In Bolton, Solar Panels Help Resident Go Green
In Bolton, Solar Helps Resident Go Green
In an effort to amplify the diverse voices of our past customers, we decided to conduct interviews in hopes of helping those who are considering going solar. We asked our customer Chris Siano, a resident of Bolton MA, seven questions regarding his installation experience, solar journey, and insight on choosing New England Clean Energy as his solar installer. He was interested in both helping cut electric bill costs and making a positive impact on the environment by installing solar panels in his Bolton home.
What was your main concern before installing solar panels?
“The original roof on our home was literally falling apart. I was in the process of researching all the various roof styles looking for the best value, and learning how to keep the roof from deteriorating. I stumbled upon an article that gave the benefits of having solar panels. As you would expect, when the panels are shielding the roof from the direct sun, the asphalt shingles don’t degrade as fast. That article began my research into what solar could offer. New England Clean Energy was simply the best installer I could find with the products I wanted. I then moved forward with installing solar panels in my Bolton home”.
Could you tell us about your experience with the installation process?
“We were having both the roof and the solar installed at the same time allowing all the proper fixtures to be put in as needed. The two companies worked very well together, and the result is fantastic. Everyone I met with from the salesperson to the person who walked me through the system afterward did their job well. They never made me feel like I was in their way asking questions. I think the best part of the entire install was all the questions about how things looked. From panel spacing, if anything peeked over the roof, to wire routing, to just the installation of the equipment in my basement – everything was done so that it looked right”.
Why did you choose New England Clean Energy after being offered lower rates from other installers? Are you happy with this decision?
“I had quotes from 100% free installation to even one quote that was higher than New England Clean Energy. The “free” lease programs were tossed out almost immediately. I especially did not like the fact that even with solar, a lease would still have my monthly payments going UP!!! I love the SolarEdge product and the electrical design of the power optimizer over the microinverter. Ultimately, the choice then came down to the home town guys or the company that was over an hour away. I felt more comfortable with Roy and Jonathan and felt dealing with a shop in the next town was a bonus. The fact that my experience with a couple of their employees translated well to every one of their employees was the icing on the cake”.
How did you feel about the effectiveness of communication throughout the process?
“I think I was the one asking the questions more than them keeping me informed. All the communication was great. Each day, as the crew left, I was informed what the next step was, when they would return, and how things stood. After the install and they had all their money, the communication didn’t change. Any questions were promptly answered”.
How much has your electric bill decreased in your Bolton home due to solar panels?
“We built extra to cover some home improvement plans. Right now, we produce a surplus that. From time to time, I link our account with that of my church and drain the credit into their account. We have not seen a positive electric bill since February of 2015, and the record snows during our first winter with solar. With COVID and being home, we didn’t link this year. However, a very solar friendly winter and spring has us with nearly an $800 credit. Even with the AC running on hot days and everyone home. If everything goes well by March, we’ll link with the church again and pretty much pay off their electric bill for the next year”.
What is something you wish you knew about solar before your installation?
“This is a little geeky, but the production cap limits are on the AC side of the inverter. It’s not the panel wattage that has to be below 10,000, but the AC production. So, you can have a little over 11,000 watts of panels. We are at 9945, and I thought that was the limit. We could have added a couple more without going over”.
If you could give one piece of advice to a potential solar customer, what would it be?
“Examine the numbers. Today’s payback isn’t as lucrative as it was just five years ago. It still makes sense for most people, but you need to understand the numbers. One thing New England Clean Energy was excellent about was explaining the numbers. I have a neighbor who signed that “sounds great” contract and now regrets it.”
We would like to give our sincere thanks to Chris for taking the time to participate in this interview and allow us the opportunity to help him go solar.