Serving Litchfield County since 2009

Litchfield Hills Solar

What is “PV”?
PV is short for Photovoltaic, the process of transforming sunlight into electricity.  A PV system, also called a solar electric system, is an array of modules that use the sun’s energy to power your home. Since shading and orientation dramatically effect a module’s electrical production, the array location must be carefully selected.  Litchfield Hills Solar can evaluate your home’s PV potential based on the relevant criteria to ensure optimum cost-effectiveness balanced with aesthetic considerations.  

What is a good solar site?
A good roof for solar would be unshaded, have a typical slope and face south.  The roof should be in good repair and relatively new, as our modules have a performance warranty of 25 years.  Depending upon system size, you might need between 300 and 800 square feet of unobstructed roof area (clear of dormers, chimneys, etc.).  If a roof mount is not practical, a ground mount at some sunny spot in the yard might be an option.  Ground mounts require a structure to mount the modules on, as well as a buried conduit for connecting the array to the home.

How much will a PV system cost? 
High utility rates, coupled with a 26% federal tax credit make PV systems cost-effective and competitive with utility power.  For example, the average Connecticut homeowner uses 8,500 kWh of electricity per year, costing about $1700. An installation of a 7 kW rooftop PV system (20 modules) can provide 100% of that needed energy for 30 or more years. The typical cost for such a system (turnkey) after incentives would be under $14,000 with payback at today's electric rates in under 9 years, after which you would enjoy more than two decades of free electricity.

Will my PV system provide power during utility blackouts?
Given the inconsistent sunlight and winter weather in New England, complete off-grid systems are impractical.  We do occasionally offer hybrid (battery back-up) systems, but they are not yet cost effective when compared to a generator.  Most of our systems can have batteries added in the future as the technology and price improves.

Can I install more modules and sell the electricity back to Eversource?
Not profitably. It’s true that when the system is producing more electricity than your home is consuming, the excess will be available to the grid for credit at full retail rates. However, if you have made more electricity than you used on an annual basis, Eversource will only pay a much reduced rate for the extra power produced.  Therefore, a PV system is ideally sized to match a home’s average annual usage. 

Are there other benefits?
In addition to the pleasure of using and producing clean renewable energy, components and installation of solar PV systems are exempt from state sales tax, and the resulting increase in home value is exempt from property taxes in Connecticut.

What is my next step?
Submit the Questionnaire on the “Getting Started” page.  You’ll need to supply basic information such as your average monthly electrical usage and property location.  A Litchfield Hills Solar representative will then contact you to confirm details, and provide a preliminary proposal.  If acceptable, we will schedule a site visit, and prepare a contract for your review and signature.  Litchfield Hills Solar installations are turnkey.  We submit all paperwork with the town and the utility company as well as secure required permits and handle the necessary inspections.