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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Goin' Solar

I’ve long wanted to go solar. Why?

1) The environment. We've only got one of ‘em so, hey, let’s attempt to respect it. Ya know, keep it up and running and shit. Also too, do we really want to stick our children, our grandkiddles, future generations with a clapped out planet? Do we really only want them to see polar bears in The Museum of Dead Things?

2) No moving parts in solar panels so, gee, less chance of anything breaking or going on the fritz. This means there’s less chance of us freezin’ our beautiful ta-tas off on a frozen February night, eh?

3) Solar’s less expensive than other heating and electricity providing methods. National Grid’s figuring on a 37% increase in rates over this winter.
It (National Grid) said its rates will increase by a whopping 37 percent over last winter’s, solely because the cost of buying electricity from power plants has soared to the highest level in decades, according to a company spokesman.
4) I like being ahead of the game. Solar, wind and other renewable energy types are the future and I’m all about this future stuff.

So there we go — four good reasons. Why haven’t I gotten solarized before now?

Cost. Best I could find out, switching to solar — buying the panels and revamping our systems — could cost in the neighborhood of 30Gs. OUCH! Not even vaguely affordable for me, TAB, Jen and Oni.

I’d heard of places where you could just check off a box on your monthly energy bill — get my energy from solar, gas or whatev — and that’s where your provider would buy the power to, in turn, send to your home. We don’t have that in Massachusetts.

THEN, I caught wind of companies which do all the system revamping, install the panels, handle all the fuss and just send you a monthly energy bill — a statement significantly lower than the current one. Essentially, as I understand it, consumers are simply renting the solar panels.

No matter what kind of energy source you use—coal, natural gas, nuclear power—there are always three steps to powering your home: generation, transmission, and distribution. Each of these means additional costs that get passed on to you.

With Vivint Solar, we streamline this process—nothing complicated—just an easy, consolidated process of power flowing directly from your roof to you. Taking out these extra steps allows us to provide your power for less. It's a simply smarter energy solution.
 Huh. I wondered, are these folks behind all the newly solar paneled homes down here in Valhalla. Yes. How could I find out more?

Nick Howard, Solar Consultant for Vivint Solar, showed up in our driveway yesterday afternoon as if by magic. He explained it all. Mind you, I don’t understand all the details BUT I know that we’ll be saving money, we'll be more environmentally responsible AND we’re not having to shell out mega loads of the long green to do it. Win, win, win!

We signed on. This morning’s the next step — the Vivint folks will come out to measure our roofs (Jen and Oni’s too), design our system and go about getting the permits. They’ll monitor the system and take care of any needed maintenance.



  1. THIS IS SO EXCELLENT!! I have wanted solar for a long time, for all of the same reasons you mention, and have not gotten it yet, also for all the reasons you mention. If these Vivint folks really do cut through the bullshit and get me empanelled, I'm all in. Get me some info and we'll talk.

  2. We *loved* oir solar in California! It is one of the few reasons I still think (vaguely) about buying again instead of renting.
    It will make you think about getting an electric car, tho...

    1. I wanted to get the electric smart car but it didn't hold a charge for as long as I'd need (to Hoosick Falls from here). ;-(