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Old 09-26-2019, 09:37 PM   #1
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Default Losing Power?

May I ask- do you lose power a lot in the lakes region? We will be moving to The Weirs most likely this winter when our little home is finished being built.

We are from a rural area in NY and here we have a whole house generator, which has been a blessing due to a lot of power outages- many lasting a long time.

Our new home will be forced air propane. The house is only 1100 square feet.

Due to the design of the house we could not put in a gas fireplace, so we are thinking of maybe getting one of those electric "wood stoves" for ambience and extra heat.

But I worry about losing power and wondering if we should spring for a generator. Our son, who lives in Plymouth and works in Laconia claims the power rarely if ever goes out.

What say you?
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Old 09-27-2019, 06:43 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by map View Post
May I ask- do you lose power a lot in the lakes region? We will be moving to The Weirs most likely this winter when our little home is finished being built.

We are from a rural area in NY and here we have a whole house generator, which has been a blessing due to a lot of power outages- many lasting a long time.

Our new home will be forced air propane. The house is only 1100 square feet.

Due to the design of the house we could not put in a gas fireplace, so we are thinking of maybe getting one of those electric "wood stoves" for ambience and extra heat.

But I worry about losing power and wondering if we should spring for a generator. Our son, who lives in Plymouth and works in Laconia claims the power rarely if ever goes out.

What say you?
Welcome to the Forum. The last very long outage was after an ice storm in 1998 I believe. More recently there was one 24+ hour outage while we were away, last year I think. In West Alton we lose power maybe 2 to 5 times a year however they normally are short term. Typically an hour or two maybe 4 hours at most. These are usually isolated events such as one tree down or one pole down in an auto accident. I think that Loconia has less of these short term outages than West Alton.

A few here have whole house generators, more have a portable and even more have no generator.
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Old 09-27-2019, 07:58 AM   #3
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I can only speak for the east side of the lake but I would never want to be without a generator. It seems we never used to lose our power but in more recent years we lose it fairly often. The electric lineman explained to me that they now have fuses that blow easier and that is why. Easier to fix I guess but makes it go out more often.
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Old 09-27-2019, 08:24 AM   #4
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I can only speak for the east side of the lake but I would never want to be without a generator. It seems we never used to lose our power but in more recent years we lose it fairly often. The electric lineman explained to me that they now have fuses that blow easier and that is why. Easier to fix I guess but makes it go out more often.
This is what we have experienced as well, West of the big lake.
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Old 09-27-2019, 08:30 AM   #5
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While we don’t lose power often, it always seems to go at the most inopportune time like Thanksgiving day when you have 20+ people over and two turkeys in the double oven! My generator saved the day!

I also wouldn’t be without a generator and yes I’m spoiled!

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Old 09-27-2019, 08:58 AM   #6
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Yes, Generator is good investment, especially in winter if you are not there all the time.
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Old 09-27-2019, 09:20 AM   #7
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Default Yes to a generator

We've lived in Alton Bay since 1996, without a generator until about 2 years ago or so. We had endured outages from a 2-4 hours to over a week, with the latter only occurring a couple or three times.

I had a friend give me a used 6000 watt manual start generator ending the drought. Since then, we've lost power a few times for relatively short periods of time, and my wife was very happy that I was able to pull the generator out, hook it up, fire it up, and have power back in just a few short minutes. I do fire it up quarterly and let it run for 15 mins or so.

While I like having the generator, my wife loves it, once again thus proving the old adage: happy wife, happy life. So my advice, make sure you have a generator.

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Old 09-27-2019, 09:33 AM   #8
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Default Good insurance

We lived up here for many years without a generator, but the March storm a few years back when power was out for almost a week, pushed us to make the decision to get a generator. While itís about as exciting as buying a new hot water heater, itís reassuring to know that the pipes arenít going to freeze when weíre not there. Itís worth the peace of mind to us.
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Old 09-27-2019, 09:49 AM   #9
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Another way to keep the place from freezing up is to get a direct vent propane heater that continues to make heat, even when the electricity is down. Running on the pressure in the propane tank, it continues to make heat without having power to run the blower fan using something called a Piezo 12-volt electric system or something.

Works good in smaller homes installed someplace central in the basement or somewhere.

