What Comes First, Efficiency or Renewables?Thinking of solar panels but do not have the capital to invest upfront? Take advantage of Connecticut’s solar lease program and put no money down! Click here (http://www.ctsolarlease.com/index.php) and sign up before this program disappears in August!
Unlike the long-time stated question, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” a more recent, much less confusing question has been on homeowners’ minds these days. Do homeowners focus on becoming energy efficient before investing in renewable energy installations, or is renewable energy the perfect first step to energy savings?
Kim Wantroba of Cheshire, CT learned the answer to this question firsthand when she and her husband applied for the CT Solar Lease Program. Always considering herself an environmentalist, Kim and her husband have completed many measures in their home to ensure they use energy wisely, such as purchasing energy star appliances and investing in a new furnace. Thinking that she had done what she could to make her home efficient, Kim was surprised to learn there was much more she could do to use even less energy.
A long-standing wish of Kim’s had been to get solar panels for her Cheshire home, “I knew our house was south-facing and solar would be a good fit if it turned out to be economically feasible.” Unsure of their ability to afford solar panels, Kim was shocked to learn that Connecticut has a program specifically aimed at making solar energy systems affordable. “The CT Solar Lease Program made it possible for us to get solar panels. The combination of not needing a down payment, the $14,000 rebate we received from the Clean Energy Fund and the leasing option itself has kept the price of the system equivalent to what we pay now for electricity.”
To answer our question, in order to be eligible for the state rebate the Wantroba home was required to receive a Home Energy Solutions visit. Energy efficiency is a must before investing in renewable energy sources, like solar panels, for a home. Kim explains, “They said we had to make sure the rest of our house was running efficiently before they could consider the state rebate part of the solar lease.” Not only will this step make your home more efficient, it will allow your renewable energy system to operate as efficiently as possible and reduce the size of the renewable energy installation- saving you a lot of money in the long run.
If you are not already familiar with the Home Energy Solutions Program, it is a state-wide run program that allows CT homeowners to receive an average of $750 worth of energy efficiency measures for the low cost of $75. The visit includes air sealing, duct sealing, weather stripping, pipe insulation, 25 energy saving light bulbs, and an inspection of insulation and appliances, all done on the spot. Kim points out, “The 25 bulbs they replace is worth more than $75,” and adds, “I think it is the best thing you can do; our house was already fairly energy efficient and I couldn’t believe where we were losing energy!”
In the next couple of weeks Kim will be enjoying her new solar panels and reports that up to 80% of her electricity will be generated by the panels!
If you have not received your Home Energy Solutions visit yet go to www.CTEnergyChallenge.com/HES to sign-up or call us at (860) 372-4406.
The CT Solar Lease Program will be available for only a short time. If you are interested in applying for the program call (860) 372-4406 and a member of the Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge Team will guide you.