Everyone Can Use Renewable Energy for their Electric Needs

No matter what your circumstances- own or rent, sun or no sun, extra cash or not- there is a way you can use renewable energy for your electricity. Typically people see the most benefit from on-site solar (most tax benefits), then community solar (some tax benefits), then ESCOs (no tax benefits). We hope everyone will take advantage of one of the options below.
You can:

Local companies that sell and install solar panels on your home

The following three local companies are recommended by Solarize Albany and can come to your home to evaluate if you have enough sunlight and give you an estimate as to cost. They can also describe any tax credits or rebates that are available.
Other local companies:
Solar City (which is now owned by Tesla), has options to lease the solar panels they put on your home. This avoids large upfront costs. Aaron.Hanson@solarcity.com, 573-355-4663, 3 Sam Stratton Amsterdam NY
Monolith Solar, 444 Washington St., Rensselaer, NY 12144  (518) 444-2044  sales@monolithsolar.com,
Seed Solar and Engineering, cschrader@seedsolar.com, 518-253-6851, 405 Jordan Road Troy, NY 12180
Lotus Solar, choppy@LotusSolar.com, 518-369-1521, 98 Green Street, Hudson, NY 12534
PlugPV Solar, chumphrey@plugpv.com, 914-475-1395, 38 Yardboro Ave. Albany, NY 12205

Description of what’s involved in installing solar panels

Solar Panel Installation Guide: the 5 Step Process

Adapted from: https://news.energysage.com/solar-panel-installation-guide-what-should-you-expect/
More than a million homes have already gone solar in the U.S., and many more homeowners are considering installing solar. If you’re in the market for solar, you probably want to know what actually happens during a solar panel installation. There are five big steps that need to happen after you sign your solar contract before the solar panels on your roof can actually power your home, and a lot of it is behind the scenes. To show you what you can expect, we’ve outlined a simple five-step guide for the typical solar installation process.It’s always good to start with a broad overview. Start out by watching this time-lapse video, Solar Installation in Less Than a Minute, which shows the assembly of a 6.7 kW solar energy system on a home in Newton, Massachusetts. The happy homeowners now save $2,250 on their electricity bills every year thanks to their new solar panels, and will break even on their investment in just five years.

Installing solar panels doesn’t happen overnight – from the day you sign your contract with your installer, it will typically take between one and three months before your solar panels are grid-connected and producing energy for your home. We’ve outlined the five step solar panel installation guide below:

1. Engineering site visit: the first step to getting your solar system installed
2. Permits and documents: the logistical paperwork required for your solar panel installation
3. Ordering equipment: choosing the panels and inverters and getting your solar panel installation scheduled
4. Solar panel installation: the big day
5. Approval and interconnection

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in the U.S. in 2017?


In 2017, most homeowners are paying between $2.87 and $3.85 per watt to install solar, and the average gross cost of solar panels before tax credits is $16,800. Using the U.S, average for system size at 5 kW (5000 watts), solar panel cost will range from $10,045 to $13,475  (after tax credits).

That’s nine percent lower than it was a year ago, and solar panel system costs are continuing to fall. However, to really understand what a single solar panel will cost and what a complete solar system will cost, it’s important to compare prices quoted to homeowners in your area – total costs can vary depending on the state that you live in.

Written by Hudson Solar
“Solar power will soon be an option for anyone with an electric bill.  You don’t need to be a property owner or even have a rooftop to subscribe to a Community Solar project.  You just need to have an electric bill, and a desire to save.” So states a new flyer from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).So how exactly will this work?  Most community solar arrays (“CSAs”) will be larger ground-mounted solar systems, located in a sunny spot near utility lines and screened from view.  Electricity generated by the CSA goes into the utility company’s grid every day.  The utility will meter the energy generated every month, and apply credits directly to the utility bills of customers participating in the CSA.  For example, if a CSA has 1,000 solar panels in total and you own 10 of them, you get 1% of the energy generated by the CSA credited to your utility bill every month.  The effect is essentially the same as if those 10 solar panels were on your roof, unshaded and facing south.

Under the CSA ownership model, customers can purchase a minimum of 3 solar panels in the CSA, or as many as they want or need, up to the quantity necessary to offset 100% of their demonstrated annual electricity usage.  Customers who move will be able to take the monthly bill credits with them to their new home or apartment.  They can also sell the panels, give them to family or friends, or donate them to a charity if they move out of their utility’s service territory.

New York State set up this program so everyone could save on their electric bills.  So the next question is, how much could someone save with community solar?  Looking at it one way, a residential electric customer could do nothing and just pay the utility $25,000 for electricity over the next 25 years.  Or they could invest about $10,000 in solar panels in a CSA and spend next to nothing on electricity.

Local companies with community solar options
Presently available for National Grid customers.
Available for NYSEG customers

Community Solar Presentation

Tuesday, January 9 at 6:30 PM – 8 PM
by Hudson Solar
at the Colonie Library : William K. Sanford Town Library
629 Albany Shaker Rd, Loudonville, New York 12211

Hudson Solar will explain the different sections of an electric bill to help you understand what portions of your bill can be eliminated by going solar. Presented by Alan Waters, Garrett Lee, and Greta Noble from Hudson Solar. Presentation will take place in the Stedman Room of the library.

Registration is required:  https://colonielibrary.libcal.com/event/3827171?&hs=a

Description of how renewable energy suppliers work

Adapted from: https://energy.gov/energysaver/buying-clean-electricity

In New York you have the option to purchase renewable electricity, either directly from your power supplier, or from an independent clean power generator.

You can buy clean power through one or more of the following programs:

Green Pricing

Some power companies provide an optional service, called green pricing, that allows customers to pay a small premium in exchange for electricity generated from clean, renewable (“green”) energy sources. The premium covers the increased costs incurred by the power provider (i.e., electric utility) when adding renewable energy to its power generation mix.

Competitive Electricity Markets

In some parts of the country, you can choose not only how your electricity is generated, but also who generates it. Just as the long-distance telephone industry was restructured, certain states have restructured their electricity industry in order to allow competition among electricity generators. In some of these states, clean power generators, who specialize in producing electricity using renewable sources, are taking advantage of the restructured market to sell clean power products to residential, commercial, and wholesale customers. Some default suppliers are also teaming with these competitive marketers to offer more green power options.

Initially efforts to sell clean power were aimed at consumers who would choose to pay slightly more for renewable energy products and services that reflect their environmental values. The small premium they pay offsets the additional costs power companies incur in purchasing and/or generating electricity from renewable sources. Today some companies offer competitive pricing to your electric utility.

My recommendations for renewable energy suppliers

There are many Electric Supply Companies (ESCOs). Look for ones that offer all renewable energy, that have a fixed rate and that have no cancellation fees. Look carefully at the offers. And check the price on an annual schedule. Some companies start you at a low rate and then raise the rate in a way that most of us don’t see. Here are three I’ve heard good things about.

Clean Choice– a little more expensive, but the company deals only with renewables.
Green Mountain Energy– a little less expensive. They are a renewable division of a larger fossil fuel company.
Acadia Power Company

Click here for a comparison of some suppliers   http://callmepower.com/ny/suppliers/reviews

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