One of our Hudson, MA customers sat down for a Q&A session on his solar, two years after turning on his system. Mike (pictured here with his wife, Nancy), has a 10,695-watt system that went live in July 2014.


New England Clean Energy: Why did you decide to install solar on your property?

Mike: I was initially interested in solar because of the SRECS (Solar Renewable Energy Certificates) and tax rebates. I thought it was a fiscally responsible investment with the added benefit of having a positive environmental impact. I used similar thinking when buying my Tesla. Now, I use my solar to charge my car so it’s truly emissions free.

Clean Energy: What impact has solar had on your electric bill?

Mike: In two years, my system has produced 22,806 kilowatt-hours (kWh). I’ve sent 13,621 kWh to Hudson Light & Power Department which is equal to $753. The benefit of the solar power that we have internally consumed is $1,139. That’s a total value of $1,892. Add in the SREC benefit of $6,180 and the overall benefit of the system so far is $8,072.

I’ve mapped out how long until I break even, in years, months, weeks and days (laughing). It will take me just under seven more years to make back what I paid for the installation. It really is a great investment.

Clean Energy: Why did you choose New England Clean Energy?

Mike: My brother-in-law installed a solar system shortly before I got mine. He used [a competitor] and wasn’t happy. They were overpriced and took too long to install. I got my system for a couple hundred bucks more then he spent, and mine has twice as many panels!

Plus, New England Clean Energy is right down the street from my house, and I like to support local businesses. You guys have the most installs in Central Mass, so it was a no-brainer.

Clean Energy:  Would you recommend New England Clean Energy to others?

Mike: No! (Laughing)… of course I would. I haven’t had a single problem. Well, my internet connection failed one time but that was probably operator error and I haven’t had any problems since.

You guys are also very honest and accurate. You told me to expect my system to produce 12,000 kWh in the first year. It actually produced 12,200. You were off by 1% and in my favor, and that was after one of the worst winters in memory. Remember all that snow? There was an entire month when my roof was completely covered. The accuracy of your calculations was very impressive.

Clean Energy: What has been the best thing about installing solar on your roof?

Mike: Besides the obvious reasons? In addition to the savings, income and environmental benefits there are other things; the panels make my attic a lot cooler which is a big bonus in the summer. My roof will last longer since it doesn’t get as hot with the panels up there. It actually sheds snow very well. And it’s great that there are no moving parts in the system, except for the fan in the inverter, so it isn’t going to wear out or anything like that.


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