solar energy questions part 2

Last month we opened our Newsletter with The Top Eight Questions People Ask Before Going Solar, Part 1. With no further ado, here’s Part 2 with the final four questions people ask most frequently.


What Incentives Apply to Me?


This is an excellent question and one that can get complex fast. In short, there are no simple answers we can cram into this newsletter. But there are some broad statements we can make right up front; first and foremost being that we’ll make sure to explain it all and handle all the paperwork for you!

The biggest incentive for most people is the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC). It works everywhere and it gives you a dollar for dollar reduction in the taxes you owe for 30% of your system’s total cost. So if your system costs $30,000 you’ll get $9,000 back on your taxes. The only bummer on this front is that the ITC goes down at the end of this year so you definitely want to jump in now if you’re looking (next year that $9,000 goes down to just $7,800 in our example).

For state-based incentives we can start with Rhode Island where there are two programs, the REG and REF. Each has their benefits and disadvantages, but depending on your system size and production it can subsidize your system’s cost by 1000’s of dollars. The key point in both of them is that there are timing windows for when you can sign up and in some cases the program has been fully exhausted in a matter of hours. So the key is to determine which program is best for you and to jump in as soon as possible to meet the next deadline. 

And if you live in Massachusetts the same “need for speed” rule applies. If you live in one of the big publicly owned utility areas (such as NationalGrid or Eversource) the biggest program is the SMART program. It’s not unlike the RI REG program in that it has a pre-determined declining value as time goes on, but at least in SMART’s case it is ongoing. Meaning you won’t have to target a specific date for us to file your paperwork. And if you live in a town with a municipal electric utility the good news is that they now have a municipal utility program as well. It’s not exactly like SMART, but I think it’s fair to say it was inspired by it. In either case, you can realize thousands of extra dollars to help pay for your system.

In summary, let us demystify whatever programs apply to you so you can make a rational, fully informed decision. Complete and honest answers are our stock and trade. 


I Need Or Just Got A New Roof – Can I Still Go Solar?


solar panels on the roofThis one’s easy. Unless you went with a metal shingle or a slate new roof and it is already installed, now is a great time to go solar. So yes, we definitely can install on new asphalt shingles, standard metal roofs, rubber roofs, and most every other type of roof one can think of.  

Further, putting solar on a new roof is definitely a great idea. The shingles are not old and brittle and the shingles will likely last longer since they will be protected by the solar panels themselves. We’re happy to help and can even point you towards a good roofer or two. 

And if your metal shingle or slate roof hasn’t been installed just yet, give a call immediately because we can still make that work. We just have to put the pedestals on before your new metal shingle or slate roof is installed. In fact, we’re experts in coordinating with roofers when we have to make such installation work. 


I’m Building Or Expanding My Home/Building – Can I Get Some Advice?


solar energy roofAbsolutely. We can give you some basic advice if you haven’t already finalized your plans as to which way your roof should face, what roof treatments to avoid, and even the best roof pitch to maximize production. 

Or we also offer a “solar consultation” service. Basically, beyond offering some general rules we will look over your plans, check out the site, and do a detailed pre-solar assessment. With that work done we’ll come back with a solar plan and any suggestions we might be able to provide. 

For this advanced solar consultation we do charge a $500 fee, but we’ll credit you $250 of that amount for a new system if you go ahead with us. And if your plans are already final, we can coordinate with your builder to make sure the system is installed correctly.

We promise we’ll be the best sub-contractor your general contractor has ever worked with. 


Is Your Company Local / Can I See Some Reviews?


5 star reviewsYes we are most definitely local. Better still, we are consistently the highest-ranked installer in our region. Last time I looked in fact we were sporting a 4.9 out of 5 rankings on (based on over 275 reviews). 

We’ve also been in business for over 14 years and provide service not only to our own customers but to “orphaned systems” as well. In short, we know that local is important but so is longevity and service.

As for references, you can review our gallery of installations on our website here. You can search it by town, type of house, all kinds of variables. And if you need someone to speak to before going ahead our Solar Consultants can set that up as soon as you’ve narrowed down exactly what you are considering. When you strive to do the very best work there is no need to hide old customers from the potential new.


Find more solar energy questions in this article: