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Newtown Household Taps The Sun

Every time Nina and David Stout run a home appliance or flip a light switch, they can thank the sun.

Solarize Newtown celebrated its first solar installation at the Stout residence at 9 Grand Place on Saturday, November 9. With a yard clear of trees, Mr Stout said, “I have always known I had a really good house for solar.”

The 40-panel, 10kw system now in place on the Stouts’ roof is expected to generate more than 100 percent of their electricity needs. Mr Stout said estimates that his system is at 108 percent, which means CL&P would cut him a check for the difference at the end of the year.

He made the decision to go solar for several reasons. He said, “It’s green, makes sense, and we will make some money.” With a working background in energy efficiency and engineering, he understand benefits and drawbacks and decided, “It’s very efficient and made a lot of sense.”

He was also attracted to the Solarize program, which is “highly discounted.” After calculating a series of state and federal incentives and discounts, his $33,000 install cost $15,000. To learn more about the program and installation company, visit SolarizeCT.com.

Incentives are based on factors like site quality and the size of the system, he said. He recommends contacting Astrum, the preselected installer for Newtown, and representatives will do a free site visit and assessment.

The Stouts’ installation took a few days and includes the inverters to convert power from the panels to the house. Also, “It’s a smart grid,” Mr Stout said, so panels can send energy back to grid, for which CL&P pays the customer the difference.

Aside from grid fees, the Stouts’ electric bill will “go away,” he said. Looking at his decision long-term, he said, “If I look over 20 years I could either be paying CL&P or in few years, start making some of that money back.” Over the next 20 years the couple expects to save $37,000. 

Through the Solarize Connecticut Program, Astrum is offering discounted pricing in exchange for community outreach and education. Prices are further discounted with a tiered pricing system — the more people who sign up, the more the price comes down; the cost will be the same for the first to sign up for the program as it will be for the last. Newtown is currently at tier three and is expected to reach the tier five level.  If Newtown reaches 100 new installations, Astrum Solar will donate $25,000 of solar panels for a town building or school.

Leasing and financing options are available.

Residents must sign a contract with Astrum by February 11, 2014, to qualify.

For more information about the Solarize Connecticut program or to request a free site evaluation go to SolarizeCT.com/Newtown. 

In a recent press release, Mr Stout had said, “I am very pleased with the Solarize Newtown program. The entire process has been extremely easy and the people from Astrum have been very helpful in educating me on the benefits of solar, and helping me understand the different options regarding design and financing.”

Astrum Solar is the largest residential solar installer headquartered on the East Coast. Astrum offers a turn-key installation service so that homeowners can install solar panels and start producing clean green electricity while saving on their utility bill.

 Upcoming Solarize workshops are scheduled for Sunday, November 17, from 2 to 4 pm, at Newtown Congregational Church, 14 West Street; and Wednesday, December 4, from 6 to 8 pm, at C.H. Booth Library, 25 Main Street.

More stories like this: David Stout, AstrumSolar, solar
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