One reason solar is the new energy standard is that it pays for itself, unlike virtually any other big purchase. However, it’s still a big-ticket item, and we consumers like to see our big-ticket purchases before we sign on the dotted line.
If it’s a car, you go to the dealer, look at various models, and test drive a few to find the right one.
If it’s a new home, you tour the actual properties, or a model if it’s new construction.
You can even get a taste for a major renovation like a new kitchen by visiting showrooms at cabinet or tile companies, or big-box stores.
Solar is trickier. We can show you samples of the panels we offer, and even the hardware used to attach panels to your roof. And we show you the design depicting your system on your roof. But you still have to use your imagination to some extent.
Enter New England Clean Energy’s virtual Solar Showroom. We’ve installed more than 1,000 systems right here in New England, and almost half of them are viewable in our online collection of mini-case studies.
How It Works
The interactive Solar Showroom is designed to show systems of interest to you. It is searchable by:
- House style (Colonial, Cape, garage, barn, etc.)
- Roof style (Gable, gambrel, hip, etc.)
- Roof materials (Asphalt shingle, metal or rubber)
- Roof obstacles (Skylights, chimneys, vent pipes or dormers)
- System location (roof or ground-mounted).
Maybe you really want solar but can’t figure out how it will fit on your hip roof. Go to the Search list on the right of the Showroom page and click on Hip under Roof Style to see how others have done it. The results load automatically. (I have a hip roof, by the way. Here’s what mine looks like.)
Or maybe you’re not sure how panels will look on your ranch-style home. Search on Ranch under House Style.
Thinking of extending solar across several roofs? Click on Multiple Roofs in the Roof Style section.
(Click on any image in your search results to see details about that system and, sometimes, additional photos. Use the back arrow to return to your search results.)
More Ways to Slice and Dice
You can also choose your town from the dropdown list to view New England Clean Energy installations in your town. (Note that the Showroom has a selection, not all, of our projects.)
Or view systems similar in size to what you might need. Let’s say your electric bill indicates you use 1,200 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity a month, and you want to cover most or all of that with solar. But you’re not sure how big a system that requires.
Enter the kWh numbers or use the sliders to select a range under Monthly Production and voila! Systems with similar production capacity appear. Note that each system’s production is affected by roof angle (pitch), compass heading (azimuth), shade, and panel rating, so you’ll see a variety of system configurations. Also note that newer systems have panels with higher wattages. But this will give you a general idea what you’re looking at for number of panels.
Once your solar is installed, it’s a sure thing, with guaranteed performance and savings. We do our best to make you feel just as sure about your system in advance of installation. I invite you to visit our virtual Solar Showroom and get comfortable with solar.
If you liked this article, you might also enjoy:
- How to Build a Solar-Friendly Home
- Can You Use the 30% Federal Tax Credit for Solar?
- STC vs. PTC: Why Solar Panel Testing Matters