“My advice to someone who is on the fence about going solar is to go for it. Even if you think you have a less-than-ideal situation, get an evaluation to see the available options.“
After hearing my boss talk about how much he loved his solar panels and having two neighbors install panels on their homes, I got the bug and started dreaming of getting solar. My story started backward, though, and I purchased an electric vehicle prior to getting solar. Unfortunately, with the electric vehicle, what I was spending on gas, I was now spending on electricity. To try and help, I changed to a time-of-use electric plan, but that plan was only saving me around $10-20 a month. To really get the most out of saving money with clean energy, I decided to start looking at getting solar panels installed at my home in Maine.
Before deciding to contract with Maine Solar Solutions, I had a previous evaluation done with another solar installer. At first, I was unsure about solar because my roof faces were not perfectly south, and my southeast roof face is rather small. I wanted a system to cover 100% of my annual electricity usage, and I was just not sure if my roof could capture enough sunlight to accomplish that. The first solar company who came to my house for an estimate seemed disinterested from the start. They took measurements from a ladder and never got on the roof. After the assessments and calculations, they stated I would have to fill the entire southeast, southwest, and even put some on the northwest roof to generate enough electricity to offset 100% of my usage. The array they designed was exceptionally large, and the price seemed ridiculously high. I thought my dream of having my own solar array was dead.
That was until I reached out to Maine Solar Solutions to give it one last shot. They were very eager and excited from the get-go to help me determine if solar made sense for me. Aaron from Maine Solar Solutions got on the roof and took actual measurements along the ridgeline to harness the power on the southwest roof where the neighbor’s trees cannot shade that face as much.
He then designed a system that would cover the southeast face and have panels along the ridge of the southwest face that would cover 100% of my usage. I also liked that Maine Solar Solutions offered many different panel options, including commercial panels (which I went with) that offered the biggest bang for the buck for my less-than-ideal situation. The system size seemed reasonable, and the price was more in the ballpark that I was expecting.
Since my install in March 2020, I have been energy independent. Though the pandemic limited driving throughout 2020 and hence less charging of my electric vehicle, we still produced more than enough to cover all the electricity I previously utilized in 2019. The solar electric system overproduced as designed by Maine Solar Solutions, exceeding its yearly solar production goals. Knowing your electric bill is virtually non-existent for the next 20+ years is a great feeling.
My advice to someone who is on the fence about going solar is to go for it. Even if you think you have a less-than-ideal situation, get an evaluation to see the available options. I also encourage you to take advantage of the tax credit while it still exists. Prices will likely decrease once the tax credit expires, but as seen with electric vehicles, the price will not decrease equally to the disappearing tax credit. Lastly, shop around. The most well-known companies are not always the best option and definitely not the only option.