Northshore Home

Fall 2015

Northshore Home magazine highlights the best in architectural design, new construction and renovations, interiors, and landscape design.

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158 November 2012 9 7 8 . 7 4 9 . 3 6 6 3 | w w w. r o b b r a m h a l l a r c h i t e c t s . c o m R B A ROB BRAMHALL ARCHITECTS 158 FALL 2015 smart house a complex roofline that doesn't allow for panels. Arrays can also be mounted on carports or other outbuildings. Post and his team have even filled requests to build solar panel-covered sheds. "It isn't just the roof that makes this viable," he says, adding that ground mounts are especially popular with North Shore residents and are popping up more and more. To purchase panels, there are several financing options available, and subsidies through government agencies and utilities providers assuage the initial expenditure. "Most people will get their money back from their investment in seven to nine years, and free electric- ity thereafter for the next 20 to 30 years," explains Post. (Typical costs of panels run anywhere from $20,000 to $70,000.) Through Mas- sachusetts' Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) program, systems can also generate income—currently $200 for every 1,000 kilowatts produced. Furthermore, federal tax credits can pay for up to 30 per- cent of the purchase of panels. Massachusetts also provides a $1,000 tax credit and rebates of up to $4,000; and then there is the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). However, notes Post, "Solar power panel prices have come down quite a bit in the last 10 years, which makes them almost sustainable even without subsidies." In addition to aesthetic concerns, New Englanders often worry about the winter months and snow-covered panels. They want to know how that will impact their return on investment. "The impact is very small," explains Post. "We know that 1,600-kilowatt hours per square meter of solar power falls on Massachusetts right now—that's a significant amount of sunlight. We also know that during January and February, very little of that sunlight is viable for solar power." In truth, over 80 percent of production for a solar power system occurs in a five-month period. "The rest of the year is just a bonus," says Post. RevoluSun calculates an entire year's worth of energy and designs a system to match that, factoring in inclement weather. "An entire month of snow—there's almost no impact whatsoever." The general public's attitude toward solar energy has improved tremendously in the last three years, according to Post. "Today, most people are viewing this as a viable way to keep up with inflationary costs." In response to the commonly asked question: When is the best time to go solar? Post says, "Yesterday." He advises people do some research, discover the savings and benefits, and do it now. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF REVOLUSUN RevoluSun 1 North Ave., Unit A, Burlington, 781-270-6555, A RevoluSun installation

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