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 will need between 200 and 700 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 is an option.
Ground mounts are often more efficient than roof mounts, since they can be installed at the optimum pitch and orientation, however, they 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 30% federal tax credit and state incentives, now make PV systems cost-effective and competitive with utility power. For example, the average Connecticut homeowner uses 8,500 kiloWatt hours of electricity per year, costing about$1500. With a few conservative measures, installation of a 6.6 kW rooftop PV system (24 modules) can provide 100% of that needed energy (8,000 kWh) for 30 or more years.
The typical cost for such a system (turnkey) would be $16,000 after incentives and credits (a Smart E-Loan can finance your project at a great low rate). Payback would come in under 10 years, after which you would enjoy more than two decades of free electricity.
Can I install the system myself?
To receive the state rebate, a residential PV system must be installed by a company approved by the Connecticut Green Bank. Litchfield Hills Solar is proud to be on the list of Connecticut’s approved installers.
Will my PV system provide power during utility blackouts?
In order to qualify for the CT Green Bank rebate, PV systems must be connected to the grid. When the grid goes down, grid tied PV systems shut down to protect the safety of utility line workers. We do offer hybrid (battery back-up) systems, but they are usually not cost effective when compared to a generator.
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 pay their generation rate (about 63%) for that 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 “Get Started” page. You’ll need to supply us with some basic information such as your annual electrical usage. (If possible, go towww.eversource.com. click on “pay my bill”, then “about my bill”, then “usage history”.) A Litchfield Hills Solar representative will then contact you to confirm details, schedule a site visit, and provide a proposal and quote. If acceptable, we will prepare a contract for your review and signature, and submit all required paperwork with the CT Green Bank and the utility company on your behalf. We will order components, secure all the necessary permits, and complete the installation with all needed inspections. Litchfield Hills Solar installations are turnkey and come with warrantees on components and workmanship.