2020 was rough for a lot of folks: abnormal weather, a turbulent presidential election, an economic recession, and–this takes the cake–a global pandemic. But despite the chaos, New England Clean Energy staff doubled down on our solar power efforts to not only help customers save money with solar but also provide them with meaningful service and clean energy that will last for decades.
So here’s to celebrating a few of our wins in 2020 and an even better year to come.
Overall, we helped many customers with solar powered services ranging from solar panel installations to battery installations to solar repair and maintenance services across New England. This includes commercial “for-profit” customers, nonprofit customers, and of course our largest customer base, residential homeowners. Breaking it down further we installed:
- Solar powered installations ranging from 2.5kW to 207 kW
- An average system size of 8-9 kW
- System components that include Enphase microinverters, LG panels, as well as products from SolarEdge, SMA, and Generac.
In general, according to a 2020 report by the SEIA, between Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island around 10,000 installations were done in 2020. In order to get a better idea as to how much solar power customers are saving I used that estimated number of installations done in New England.
Helping with Energy Savings
The size and design of a solar powered installation vary depending on the needs of the customer. However, we can estimate first-year savings using data from an example proposal of an 8.5 kW system in our own estimator.
According to our estimator, an 8.5 kW system will save you about $2,162 annually. Meaning, the 10,000 customers who went solar this year will have saved a total of around $21.6 million.
Then, if you take into consideration the 25+ year lifespan of our solar systems, an 8.5 kW system will save you around $54,050 and will save solar customers a total of $540.5 million.
And, with the help of incentives like the SMART program, our customers have saved even MORE money. According to Eversource, The Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program was “established to support the development of solar powered products interconnected to Eversource’s infrastructure in Massachusetts.” Meaning, if you’re in Eversource territory you can save an additional amount from this incentive.
Helping the Environment with Solar Power
Saving on your electricity bill isn’t the only benefit of a solar powered installation. Many of our customers install panels for environmental benefits, too. A cool way to understand these numbers is to equate this data to the ultimate carbon-sequestering powerhouses: trees.
According to a past article of ours titled “Tree Math 2: Solar vs. Trees, What’s the Carbon Trade-off?” 1kWh hour of electricity produces around 1.106 pounds of CO2. That’s 6.636 pounds of C02 offset by a typical 6kW system per hour.
Using this environmental data, let’s calculate the total carbon offset of a 6kW system: Our system makes around 12,000kwH a year, so at 1.106 lbs of CO2 per hour, we will prevent 79,632 pounds of CO2 from being released each year. With the 10,000 systems installed in 2020, the cumulative carbon offset totals 796.32 million pounds of CO2 per year and 19.9 billion pounds of CO2 over these systems’ 25-year life span.
According to SavingNature.com, a mature tree absorbs about 31 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Thus, the estimated 10,000 solar power systems installed in 2020 will offset as much CO2 in their lifetime as 642.2 million mature trees.
Helping the Community with Solar Powered Systems
In 2020, NE Clean Energy continued to work with community-centric non-profit organizations. In the past, we have worked with wildlife sanctuaries, parks, and even Nature’s Classroom in Charlton, MA!
Last year, we installed solar systems at two nonprofits: Westport River Watershed Alliance and the Worcester Common Ground.
Solar powered systems reduces electricity and operating costs for these organizations, allowing them to re-allocate that money to projects that support their mission. They can continue to serve their community without the annoyance of expensive electricity bills!
Although 2020 was not our favorite year, we’re happy that we were able to reduce our customers’ bills, offset some nasty carbon dioxide, and help lots of individuals and nonprofits realize their solar dreams. Want to be a part of next year’s highlights? Interested in what solar can do for you in 2021? Get an instant ballpark estimate from us today at no cost to you.