Solar in CT - Worth it?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
CT-Scott
Posts: 464
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:01 pm

Solar in CT - Worth it?

Post by CT-Scott »

We just moved from one town in CT to another, and I'm thinking that maybe this will be our "forever home" (unlike our last four). So I got to thinking about the idea of solar, but some of what I've read has indicated that CT pretty much sucks for going to solar these days because of the changes over the last year or two regarding net metering.

Still, I figured I'd ask about it myself, in case someone out there (either in CT or a general solar "expert") can make a compelling case otherwise.

Feel free to ask me questions about specifics of my house. We're in Niantic (close to the shore) with the front of our house facing West, but a detached garage behind the house facing South. I really don't want to deface the front of our house/roof (the West-facing side) with solar panels, but am fine putting solar panels on the back (East-facing side) and the entirety of the garage roof (North and South-facing).
Dick D
Posts: 179
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 8:55 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Solar in CT - Worth it?

Post by Dick D »

We moved from Glastonbury Ct. about 2 years ago. One of our close friends there had solar installed about three years ago. He loves it, and was always telling us about how it significantly lowered his utility bills.
Thegame14
Posts: 1827
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 11:53 am

Re: Solar in CT - Worth it?

Post by Thegame14 »

check out energysage.com, best resource I found when I was looking for solar.
User avatar
Callisto
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:24 pm

Re: Solar in CT - Worth it?

Post by Callisto »

You can check project sunroof, if you have not already, to get an estimate based on your roof.

I'm in MA and ultimately decided against solar. A huge problem is, while solar panels cost basically the same no matter where you buy them, the northeast is pretty bad due to weather conditions. We don't get as much sun as most of the rest of the country. Compared to places where they are optimal, we get substantially less.

There is also risk due to how long the return period can be. As you've eluded to, your electric company has full say on how they compensate you for any power you feed back into the grid. Choose the wrong installer installer, and you might find that warranty worthless if they go out of business years down the line.
User avatar
BrandonBogle
Posts: 3779
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:19 pm

Re: Solar in CT - Worth it?

Post by BrandonBogle »

Thegame14 wrote: Thu Sep 10, 2020 6:50 pm check out energysage.com, best resource I found when I was looking for solar.
I agree with this. If it wasn’t for EnergySage.com , I wouldn’t be installing solar this month.

Btw, that site has referral bonuses, so feel free to ask an existing user for their referral to help another Boglehead out (this need not be me, just sharing in general).
TheGreyingDuke
Posts: 1835
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:34 am

Re: Solar in CT - Worth it?

Post by TheGreyingDuke »

East facing roof, forget it!

South facing garage, maybe; how bad is the net metering program in CT? I am in an old program in NY, net metering works fine. I produce about 80% of my year-round needs, still pay about $16 a month for the connection to the grid, cheap as I see it for a huge backup battery.

Is there a community solar program available, off-site, optimally sited, no upkeep.
"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." H.G. Wells
Topic Author
CT-Scott
Posts: 464
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:01 pm

Re: Solar in CT - Worth it?

Post by CT-Scott »

Project Sunroof doesn't cover my address.

I'll take a closer look at energysage.com

Thanks for the replies so far.
JPM
Posts: 183
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:29 pm

Re: Solar in CT - Worth it?

Post by JPM »

Near Milwaukee solar roof panels are covered with snow 3-4 months of the year most years. Not that much sunshine here.
Valuethinker
Posts: 42129
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Solar in CT - Worth it?

Post by Valuethinker »

CT-Scott wrote: Thu Sep 10, 2020 6:32 pm We just moved from one town in CT to another, and I'm thinking that maybe this will be our "forever home" (unlike our last four). So I got to thinking about the idea of solar, but some of what I've read has indicated that CT pretty much sucks for going to solar these days because of the changes over the last year or two regarding net metering.

Still, I figured I'd ask about it myself, in case someone out there (either in CT or a general solar "expert") can make a compelling case otherwise.

Feel free to ask me questions about specifics of my house. We're in Niantic (close to the shore) with the front of our house facing West, but a detached garage behind the house facing South. I really don't want to deface the front of our house/roof (the West-facing side) with solar panels, but am fine putting solar panels on the back (East-facing side) and the entirety of the garage roof (North and South-facing).
I would guess your garage roof is not big enough. You probably want something like a 4 kw array (should produce c 4000 kwhr pa of electricity).

The benefit of west facing panels is to do with time of day usage/ rates. In summer months, electricity demand peaks a bit after sunset (say from 4 pm onwards) and so those last couple of hours of daylight production are valuable to the grid.

CT has, I think, some of the highest electricity prices in the US?

That does tilt the payback period in your favour however the charging arrangements (net metering etc) are all important, as you note.
Jack FFR1846
Posts: 13270
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am
Location: 26 miles, 385 yards west of Copley Square

Re: Solar in CT - Worth it?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Contact a solar installer. They will know what the government programs are and can help you determine if it's worth it to you or not. Just north of you, in Mass, for years, solar installation was free for homeowners because of a combination of government programs, including payments for electricity generation for 20 years by the state government paying for installation. I don't get pounced on with every big box store visit these days, so I'm assuming the programs aren't that good anymore.

I've had roof leaks from a prior solar water installation, so won't allow anything on the roof and my garage doesn't get enough sun exposure. A solar company rep will do a preliminary measurement to determine if you qualify for government programs. Not enough sun....you won't. While the Northeast gets very little sun compared to the south, subsidies have shot us up near the top of the list for solar installations. I know that in addition to rooftop installations, we have solar farms all over, from private lots to a ton of highway medium and side farms.

In Niantic, how about wind?
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid
Thegame14
Posts: 1827
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 11:53 am

Re: Solar in CT - Worth it?

Post by Thegame14 »

also you always want to buy, DO NOT LEASE solar panels....
Post Reply