Dos and Don'ts of Solar

Solar power is a popular way to go green, but there are a few things you should consider before making the decision to install solar panels on your property.

Gather your bills: You'll need to determine how much energy you use to correctly size a solar system for your home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, an average American home uses about 870 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity each month, but your home's total usage may be higher or lower. Without this vital information, solar contractors won't be able to give you an accurate cost estimate. You can also log into your Eversource account to view your historical usage.

Investigate credits: Do your research on tax credits and other incentives. Installing solar is a long-term investment and it's important to make sure you know what's going into it and what you'll get in return.

Upgrade your roof: If your roof needs repair, tackle that project first so you won't have to remove the panels to replace your roof in a few years.

Ignore energy efficiency improvements: Perform a home energy audit to reduce your overall energy use before going solar, reduce the size and cost of your solar system, and make sure the energy you make from solar isn’t wasted. We can help with a with a home energy assessment to identify all the ways to save energy while making your home more comfortable.

Just choose the cheapest contractor: The average national solar panel cost is just over $3 per watt, including installation and additional necessary equipment. For an average 6-kilowatt (kW) system, installation would cost about $18,000. Get multiple quotes from reputable contractors before choosing an installer.

Expect to go fully off-grid: While it may be technically feasible for some homes to go off grid by installing a solar-plus-storage system, it's not often a cost-effective option. Staying connected to the Eversource grid with net metering ensures that your home gets power for every moment of your life and gives you a credit for unused electricity.