Homeowners who go solar save on energy bills and boost their property value. But it’s important to understand the risks and rewards of a solar-powered home. Beware of promises of guaranteed savings. Electricity rates and energy usage fluctuate over time, so ensuring a specific percentage of savings is impossible.
Know Your Roof
Before you go solar, it’s important to know how your roof will support the weight of your solar panels. It will impact how much you can save and the type of solar energy system that is best for you. First, inspect the roof for cracked, broken, or missing shingles. You’ll also want to check for moss growth and any areas of damage around vent pipes or chimneys. If you find any of these issues, consider replacing your roof before moving forward with a solar installation.
Additionally, the size of your solar array will depend on whether your roof has adequate space to support it. Once you have this information, you can compare prices and quotes from different solar providers. It’s also important to understand the difference between purchase and lease options. Buying your solar system outright will allow you to avoid loan interest rates and put the savings into your pocket.
However, if you need more time to make the purchase commitment, community solar offers homeowners, renters, and companies equal access to solar energy’s economic and environmental benefits. Residential buildings and commercial establishments through community solar may support the usage of solar electricity produced by solar farms. A professional must regularly clean and inspect solar systems to ensure optimal performance. If you’re uncomfortable doing these tasks alone, consider community solar programs as your option for going green.
Check Your Incentives
Solar energy is a great option for most homeowners because it saves them money on their electricity bills, reduces carbon emissions and raises the value of their home. But to make the most of solar, knowing what incentives are available for your area is important. The federal government offers a 30% tax credit on your system, which helps to offset some of the upfront costs of going solar. Many states also provide solar rebates, which reduce the amount you pay for your solar installation.
In addition to tax credits and rebates, local utilities may offer buyback programs or equipment subsidies for solar customers. These benefits can dramatically lower the overall cost of your solar system, making it even more worth it.
Working with a professional installer to get the most accurate information and quotes is best when considering solar. An experienced installer can comprehensively assess your roof’s solar potential, including detailed recommendations, estimates and equipment expertise. They can also address any concerns, such as nearby shade trees that could obstruct your panels or whether a local HOA has rules that would preclude a rooftop solar system.
Get a Quote
Getting a quote is the best way to understand your solar options. A solar energy company can provide a comprehensive report, including a roof assessment, system design, and calculating your savings and return on investment. They can also offer a price per watt and power production estimate, making it easy to compare one system against another. Getting a quote from a licensed, insured, bonded solar panel installation professional is important. Not only is this required by law, but it will help ensure that your panels are installed properly.
Ask the professionals to give you a diagram showing how the panels will be placed on your roof and how they plan to route any wiring. It’s also a good idea to discuss the type of maintenance your panels will need and whether you want to stay connected to the grid or use a solar battery.
There are many reasons why homeowners choose to go solar, but financial savings and reducing our impact on the environment are at the top of the list. Solar can eliminate or drastically reduce your electric bills and free you up to invest in your home, take that dream vacation or complete other projects around the house. Additionally, many solar companies offer financial plans to make this a low-cost project for anyone.
Don’t let upfront fees deter you when buying solar panels or committing to a PPA or lease. It’s best to compare prices and quotes from several solar installation companies before deciding. You also want to ensure you understand the contract’s timeline if you get a lease or a PPA.
These are usually 20- to 25-year warranties that can only be ended with large penalties, even if your roof needs to be repaired or you move. If you’re purchasing a solar system, check for any rebates and incentives that may apply to your purchase. These change regularly, so it’s important to stay up-to-date.
Finally, be sure to talk with your neighbors about going solar. Many companies offer discounts when multiple homes in your neighborhood purchase systems. Additionally, you can participate in a “solarizing campaign” to get even more discounts and incentives from local businesses that support the industry.
Once your solar system is installed, you’ll enjoy the benefits of energy independence from the grid and a lower carbon footprint. You’ll also save money on your electricity bills and be able to sell your excess power back to the grid for credits towards future electric bills. Plus, solar adds to your home’s value, so it can help you recover your investment if you decide to sell later.