With solar panel prices cheaper than they’ve ever been, the extreme environmental benefit, and plentiful positive press (not to mention all the savings you’ll get with a PV system), it’s easy to see why so many people are going solar. Still, it’s a big decision that often intimidates many people. To help soothe the process, we’ve broken down how to get started with solar into 3 easy steps:
1. Figure out if your home is a good candidate.
It’s true that not all homes are great for solar. Sometimes there’s just too much shade or maybe your roof needs to be replaced. Check to see if your roof is surrounded by trees (and then make sure that their shade actually covers the entire roof), or just ask an energy specialist to analyze your home for you (we offer this service for free via satellite imagery). You might be surprised at what your roof can do! If you need a new roof in the next year; however, you should really tackle that project prior to going solar. Storing, and then replacing your PV panels is an added expense, and you’ll have enough on your plate dealing with a roof replacement.
“I’m moving soon so I won’t be able to reap the benefits of solar in time.”
Actually, a 2014 study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that homes with even a small 3.6kw solar system sold for an extra $15,000. Increasingly, reports are coming out showing that buyers are looking for greener, energy-efficient homes. Solar just might be an investment worth considering for your home.
2. Decide how to pay for it
While, the savings generated from solar power are significant, the initial cost of installing solar panels is still a substantial amount. In order to pay the least long-term and get the greatest savings, paying with cash is the best option. There are many people, however, who cannot pay cash outright for their system. That’s where hoards of financing options come into play.
Generally, you’ll find two types of loans: unsecured loans, with an interest rate of around 6%, and secured loans, with deductible interest of usually 3%. Unsecured loans are easier to get, while secured loans are more cost-effective. Even with interest, your loan payments on a properly sized and priced solar system will likely still be less than what you pay for electricity.
Make sure to also factor in a 30% tax credit for purchasing your solar panels (with cash or a loan), thanks to the Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit. Also, check to see if your state or utility has any programs encouraging solar installations. The Superior Solar Energy Specialists can do the legwork for you and help you figure out everything you need in order to claim all the benefits.
3. Who will install it?
When deciding on something as important as solar for your home, make sure to do your due diligence before selecting a vendor. Make sure the company you decide on is licensed (find out how to do that here), that they have a presentable record with the Better Business Bureau, and that the reviews they have are good enough for you.
Everything else is easy! If you’d like to know more about going solar, contact or call us at 407.331.9077. We would be honored to help you make the switch to solar today.
Topics: Saving with Solar