Harnessing the Power of the Sun
Want to reduce your energy bill and your carbon footprint? Solar PV may be a great option for your home or business. Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are composed of individual solar cells configured onto a solar panel. These panels connect directly to your electric service and work seamlessly with NHEC’s electric system. Typically, solar panels work best in locations that are exposed to the sun with minimal shading for at least six hours a day.
FIVE Steps to Solar
First research energy efficiency measures that may help you reduce your electric consumption and realize added efficiency and savings associated with the size of the solar system.
- LOOK FOR INCENTIVES
Federal tax credits are available for the installation of qualified solar PV systems. You can research available incentives online, or consult a tax professional. You can also check the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency at www.dsireusa.org.
- SELECT A CONTRACTOR
Select a Solar PV contractor to design and install your solar installation in compliance with local, state and federal regulations. Your contractor, along with NHEC’s program administrator, will help you complete and submit necessary applications and project plans for NHEC to safely connect your new Solar PV system to the electric grid. The process of constructing and connecting your Solar PV project may vary based on project specifics. If required, improvements or upgrades to NHEC electrical system may be necessary. These costs are borne by the member. (View a list of qualified solar contractors in your area at Solar Energy Industries Association or the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners)
- BEGIN INSTALL
The program administrator will accept the application for installation when the required information is accurately provided and system improvements have been completed.
- SITE REVIEW
NHEC will make a site visit and review for compliance and if all is in order, connect the renewable system to the electrical grid. NHEC will also install a meter that allows us to measure the amount of energy you use, as well as any excess energy that is produced by your system. A solar production (REC) meter will also be installed.
Please note that you should not begin to generate power before contacting NHEC.
Investment, Incentives and Benefits of Solar
Sizing a Solar PV system for your home or business is an important first step in determining your overall investment. Your solar contractor will be able to assist you in sizing your system appropriately. Please note that your current usage and energy goals are huge factors to consider. Use our solar calculator to get started.
Other costs of a Solar PV system to consider are equipment options, location, labor and local permitting. In addition, when discussing options with the solar installer, the decision to purchase the system outright, obtain a loan or lease the system can affect the total up-front cost.
Please check with your contractor, bank or lender for available financing options in your area. We recommend that you purchase a Solar PV system from an approved contractor or manufacturer.
Maintenance of your system is another financial factor to consider. You are responsible for the maintenance costs outside of the warranty period.
State and federal incentives may be available to help reduce the cost of installing a solar or renewable energy system. The Solar Outreach Partnership has a helpful guide to federal tax credits for residential customers installing solar panels. You can also visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency for more information on available programs and eligibility requirements in your state. Please consult your personal tax advisor to determine if you qualify for these or any other tax incentives.
Billing & Net Metering
The NHEC Net Metering program is a program available to members using their own renewable energy source to generate electricity. Please consult NHEC’s Terms and Conditions , Section X (Net Metering) and NHEC’s Schedule of Rates for additional information.
Your Meter: NHEC will install a meter after your solar construction has been approved. This meter allows NHEC to measure the amount of energy delivered by NHEC to your home or business, as well as any excess energy that is produced by your system and exported to the electrical grid.
Your Bill: You will remain an NHEC member after installing a solar or other renewable energy system and will continue to receive a monthly bill.
Moving: If you decide to move and have purchased a Solar PV system up-front, typically, the value of the system is incorporated into the purchase price of your home.
Informing Others of Your Plan to Install Renewable Generation: We recommend that you inform your insurance company and your third-party electric supplier (if applicable) about any existing or proposed generation. Please refer to your contract Terms and Conditions before moving forward with the decision to install solar or other renewable generation.
Power Outages: Unless you have a backup battery system installed, you will not have power during an outage.
If you have additional questions about going solar or connecting another renewable energy system to the NHEC, please contact us at 1-800-698-2007.