All propane heaters installed in Canada have to have this feature by Canada law, and there's a number of different heaters that can be used.
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Old 09-27-2019, 10:40 AM   #10
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Default Losing power

A big YES to a generator, and hope to never need it. The peace of mind is well worth it knowing that you have power if you need it. To my way of thinking, go with a whole-house installation, auto-transfer, and weekly exercise program. The portable generators need someone to start them, etc., etc., a real inconvenience, and, not in service if you are away. Also, one last piece of advice, use a qualified electrician for the installation.
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Old 09-27-2019, 10:51 AM   #11
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Like, why go with an expensive generator when a direct vent, propane heater with a pilot light will work when there's no electric power?

You can set it at 45-degrees for when you are not there, plus it can get set at 70-degrees when you are there and be used.

Is better to have it, and actually use it (a propane heater with a pilot light), than to have one, and basically almost never use it (a generator).

Plus, there is a huge difference in price.

Personally, for the last 26-years, the electric power provided and maintained by the New Hampshire Electric Coop in Meredith is the best, most reliable power ...... it almost never goes out ..... it gets very quickly restored ..... 99.94% reliability is part of what you get by paying your monthly electric bill ..... as close to perfect as it gets!

A private home generator is a totally un-needed and un-necessary item!
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Old 09-27-2019, 11:01 AM   #12
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Like, why go with an expensive generator when a direct vent, propane heater with a pilot light will work when there's no electric power?

You can set it at 45-degrees for when you are not there, plus it can get set at 70-degrees when you are there and be used.

Is better to have it, and actually use it (a propane heater with a pilot light), than to have one, and basically almost never use it (a generator).

Plus, there is a huge difference in price.
Because a simple 5000 watt generator is more than sufficient to run the bulk of a home if needed in an emergency and only costs $500-600 these days. Your propane heater wont run a refrigerator, lights, etc. There are simple/cheap ways to hook up a generator in times of need.
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Old 09-27-2019, 11:13 AM   #13
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My 5500 watt generator has saved us during more than one multiple day outage. For the cost of the portable one's it's kinda a no-brainer.

I always say if you live in NH without a generator it's your own fault
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Old 09-27-2019, 11:19 AM   #14
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Our generator is automatic, and so we can count on it when we are far away, and thatís important to us. It all depends on your situation. Having had to depend on it a number of times for relatively short periods, itís worth it, and we wish we hadnít held out for so long.
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Old 09-27-2019, 11:54 AM   #15
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I should have mentioned in my 1st response that a few years ago we got a 7K portable generator. We had an electrician install an external inlet box that is hard wired to the breaker panel with a manual transfer switch. So we can power heat, water pump, all the lights and all of the outlets. If the outage looks to be more than 2 hours we get the generator going; especially in winter.
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Old 09-27-2019, 11:57 AM   #16
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Our generator is automatic, and so we can count on it when we are far away, and thatís important to us. It all depends on your situation. Having had to depend on it a number of times for relatively short periods, itís worth it, and we wish we hadnít held out for so long.
Makes sense if your away a lot. Ours is at our home and the portable works out fine. On the Island I'm still hanging on to my Propane Fridge for this reason, does probably cost more to run but don't have to worry at all when we're not there. It's all relative to the needs and costs
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Old 09-27-2019, 12:08 PM   #17
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Makes sense if your away a lot. Ours is at our home and the portable works out fine. On the Island I'm still hanging on to my Propane Fridge for this reason, does probably cost more to run but don't have to worry at all when we're not there. It's all relative to the needs and costs
I'm in Meredith and we lose power 2 or 3 times a year but it's usually back on that same day. I've thought about a generator but I'm only 1 1/2 to 2 hours away. If need be I could run up and light up the wood stove.
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Old 09-27-2019, 12:38 PM   #18
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Default Water source?

If you're on city water, you can let water drip and prevent freeze-up. On a well, you need to be able to run the electric water pump. We don't lose power often, but I'm very happy with my automatic whole house generator installed in 2004.. When power goes out for an extended time, gas stations can't pump. I recall being at my local hardware store once when there were people trying to buy gas cans--they were all out and word in the line was other stores were too, and only a few gas stations could pump.
Power outages can be very isolated. You can probably give a specific address to Eversource and get a history for that neighborhood.
We've also had people ask to come stay with us for a couple of hours "Until George can get the portable generator out and started".
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Old 09-27-2019, 11:26 PM   #19
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My generator has done a wonderful job for the last two years.

It has prevented power failures 100% of that time.
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Old 09-28-2019, 11:07 AM   #20
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This is really a loaded question anyways.

