Solar energy is a becoming more and more popular as the renewable energy of choice. Solar panels are beneficial in saving us money and helping to take care of our planet. But every person’s situation is different. So how do you know if home solar panels are a good choice for you? Here are a few things to take into consideration when deciding whether to go solar.
Home Energy Efficiency
The first thing to consider before buying solar panels is whether or not your home is as energy efficient as it can be. Installing solar panels alone will not reap the most savings on your electric bill. If the rest of your house has air leaks or is not insulated well, you will still be wasting energy. Contact a professional for a home energy audit to see if there are additional ways to increase your savings.
Cost of Installation
Thanks to improvements in technology and financing, the cost of solar panels might be more affordable than you think. There are many zero down options available and government incentives and rebates to take advantage of that will decrease your costs.
What Options Are Available For Financing?
Besides saving up and paying cash, there are a few other ways to pay for your home solar panels. You can apply for a solar loan. Some loans require little or no money down. Many installers also have financing available which makes it easy. With purchasing, you are responsible for the maintenance of your panels but you can also take advantage of the tax rebates available because the system is yours.
Another way to get panels on your house is to contact your utility company to see if they offer a lease or Power Purchase Agreement. This is a bit like renting the equipment. You have the benefit of solar but none of the responsibilities because you don’t own the system. There is typically no money down to get started but you won’t be able to take advantage of any tax credits.
How Much Solar Power Can I Expect?
The amount of solar power generated depends on how much sun your panels get. There are many variables that determine this. Every home and situation are different, just like every person. The weather in your region, angle and orientation of your roof, how many panels you have, and how much shade your roof gets will all help to determine the amount of solar power you can expect. A solar expert can help you discover the answer to all of these questions.
What Type of Panels Should I Use?
There are a few different types of panels and many manufacturers to choose from. Many people think that monocrystalline panels are the best type of panels to use but are also the most expensive. Getting the best home solar panels for your situation and location will be determined by a few factors. What is your budget? How much dirt, snow, or shade will your panels get? The best thing is to contact a professional to help you decide.
Building Permits/HOA Restrictions
Make sure to check the building and electrical codes for your area. Your homeowner’s association may also have restrictions or rules that will affect where and what you install. Working with and getting permission from your HOA may take some time and affect the installation process, so this should be one of your first steps to take.
When Will I See Savings on My Electric Bill?
Some financing options will start saving you money right away. Zero down loans and leases will immediately decrease your power bill. With other options, such as paying cash for your system, you will yield greater savings in the long run. For most customers, though, the savings start on day one and increase over time. You can even further increase your savings by selling electricity back to the power company if your system is connected to the grid.
Hiring An Installation Company
Make sure to get a few bids from reputable companies. Some companies only install home solar panels on certain roofing materials. Confirm that the trained professional you hire works on your type of roof.
A good, professional solar panel installation company can help you decide what the best plan for your home is.