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Yes, you do need HDC approval before installing solar PV outside of a Historic Core, but they are more lenient when it comes to the aesthetics of the system, as long as it is not in view of a public way.
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With the amount of snowfall on Nantucket, as long as panels are on a roof or high enough off the ground for ground-mounted systems, snow should not need to be removed. The solar panels do a good job of naturally melting any snow that doesn’t slide off of them.
Cleaning solar panels is not regularly needed. A good rain should clean them off with no problem. If they do get dirty enough to affect their efficiency, they can be cleaned with a non-abrasive wash just like you would clean your windows.
As long as your solar PV system is under warranty, replacement parts should be of no cost to you. With modern solar technologies systems rarely have issues with components, so any maintenance should be uncommon.
If installed properly, roof mounted systems will not cause roof damage that could potentially cause leaks.
Technology is constantly evolving, and solar panels will inevitably become more efficient in the future. Current solar technology is efficient enough for people to greatly reduce their electric bills to a few dollars a month to even no cost per month.
The solar panels themselves have a manufacturer warranty generally around 20-25 years, while Installers have a labor warranty around 5 years. Both of these warranties are dependent on manufacturer and installer and need to be taken into consideration when investing in a solar PV system.
Currently there is a federal tax rebate of 30% off of your system cost.
There is a state rebate of 15% up to $1000.
There is a Nantucket Town SOLAR Rebate of $2500.
Quarterly net-metering payments called SRECS.
Average payback period of a system on Nantucket is around 6.5 years. This means that on average the solar PV system will pay for itself in, on average, around 6.5 years.
Like many other things on Nantucket, it is more expensive to install solar PV on Nantucket due to cost of transportation of materials and additional labor costs. The $2500 SOLAR Rebate was created to help alleviate these extra cost. But even though the system is more expensive, it is still an economically viable option to saving money.
Although Nantucket may not get as much sun as mainland areas, these systems do generate enough electricity for owners to greatly reduce their electric bills without having to install more expensive systems.
The optimal roof orientation for installing solar PV is 180 degrees due south. Roof pitch can be accounted for with the system mounting brackets. Although asphalt shingles are prefered when installing roof mounted systems, roofs with cedar shingles can still be used.
Many installers use smart apps that communicate to your solar PV system through wifi or ethernet that allow you to manage and track your system output in real time.
Rarely can solar panels be installed inside the Historic Cores on Nantucket. Like any home improvement inside the Historic Cores, projects need to contribute to keeping these zones historically accurate. Systems can’t be visible from any view, and can’t impact the historical integrity of the building.
Yes, as long as the solar panels are visibly hidden from public view or are considered to not make a negative visual impact, they can be installed on your property.
It's recommended that you talk to your local Homeowners Association before talking to the HDC when looking to install solar PV. You won’t have to fill out and pay for an application before finding out whether or not you are allowed to install solar PV where you live.
When looking to install a system on island it is important to talk to multiple installers to get a system and company that works well for your situation. Make sure to consider the overall cost of the system, the expected payback period, system and labor warranties, and how well they communicate.