Power loss can be caused by any number of things, return to operation depends on the cause. Around these parts most if not all major outages are caused by physical damage to the power lines. The extent of damage and more importantly where will determine the outage length. Ice storms and microbursts\high winds are likely to create the most extensive damage, the former on a very wide scale the second intense damage to a more confined area but both usually result in downed lines, snapped poles etc... things that don't get fixed in a few hours. These are not common occurrences but do happen from time to time leaving you having to figure out what to do in the mean time. The power grid to some degree has the ability to re-rout power around damaged areas so long as things are intact.

If you take a look at where you house is drawing power in relation to the power grid, if you are on a main feed line your down time is likely to be minimal comparatively speaking to being on a single feed leg. Power companies restore power to the mains first then hit the areas where they can get the greatest number of people back up with each fix and so on until everyone is back online. If your on a leg shared by only a few houses chances are you'll be waiting a while.

As mentioned, getting yourself setup with at minimum a good portable 5-7K watt generator is a worthwhile investment and are going to produce plenty of power to handle the essentials. Just make sure it is wired correctly with a sub panel and isolation from the main. To many just backfeed their system through a 220 circuit such as a dryer outlet, this is not only dangerous but also illegal. Just don't forget that portable generators should be started every now and then, gas in the tank should be stored with stabilizer if not used and an annual once over to ensure the oil levels are good and so forth. I usually fire mine up twice a year and let them run for about a half hour. Better to find a problem with them when you don't need them than when you do!

I've never been disappointed that I am prepared to be self sufficient when need be, my neighbors who were not and had to host during outages in the past have all figured out it's worth it as well.
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Old 09-28-2019, 11:09 PM   #21
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Default Power

I live in Meredith in a development off of Rt 3. In the 13 years I've been here, we've probably lost power for a total of 6 hours. Seems we are close to the main grid and get quick fixes when the power does go out. I have no generator here.

My other house is in southern NH. We seem to be far off of the main grid and while our neighborhood is all underground utilities, the lines to get to us go through mainy tree heavy streets. We've lost power for 7 day or more stretches at least 5 times in the past 10 years in mostly winter but also with one hurricane. I do have a full house generator there.

Seems that southern NH with its population would have a much better and more protected grid but my wife and kids evacuated to the lake many times when we had no power there and not so much as a flicker of lights up here.
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Old 09-29-2019, 01:49 AM   #22
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Arrow Convenience Has Changed Things...

I know when the power goes out in Wolfeboro at night. No, it's not when a heater turns off. It's when the cottage interior glows brightly at night--illuminated when the neighbor's generator turns on--and ALL their exterior lights go on.

And they're half a mile away!

Quote:
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I can only speak for the east side of the lake but I would never want to be without a generator. It seems we never used to lose our power but in more recent years we lose it fairly often. The electric lineman explained to me that they now have fuses that blow easier and that is why. Easier to fix I guess but makes it go out more often.
In olden times, the power in Wolfeboro could go out for hours.

In modern times, the power companies have made drastic cuts of trees and limbs around powerlines; so, what we've gained in convenience has opened the woods for browse for deer. (Increasing herd sizes).

Vistas have opened up: In my drives to Wolfeboro, one can see Moose Mountain and Rattlesnake Island, where no view of either had appeared before.
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Old 09-29-2019, 08:33 AM   #23
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I know when the power goes out in Wolfeboro at night. No, it's not when a heater turns off. It's when the cottage interior glows brightly at night--illuminated when the neighbor's generator turns on--and ALL their exterior lights go on.

And they're half a mile away!



In olden times, the power in Wolfeboro could go out for hours.

In modern times, the power companies have made drastic cuts of trees and limbs around powerlines; so, what we've gained in convenience has opened the woods for browse for deer. (Increasing herd sizes).

Vistas have opened up: In my drives to Wolfeboro, one can see Moose Mountain and Rattlesnake Island, where no view of either had appeared before.
You think so? I was talking with several others a while ago and we all thought the power goes out a lot more now than it used to. Do you remember when the Wolfeboro Power Plant generated all the power for the town?

Vistas may have opened up in some places but look at the old pictures from North Main Street by Lakeview Inn (Inn on Main). You could see the lake-it was all fields.
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Old 09-29-2019, 04:43 PM   #24
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Thank you everyone for your input. After reading your responses, my husband and I tend to lean towards getting the whole house generator as we will be living in The Weirs full time. Once we are settled we will check into this more.

Interesting, though about that propane heater and is also something we will check out.

Anyone have recommendations for who to use for the whole house generator purchase and installation?
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Old 09-29-2019, 05:50 PM   #25
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Thank you everyone for your input. After reading your responses, my husband and I tend to lean towards getting the whole house generator as we will be living in The Weirs full time. Once we are settled we will check into this more.

