MassCEC is so thrilled to receive this glowing letter describing a Solarize Mass participant’s great experience with their town’s Solarize Mass Program, we just have to share it!
We write to affirm our appreciation and support for the Solarize Mass program. We have an eighteen-panel solar array on our home which never would have been installed if the Commonwealth’s program, especially as executed in western Mass, had not been in place. Let us say why.
We are older (69 and 78) and could not see getting any financial return on a solar investment. We had just roofed our home with an expensive, standing seam metal roof which we did not want to jeopardize. Nor did we want to use our free cash for any more building projects. Our electric bill is relatively modest; we did not see the benefit in switching to solar.
However, the first organizational meeting in our four towns of western Mass (Goshen, Windsor, Cummington, Worthington) gave us a completely new perspective. Local organizers had already chosen a supplier of the solar panels. We met the officials of the private company (SunBug Solar), the representatives of the state agency overseeing the program, and the financial consultant who explained the arrangement with local lenders. In other words, we witnessed the technical, financial and organizational structure which made the choice for solar worth considering. Beyond a rough appreciation of solar potential, we had not, before that meeting, a clue about the specifics that make the decision for solar the right one for people like us.
Every step of the way, we witnessed coordination between the various players in the process. We did get a loan to help us with cash flow—seamlessly done with the organizers’ help. We did install the right system for our home—we were so fortunate to work with Aaron Simms who designed the ideal system for our metal roof. We watched the installers work quickly and efficiently to get the array on the roof and turned on, coordinating all of it with our electric company. Now a year later in February 2018, we have experienced many months without an electric bill and a Solar Renewable Energy Credit in our bank account. Perhaps reducing our carbon footprint is the sweetest result of this collective effort.
What all of these players demonstrated is that a public private partnership can work smoothly for the customer’s benefit. We hope this program continues and finds ways to expand. In fact, we felt so strongly about this program that we contacted the 84 households that had installed solar arrays in our four towns. We sent each of them a copy of a letter we had sent to Governor Baker and asked if they agreed with us that our experience of the solar program was exceptionally positive. Nearly 50% or 37 folks replied with a yes. We copied and sent their replies and stories to the Governor and other relevant officials. All of us underscore our appreciation of the workings of the Solarize Mass program.