Bellingham Library Presents "Solar Electricity in Your Home"
Shown (L-R) are Jeff Herman of MA Renewables, Library Director Bernadette Rivard, Mike Kelley of MA Renewables, and David Wells of Blue Wave
Representatives from Mass Renewables, a Bellingham solar company, and Blue Wave Solar were on hand at the Bellingham Library on Thursday, May 18th, to discuss options for solar electricity in the home, as well as to answer questions about installation and financing.
The program was presented as part of the library’s participation in “Make Public Libraries Science Resource Centers in Their Communities,” an Institute of Museum and Library Services Grant Program administered through Cornerstones of Science. Library Director Bernadette Rivard has worked to bring programs on alternative energy, recycling, and water resources to the library as part of the program.
Mike Kelley of Mass Renewables opened the program by giving some background on this Bellingham business, which has been in town since 2009 and is located at 90 Mendon Street.
“What we do is solar for homes and businesses,” he explained. Most of their installations are in the form of ownership, but they do have leasing programs. Each situation is unique to the business or homeowner, and they work with a site manager to determine the best method. A free estimate is available by contacting the company, and they will send someone out to evaluate the property. The benefits of solar were discussed, including financial and environmental, as well as an increased home value.
David Wells of Blue Wave explained some of the financial benefits of solar, as well as help available. Financial incentives include a federal tax credit of up to 30% off the cost of the project, as well as a state tax credit of $1,000. Besides the savings on electric bills, solar can be sold back to the electric company in the form of SRECs (Solar Renewable Energy Certificates), providing income for ten years. SRECs are a Massachusetts program through the Department of Energy that requires all utilities to have a percentage of renewable energy. This energy can be sold by homeowners on the commodities market, or set at a fixed amount. The company will work with the homeowner on the best option, but Kelley estimates that it usually takes four to six years to see a return on investment, and after that you’ll see a much reduced electric bill and get money back in the form of SRECs.
Wells described the solar loan program that’s administered through the MA Department of Energy Resources. The goal is to promote solar by making it more affordable, and his company does not have a lien on the house as collateral, but rather uses SREC income, though he says they’ve never had to collect it. “The goal is to make this installation cash flow positive from the very start,” he added.
Mass Renewables will do a free analysis and site visit for local residents, and all work is done by their own employees. To schedule an analysis, contact Mike Kelley at Mass Renewables at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 508-657-1116. Questions about financing can be directed to David Wells or Blue Wave at email@example.com, or 617-620-6590.