Interesting, though about that propane heater and is also something we will check out.

Anyone have recommendations for who to use for the whole house generator purchase and installation?
I think there is (or used to be) a ďGenerator ConnectionĒ just south of the Weirs near the Union diner.
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Old 09-29-2019, 07:33 PM   #26
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I think there is (or used to be) a ďGenerator ConnectionĒ just south of the Weirs near the Union diner.
That would be New Wave Electric near the Union Diner
http://www.nuwaveelectric.com/

We got our portable there, they also do whole house automatic.

Generator Connection is in Barrington:
https://generatorconnection.com/

Good to get a quote from both.

Maybe $2.5 K for a portable with an electrician doing the wiring.

Maybe about $12K for a whole house automatic installed including the ugly torpedo propane tank. Quite a bit for an hour or two a year in Laconia.
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Old 09-30-2019, 09:12 AM   #27
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The good news: the Weirs area almost never loses power. I've gone years without one outage. Like, zero.
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Old 09-30-2019, 10:13 AM   #28
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Default Pricing?

From Slickcraft:
"Maybe $2.5 K for a portable with an electrician doing the wiring.
Maybe about $12K for a whole house automatic installed including the ugly torpedo propane tank."

That seems way high to me, so I hope MAP will post her findings. A 9KW Generac or Kohler at Lowe's is $2-3000. I dug my own trenches and poured ma own slab, about 50 feet from the house. The gas company owns the propane tank (Suburban Propane), so no cost to me. Cost for electric transfer panel would be the same whether portable or standby.
As noted above, call Eversource and find out what the outage history is for this specific neighborhood before spending money.
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Old 09-30-2019, 10:46 AM   #29
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The good news: the Weirs area almost never loses power. I've gone years without one outage. Like, zero.


Sarcastic I hope. If not, you just jinxed the whole lot of them


Sent from my iPhone using Winnipesaukee Forum mobile app
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Old 09-30-2019, 11:44 AM   #30
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Thanks again, everyone, for the recommendations!You have all been so very helpful.

We will also contact Eversource to find out about the power outage history in the area.

This is certainly not something we will just jump into right away. We will take our time and get settled in first. The new house will have a few other priorities that come before this decision. All to be done in due time.

I am so looking forward to our final move. We actually are supposed to close on our current home today and are living in a rental home in NY until my husband retires the end fo the year. Hopefully the new home will be completed by then and we can proceed with our move to NH.
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Old 09-30-2019, 12:57 PM   #31
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MAP,
Before springing for an automatic whole house generator you might want to price a grid tied solar system with battery backup. Whole house generators are initially very costly and will require both steady inputs of fuel and an annual maintenance.
A roll around is much less costly upfront, but you would need to be home during an outage to be able to fire it up and again require fuel and maintenance. If you do go this route skip using an essential load panel and consider having a slide lockout installed on your main electric panel with two main breakers, one from your generator and one from the grid. Not a bad way to go but you will need to be home if the power goes out to activate it ...not a good situation if you are vacationing somewhere warm and the power goes out in January due to an ice storm.
The most popular automatic solar backup system we install is the SolarEdge StorEdge. Most of the time the system will be providing you with most if not all of the electricity needed for your daily consumption, just like the grid. After the cost of the initial installation the power from the sun will be coming to you totally for free. At night the same battery that will provide you with backup power during an emergency will provide you with power that has been harvested that day and stored. In the event of a power outage the inverter will automatically disconnect from the disabled grid and switch over to the power stored in the battery. With only one battery there will only be just 10 kWh of storage with a peak output of 5,000 watts, but in most cases this is enough power to run your essential loads (heat circulators, well pump, refrigeration, some lights, internet, and ??), but you will be warm, comfortable, and connected. You might fully run out of power late one night, but the next day the solar will come alive again with the sun and power up your house and charge the battery for the following night. If the grid is down for many days, as it was in Moultonboro a few years ago, you won't really care. Here is a wonderful short video that explains well how the StorEdge system works.
So how does this compare with going with a generator? A decent roll around with a manual lock out switching mechanism at your panel will run you about $6K, an automatic whole house generator will likely run you nearly $10K, and a StorEdge solar system will run about $30K before incentives. Currently you will be getting back $1,000 from the NH PUC and another 30% from the Feds, so your true cost after those will be closer to $20K ...and you will have free clean power from the day of installation forward, your house value and salability will increase in direct relationship with the cost of the solar system, and you won't be subject to the effects of oil surges and political whim for the next thirty+ years ( the solar panels have a 25 year warranty, the inverter 12, and the LG battery 10). Generally the payback on a StorEdge system runs about 12 years (after that the system has justified it's cost and the power is truly and totally for free), but that is totally discounting the value of your main pursuit, reliable, automatic, and constant backup power in the event of an emergency.
By the way, for those of you that read this and have island properties with permanent docks with circulators...
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Old 09-30-2019, 01:14 PM   #32
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Generator Connection has been very good work with. I put in one a few years ago and they had special on a Kohler 10KW installed for $5800. Haven't regretted it.
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Old 09-30-2019, 01:35 PM   #33
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Generator Connection has been very good work with. I put in one a few years ago and they had special on a Kohler 10KW installed for $5800. Haven't regretted it.
That is who installed our 20KW generator and could not have been more pleased. Their service plan is fair and their field techs are excellent!

