We had an exciting few days at our house this week – as it came with 3 days of installation of our new solar panels!
For the past few months we have been working with a solar energy company to get solar panels installed on our roof. No, we don’t have thousands of dollars to spend buying the solar panels, but we can lease them. We went with a company recommended by one of our neighbors (an engineer who designs solar panels for satellites) and just had solar panels installed last summer.
Once the solar panels are working (more on that later) – we will pay the solar company a set amount towards our lease (about $70 in our case) and then we will pay our energy company for what other electricity we need at night and on gray days. This does not necessarily reduce our energy costs, since we’ll pay into the lease, but it reduces it a little and makes us feel better about what we are doing for the environment. After five years of leasing we will have the option of buying the system outright, and can exercise that option any year after 5 years.
On Tuesday two gentlemen spent about 6 hours in our attic and on our roof getting a start on the work. Another crew showed up later in the day to review the area in the basement where they would need to put an electric panel for the system, and then work truly began on the install on Wednesday. The crews were pretty hard working, and got lots of work done, but there was not a lot of napping in our house those days. On Wednesday I think Henry was so worn out without nap that he amazingly slept through drilling in the basement and drilling on the roof above his head (Anna on the other hand did not).
After they were all done on Thursday there were solar panels on our roof on the east, south and west sides and a new electric panel for the whole system in the basement. Here’s a picture of the panels on the west (it’s difficult to get pictures of the ones on the south and east).
We have a building inspection scheduled for Tuesday and if the inspector passes the system then the solar company will notify our electric company. And then we wait…
The solar company expects that the electric company will take 9 weeks – 3 months to come out to our house to complete the transfer of the electricity to the solar system so that we can start harvesting the sun’s energy. I’m guessing that the electric company has little to zero motivation to start charging us less money and the work order probably gets put under someone’s coffee cup as a coaster for 2 months…
But in the end, right around the end of April, we may finally be able to say that we get most of our power from the sun. Until then, we still love the sun, but it’s not on the job for us just yet!