Do you live in Fairhaven and own a home that gets a lot of sun? Then you’ve probably already heard about solar panels, either from a door knocker or a million ads being run on the radio. The people that have already gone solar aren’t crazy, your roof is already designed to handle a lot of heat so your A/C doesn’t have to work as hard. Allowing solar panels to capture that sunlight is a great idea that can save both money and personal carbon emissions.
On the surface, Whaling City Solar may look like any other solar company. Our staff is always happy help you figure out the best placement for your solar panels, as well as help you understand the financial implications. Once you start talking to us, and the differences will start to become apparent. By only operating locally here in Southcoast MA, we can get you an answer to any question quickly and efficiently. It’s as easy as giving us a ring and letting us know what’s on your mind.
So what about our towns most famous benefactor? Would he have been pro-solar if he was alive today? Many would point to his fortune being made in oil, which doesn’t exactly scream green energy. I think otherwise. I think Henry would have evaluated the energy landscape at face value the way he did in his own era. He knew how energy really worked and would have added up all the costs to procure raw materials, convert it into usable energy, and distribute it to the masses. Did you know that cost to create and deliver a unit of power on your own property is currently 3-5 times less expensive than the cost of getting gas, oil or coal from the power plant to your street? What do you think a business man would have done in his situation? We think he’d follow the money. Us modern folk can add some care for the environment into our motivation too :)
So do we think of ourselves as business magnates? Far from it. One of our co-founders – Adam Gent – went to high school and college locally (Bishop Stang and UMassD Engineering for those curious), and settled in North Fairhaven. We’re more interested in taking a bike ride to fill the backpack with Alden Rd. Farmers Market veggies and Huttleston Marketplace goods all summer.
Doing contracting projects locally has its advantages for sure. For instance the Town Building Department, located of course on 40 Center St., will have all the legal documents you as an amateur or we as professionals need to build a project (If you’re a DIY’er we give a Solar Education Series to help you do that).
Designing for the same type of weather and homes all the time is a nice bonus as well. Generally, your latitude and longitude give you a clue for the almost most efficient angle to place your solar panels. Our 42 degree latitude in Massachusetts is a good number to think about, but not dwell on. Since most of our roofs are inclined at a high angle to allow the snow to run off of, it works out for us. To be honest, solar panels at 42 degrees would actually cause structural issues with all of our ocean winds – so like below – we tend to attach solar panels using the “flush mount” technique.
Our local experience lets us choose the right installation angles that jive with local engineering requirements, as well, the solid equipment to align with our weather conditions.
Every solar installer and installation has to play by the same rules as other contractors, meaning structural stamps, building permits, electrical inspections, etc. If you choose to trust us with your installation, Whaling City Solar will do 100% of this leg and paperwork for you
So what kind of solar project makes the most sense for you?
A family of five living in a farmhouse on the north side of town with a decent amount of land, might have an electric bill pushing $350/mo (and beyond).
For this house, we might recommend a forty-two solar panel ground mount system because it gives us the opportunity to place all solar panels perfectly south which will cover 100% of your electricity bill for 25 years. We’ll trench it over to your home and plug it into your main service panel.
Again on the surface, that’s a pretty big project with that can come with upfront costs seemingly out of range (~$50-$60k) of a working family. However working with Whaling City Solar and a local financier like BayCoast Bank, this array would become a fixed payment <$200 month. Not a bad trade for a $350 your average electric bill.
To keep the local spirit, you could finance your solar project through Baycoast Bank and make a fixed $200 loan payment for 15 years. Notice that this payment is lower than your electricity savings per month by a long shot!
Smaller homes down Sconticut Neck will usually need less electricity. Folks with an empty nest, and an active – away from the couch – lifestyle will use significantly less power per month.
Here, we’d recommend a small twelve solar panel system to 100% offset of your 1,100 sq ft home. Since we can mount right on the southern roof face, we save money by not building an additional structure. An installation this size will cost under $8000 after incentives. Small enough that you might not want to deal with the bank.
Please do contact us for a sounding board talk through what may be a good fit for your family. The quickest way to learn is to give us a ring. A local solar expert – maybe Adam himself – will pick up the phone and talk with you directly.
Go Blue Devils!
Pretty *cool* that you can power the cooling of your house with some squares on your roof – and that in about five year’s that cooling will be essentially free for the next 20 years!