New Hampshire Solar FAQs
Is there enough sun in New Hampshire to justify an investment in solar energy?
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has been collecting nationwide solar radiation data for more than 30 years. According to their data, New Hampshire receives the most sunshine of all New England states, and better sun than half of the U.S. Put another way, Germany is the worldwide leader in solar installations, yet New Hampshire receives 1/3 more sunshine per year! So yes, we have an abundant solar resource and we need to become diligent harvesters.
What kind of state and federal financial incentives are available?
New Hampshire offers a state level rebate of up to $2,500 for residential customers, and the federal government offers a 30% federal tax credit on total cost the system (uncapped) through 2022. More details about about the latest available incentives by visiting DSIRE.
Can I power my home with solar energy?
Grid-tied solar electric systems enable you to decide how much of your household electricity you want to derive from the sun—without the cost, complexity and toxicity of battery-based systems. With a grid-tied system, you simply produce as much electricity as you can during the day, then you receive whatever else you need from your local utility, just as you always have done. Many solar customers can meet 100% of their energy needs from sunshine. Plus you can think about converting to an electric water tank or efficient air source heat pump for space heating!
How long can I expect my solar energy system to last?
Solar electric panels come with a 25-year warranty and an expected useful lifespan of 40+ years. With no moving parts anywhere in the entire system, grid-tied solar electric systems are the most reliable renewable energy technology. Many solar contractors find systems installed in the early 1980s which are still working great today.
How do I know if my system is working?
Most modern solar electric systems come with built-in monitoring, usually available over the internet, allowing you to see real-time production on either a whole system or individually panel level.
How much does it cost to install solar?
See New Hampshire based solar contractor ReVision Energy’s online solar calculator (Disclaimer: this website was built by the digital marketing division of ReVision Energy).
What happens when it snows?
We live in a region where heavy snowfall can bury just about anything, including solar energy collectors. Since solar collectors are typically mounted on the sunny side of your roof, and are quite sheer, the collector surface tends to clear snow within a few days of a storm. However, if the snow is deep enough and the cloud cover lingers for days after a storm, it could take longer for the collectors to clear. The good news is that the solar production lost to snowfall occurs during the time of year when the least sunshine is available, so you are not sacrificing a statistically significant fraction of the system’s annual output.
What happens when the power goes out?
Most solar electric systems are tied into the grid and are dependent on the grid. When the grid goes out, these systems turn offline as well. However, with recent advances in battery technology, it is increasingly affordable to supplement a grid-tied solar PV array with batteries, giving you clean backup power during outages. Some great equipment is made by Pika Energy of Westbrook, Maine.
Coincidentally, a battery backup system can also make a grid-tied PV array much less reliant on the utility, making the debate about net metering less relevant. If a solar PV producer has their own battery system, they can optimize for ‘self consumption’ and thus dramatically reduce their need to use the grid at all (using solar-stored kilowatt-hours at night instead of grid power, rather than backfeeding power to the grid) which will ultimately make power utilities less relevant altogether.
Is net metering a subsidy?
NO. If anything, net metering is a subsidy… for the power company! Every study conducted on the subject has found that solar net metering results in lower energy costs for everyone on the grid. Read more on Why Utilities Don’t Like Net Metering.