Through Massachusetts state regulation and net metering laws allowing Shared Solar programs, eligible Massachusetts residents are able to subscribe to a share of a local solar project, and save money on their utility bills. Bruce Hawkins of Northampton, MA was a National Grid GreenUp customer with significant climate knowledge. Upon finding out about the Community Solar opportunity in his neighborhood, he signed up – and recommended community groups and family to join him! Here Bruce shares a few reasons why he chose Community Solar.
Why did you choose Community Solar?
I was an old GreenUp program customer. This seemed like a good deal. We’ve had considerable discussion here about residential solar – I’m in a condo with a large flat roof. But, you find that a flat roof is actually not suitable for rooftop solar so that option didn’t work. So, instead hearing about an opportunity to go solar through Community Solar with the ability to save money too was a great deal. I referred some members at my Friends Meeting Society – and even my daughter signed up too!
As a physicist my worries go back to the 1960’s with predictions about outgrowing our resources – there were people already saying that we had something to worry about. Many of the results have been worse than the models predicted. That does not make one comfortable. I’ve always tried to do what I can.
I also looked into Community Energy’s history and projects you’ve done – that didn’t hurt my decision!
Did you look into other solar options?
I considered rooftop solar, but it wouldn’t work for my condo.
What was your experience like with Community Energy staff?
Don was polite, helpful, answered all of my questions properly. I had some questions about what happens if I sell my home, and he dealt with that. That kind of responsiveness is very helpful.
What was your experience in choosing a subscription plan?
Well I think it ended up that I looked at the present value of the savings and it was better to take the current savings. I’m not at all sure I’m going to be around for another 20 years either! But not taking that into account, the present value of the savings made more sense for me, so I went with the Save Now option.
What would you say to someone else who is thinking about going solar and has the option to choose Community Solar?
As far as Community Solar versus other rooftop options, it’s certainly a lot less hassle. I don’t have to go out and worry about my roof and finding a contractor and so forth. Also the impact is so much greater with a larger project, economies of scale certainly come into play here.
I would also say that Community Energy has a good track record – you’ve worked with a lot bigger projects than this and a number of significant organizations like the University of Pennsylvania and Smith College which show that you have a considerable track record over 15 years in business.