Highly recommended!

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Old 09-30-2019, 06:08 PM   #34
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Sarcastic I hope. If not, you just jinxed the whole lot of them


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Nope. Have owned property there since the 90s. My digital clocks tell the truth...if we had regular power outages my clocks would be blinking. I've lived in my property there, rented it... it's a very stable area concerning power issues.
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Old 09-30-2019, 07:13 PM   #35
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I don't know about the solar thing. We will be in a HOA community so there are rules and regulations.
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Old 10-01-2019, 07:24 AM   #36
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I don't know about the solar thing. We will be in a HOA community so there are rules and regulations.
NH Solar has a good sales pitch but real estate value is predicated on location, location, location. To say your property will increase in value the cost of a solar system is, IMO, wishful thinking. Some cases may prove the opposite.
I'm all for solar power but I don't buy that sales pitch.
I learned a long time ago that sinking more money into a property than the neighborhood commands is a losing proposition.
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Old 10-01-2019, 10:40 AM   #37
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NHSolar, if you want my business give me a bike or treadmill that plugs into the grid that generates power while I walk or ride. A hour or two from everyone would go a long way to support our needs


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Old 10-01-2019, 11:22 AM   #38
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You can do a search for "generator" and will find a lot of discussions. Whatever size you get, you will be happy to have it if/when you need it.

Welcome to New Hampshire! Good luck!
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Old 10-03-2019, 12:08 PM   #39
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MAP, if you are in an HOA, then that is a controlling issue and checking with the board is your first step. We are right now installing a rooftop system on a second home in Bristol. The client contacted me over three years ago and wanted an array installed mainly because they had an array on their Sudbury home and wanted the same on their eventual retirement home. It couldn't be done at that time because of HOA restrictions. Recently one of the original board members retired and one of the first changes made thereafter was a relaxation of the solar restriction. The installation we are doing is all black and on a charcoal shingled roof, it will look good and as is often the case I would expect to gain some additional sales in that hilltop neighborhood of beautiful homes.
Biggd, there are only two ways that I know of where a solar array is a detriment to a home's value, leased solar systems or systems that are not designed with an eye toward the final aesthetic. Leased systems became popular when Elon Musk's cousin formed Solarcity around the leased array concept. They would install an array on your roof for free and you as the client agreed to buy power for along term at a set rate. The rate was usually lower than the utility rate, and because there was no upfront cost a lot of folks were drawn into this sort of arrangement. There were two problems with this, first if the utility rate went down you would actually be locked into paying more for the solar power than you would for the utility rate. Second, and this is the big one, you would now have a large mechanical system that you didn't own on the asset of your home. The theory was that the new home buyer would assume the Solarcity contract, but in reality most people would consider a home with a leased system as heavily encumbered and simply walk away. Leasing of solar systems flashed for a few years but soon died away and you rarely hear anything about the company that at one time dominated the solar industry. As far as aesthetics go, yes there are plenty of butt ugly systems around and some could certainly be considered a detriment to a home's value ...but none will have my name on it. My mantra is that if I don't want to see an array design on my own home, then I won't install it, even if it will produce beaucoup power. As you motor around the lake you may notice some of my installations, but then again maybe you won't because that it the look I shoot for. Photos of some of these arrays can be seen on the Google page for NH Solar.
I had three former clients in this area sell their homes last year and all three sold quickly and at their asking price ...well actually two did. The third was a home near Den Brae in Sanbornton, it was listed on a Thursday and had two over asking bids by Saturday. The best part was that when the sale went through the original owner not only got back the full gross cost of the system, he also pocketed both the 30% ITC and the PUC rebate.
I do however agree with your statement about location being paramount, a new solar system on a decrepit or poorly located property is just lipstick on a pig
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