I recently invested in solar panels for my home. I’ve been wanting to do it for so long, it was finally time!
I didn’t always have solar panels on the brain because my house was really small. But, I recently moved from a home we lived in for 17 years. It was a 50s style ranch that was comfortable, cozy (the realtor’s jargon for small), and easy to clean and heat. Our electric bill was usually around $50 a month and the heat was under $100 monthly. Since our energy cost was low, my motivation to invest in solar panels wasn’t very high.
But then, we moved! And our carbon footprint increased. It was time to get off the grid.
I found a home just four streets down from our beloved ranch that checked all the boxes. It has all we need and want as a growing family. It has fireplace — something I was missing because I always had one as a kid. Additionally, the bedrooms at our new house are bigger and it has more bathrooms. Plus, it has a beautiful yard and trees.
Since our new home has an upstairs and a bigger floor plan, our electric and heating bill more than doubled. It was painful to pay almost $200 a month to the electric company. I turned into my dad, always yelling, “Turn out the damn lights!”
Financially, investing in solar panels is a no brainer.
I researched three local solar panel companies based in New Hampshire: Revision Energy, Granite State Solar, and Solar Endeavors (which closed, sadly). I went with Revision and they came out to give me an estimate. They explained how they estimate the number of solar panels needed based on electric usage. A structural engineer inspects the roof to see if it can support the extra weight. If it does need additional support, they provide the estimate for the additional cost. Luckily, my roof is in good shape. The solar panel company I used also connected me to a local credit union for my loan options. The total cost was $23,000 and with my loan, my payments are the same cost as my previous electric bill. You know, the bill I no longer have to pay since I invested in solar panels!
Here’s My Why
Some people may ask, why go solar if it costs the same as your previous setup? Well, if going green means as much to you as it does to me, then that’s my why.
The United States produces 15% of the world’s CO2 emissions. When measuring by country, the US is the second largest producer of CO2 emissions in the world. I want to be a tangible part of changing that.
Here’s a pie chart, courtesy of the EPA, that shows electricity and heat Production account for 25% of 2010 global greenhouse gas emissions. The burning of coal, natural gas, and oil for electricity and heat is the largest single source of global greenhouse gas emissions. Yikes.
While reducing my carbon footprint as an individual seems like a drop of water in the ocean, it’s my drop in our ocean. And if we all work to reduce our impact, we can make a big difference.
Do you know your carbon footprint? Calculate it with this tool and see how you can reduce yours. My next step is buying an electric car that I can charge from home using my solar power. Stay tuned!
Are you interested in investing in solar panels for your home? Reach out to a company like Revision Energy (who I used) or Granite State Solar today!