At last, I am doing it.
I have wanted to have a solar array for years: to lower (or maybe even obliterate!) our electricity bill, to help stop climate change, to help reduce reliance on foreign oil, and increasingly important on the list- to have a source of energy during power-outs that does not require me to drive to a local gas station (that may not have power itself, and thus be useless). Including the power-out that just happened as I why was writing this!!!! Climate change scares me –the increasing numbers of violent storms that are already getting to be “normal”- and I really want to start trying to make a difference.
And at last there is the opportunity- Bethany has joined the CT Solar Challenge with Aegis Solar Energy, and we can now get solar arrays for greatly reduced costs for the next few months:
- Reduced installation costs because a group of us getting arrays in the same town makes it more cost-effective for Aegis to install our systems.
- Reduced costs for the equipment due to rebates from both the State of CT and the federal government.
A variety of options are possible, including solar arrays for generating electricity, for heating hot water, and for heating pools (hugely saves on propane costs).
So far, Aegis has been a pleasure to work with. They came and checked out our property for free to determine what our options were based on our roof and available sunlight. Given that our roof is not appropriate for panels (it is flat and rubber), they found a spot with consistent south-facing sunlight for a ground mount. We also decided to buy batteries to be able to use the system during power-outs. The batteries are expensive, but worth it for us given how often our power goes out. Overall, we are getting a 43% decrease from what the system would normally cost (and it would be a 54% decrease if I were not getting the batteries). And, very important to me, Aegis is doing all the work applying for and getting the rebates and permits. I am so overloaded at my job that I was dreading doing all the paperwork, and am very grateful that they are doing it all.
The next meeting of the Bethany Solar Challenge will be February 12 from 7-9PM at Town Hall. If you are interested, please sign up at www.CTSolarChallenge.com. Or, if you need help, please call Izzy at Town Hall (203-393-2100 x135) who famously said “Bethany’s Going Solar!!”.