Duo unites solar power and batteries
- Oct 19, 2016 10:14 pm GMT
Since early this summer, GMP has been offering customers the
Now officials from both GMP and SunCommon say that, through their new partnership, homeowners can have solar arrays installed and install a Powerwall battery as backup with no upfront costs. They say that customers would see savings in their electric bill that would cover the
"One of the real exciting opportunities with battery storage is pairing it with solar, so that people can turn that solar into a backup power source," Carlson said. "It just seemed like a really great fit to streamline the offerings so people can really fully leverage their solar with the latest in battery technology."
The home array produces power that goes back into the power grid, enough power to equal the home's annual usage. Through net-metering and solar credits, the homeowner buys the solar array instead of paying GMP bills.
"The way that we size our systems is we look at your annual usage, and we size and design a solar system to meet those annual needs, with the goal being at the end of the year your utility bill is zeroed out," McManamy said. "Say your monthly power bill is
The new partnership allows SunCommon to design a solar array - of either ground- or roof-mounted, depending on the site - that can also cover the cost of the
"If they choose to do the
McManamy also noted that homeowners who act this year will benefit from more favorable kilowatt-per-hour solar credits that expire on
The actual cost of installed solar arrays can vary widely, McManamy said, from
"We offer no-upfront-cost, low-interest financing through VSECU," McManamy said. "A popular one is a 12-year, 2.99-percent one."
She said the cost sounds expensive, but also said homeowners are not going to be paying more than they do now - the key is a monthly cost in line with existing power bills.
"If you're used to paying
McManamy said homeowners have other reasons for going solar with SunCommon or other companies, a "sense of predictability" for their power bills, with a set monthly payment replacing seasonal spikes; "a sense of self-sufficiency" and, in GMP CEO
Some, including McManamy, choose to add a heat pump - which can both heat and cool a home - to the mix, as well as a solar array and a Powerwall, to further reduce their home energy costs and consumption of fossil fuels.
"Last summer I added a heat pump," she said. "I no longer need to run my oil-burning furnace to heat my home. So my solar array is covering my power needs and my heating and my air conditioning needs."
One thing McManamy said homeowners shouldn't worry about is selling a home after a solar array is added, even if a loan is not paid off. She cited a national study indicating that arrays add value, and that homeowners typically just pay off solar loans when they close a sale of their properties.
"Basically what homeowners are doing is factoring in the value of the solar system into their sales price and paying off their loan at the time of sale. It is an asset you have purchased and installed in your home," she said. "The beauty of this is when people market their homes they can say 'Free power.' With a heat pump, when I market my home I can say free power, heat and air conditioning."
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