BY SYBILLE C. DENNINGER
TGIF(EATURE) FRIDAY HAHA ......I couldn't resist!
For today's FEATURE FRIDAY I am introducing:
Tim Sanborn of Cazeault solar & home
I'm not going to lie, I was a little apprehensive writing about solar energy since I knew next to nothing about it. On the other hand I was curious to interview Tim, especially since I've noticed more and more solar panels on roofs around Cape Ann lately.
Well, after 10 minutes of chatting with Tim all the great mysteries were solved and any misconceptions I had stand corrected. Like that you need hot weather and blazing sunshine for solar energy panels to be worth their while. Astonishingly Tim told me that my old homeland Germany is the leading country in solar energy use. Let me tell you, when I grew up there, residents often didn't see the sun for weeks haha. The truth is that solar panels actually don't like bright, hot sun. Who knew? Admit it, you thought the hotter the better, too, didn't you?
Some Realtors maintain that it's detrimental to home values when futuristic looking solar panels clutter up a roof. Above you see Tim's house with solar panels expertly installed by Cazeault solar & home. It looks inconspicuous and very neat! In fact, installing solar panels to a roof increases the value of your home significantly. Tim pointed out a Department of Energy study which shows that every $1 savings on electricity increases your home's value by $20.00. It's definitely the way of the future.
Tim guided me through a breakdown of costs based on a 5 kilowatt system which consists of 20 panels for residential properties. He pointed out that solar is the only investment a home owner can make that not only saves but pays them money.
While the $21,500.00 investment sounds a little scary, there are several factors which offset that expense. And not over the course of eons like I assumed but in a short period of time.
For one, you get a Mass State Tax credit of $1,000.00. Then there is a $6,450.00 Federal Tax Credit. In the first year you already save $1,400.00 on electricity. And then there is something called SREC, which stands for Solar Renewable Energy Credit. SREC is essentially a cash bonus in the form of stock certificates. For every kilowatt hour of electricity the solar system creates, the owner receives a stock certificate worth $285.00 on average. A 5 kilowatt system as decribed above produces 6 SRECs. Now here comes some math, Einstein move over! 6 SRECs x $285 x 10 years. So for the first year the SREC revenue is already $1,710.00. Have you kept a running tally with me? What, no? I have to do all the calculations? Alright, fine, let the math doofus figure it all out. After deducting the above credits and savings, your 1st year out of pocket cost is $10,890.00. That already sounds less daunting and it gets even better: Within 4 years you break even on your investment and after that you actually start making money. Tim says that if it takes more than 4 years to break even, your solar contract is charging you too much and needs to be reviewed.
Tim really knows his stuff, I mean look how much I'm able to write! He explained about available financing options with outright ownership where you use your equity to install the solar panels being the best. And PPA (Panel Purchase Agreement) being the least advantageous. This option by the way is what you usually see advertised so shop around. Better yet, call Tim!!! Companies offering no cost solar under a PPA will be quick to say that your home's location won't work for solar. Translation: They don't think they can make a profit fast enough. There are two other options: Ownership using equity loaned by the solar company, which is the second best as you receive all the credits while paying back the loan with interest at a fair rate. And leasing the panels, which is the third best option as far as making money back on your investment. I could go on and on about this but if you are toying with the idea of installing solar panels, Tim is the one to call for an expert consultation! I was really impressed with his vast knowledge and his ability to clearly explain the advantages of solar energy to a total ignoramus.
Thank you, Tim, and happy weekend, everyone :-)
Tim can be reached at 844-765-2746 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim is also a member of the Cape Ann Referral Group