WellesleyWeston Magazine


Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Page 137 of 219

candidates. Lastly, is your non-slate roof 10 years old or younger and in good condition? Solar panels have about a 20-year useful life span. If your property is not solar suitable, you can still do your part in reducing the town and coun- try's energy dependence and contribute to cleaner air and water for all. Wellesley offers a volun- tary renewable energy program called "Power to Choose" that provides the opportunity to purchase 10, 25, 50, or 100 percent of electricity from renewable sources, including wind, hydro, solar, and biomass power. About 1,100 commercial and residential customers have joined the program, marking about 10 percent participation. It only costs about $3 a month for a typical Wellesley home to receive 10 percent of its energy from renewable sources. Wellesley's electric rates are so reasonably priced that even purchasing 100 percent renewable energy yields a lower rate than rates charged to residents in surrounding towns such as Needham and Natick. "Choosing renewable energy, in many cases for less than the price of a cup of coffee a month, will not only help the town meet its carbon reduction goal, it will also improve Wellesley's national ranking for voluntary renewable energy," explains Debra Healy. "If we can sign on 471 new par- ticipants, Wellesley can lead the entire country in voluntary renewal energy participation. What a fitting honor it would be for our town," comments Dick Joyce. S H I Y A L I / D R E A M S T I M E . C O M n THERE ARE MANY SOLAR COMPANIES IN MASSACHUSETTS. Do your research! Check out company websites and ask for referrals, including from someone in your neighborhood or town who has used the company. n THE MASSACHUSETTS CLEAN ENERGY CENTER (www.masscec.com) provides information about solar power, including specific Massachusetts installers and lenders. n COMBINE A SOLAR ASSESSMENT with a Mass Save Energy Assessment (www.masssave.com). The less energy your home consumes, the more effective your solar installation. n USE AN ONLINE CALCULATOR to estimate solar performance, such as http://pvwatts.nrel.gov/. n GET MORE THAN ONE BID for your project and compare the costs, size, and expected benefits of the systems. n REVIEW YOUR PAPERWORK CAREFULLY. If you are buying the system outright, it will be a significant investment up front. If you are paying over time, make sure your system generates enough power and at a decent cost per kWh relative to your electricity provider. If you are considering some form of leasing or financing, be sure to understand costs and obligations if you move and at the end of the lease period. Choosing a Solar Provider i 136 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 7 Harnessing the Power of the Sun

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