his Chelmsford, MA home in January 2014.

Ben combined his solar project with several exterior renovation projects on his 1968 house. He and his wife looked into solar because of its financial benefits and “our belief in green energy, and doing our part to generate alternative sources of energy”.

They chose New England Clean Energy as the installer because of our extensive solar knowledge and experience, and also because “New England Clean Energy is a good engineering company”. Ben knew this would be helpful in coordinating the solar with his other projects.

Two years after a solar energy system with 18 SunPower panels was installed on his south-facing roof, the benefits are exceeding projections. Total production is slightly higher than estimated, at 14,000 kilowatt-hours versus 13,940. On the financial side Ben is, in essence, being paid for having installed solar. Here’s why:

Ben financed his solar energy system with our Clean Energy Combo Loan, so rather than paying for the entire system upfront, he makes monthly loan payments. In the first two years, he paid a total of $3,840 in loan payments.

During the same time, he saved about $2,490 in electricity, and made about $3,150 in SREC income, totaling more than $5,640.

So, even with monthly loan payments factored in, he is “in the black” having profited by more than $1,800 in just two years.

It gets better. Once the loan is paid off, the $1,200 in annual electricity savings will be his for decades, free and clear. (That’s at today’s electricity rate. Factor in inflation and the value of his solar electricity goes up.)

After a full two years of solar energy production, Ben is “happy that the solar energy system has performed just as expected”. He is even happier with the economics of solar and that, looking ahead, the outlook only gets brighter.