Everything You Need To Know About
Adding Solar Panels To Your Home
Solar power for homes and businesses is the future of electricity. A bold statement, but one that is backed by Federal and most state governments.
Thanks to incentives by some states and the federal government, switching to solar has become affordable to just about every home owner with sunshine hitting their roof top.
If you are one of the homeowners on the fence about solar, then this blog will help you.
Here, we answer some of the most common questions about pricing and availablity. We also work closesly with local solar installers through out the country to deliver you the best pricing. You’ll find a simple form on this website that asks you to enter your zip code.
This form information gets passed back to our call center reps that will quickly look up the best deals in your area, and then reach out with an estimate for you. This service is free for you. Our website is supported by the local solar installation companies that participate in our program.
It really is the fastest and easiest way to get help with your solar needs. Talk to someone.
It Helps the Environment
Why not? Regardless of the lower power bill, solar is good for the environment. It reduces the need to produce dirty electricity, through toxic, green house gas emitting coal. Most electricity in the States still generate power using dirty fossil fuels.
Plus by going solar you’re doing your part to reduce the United State’s dependence on foreign energy supplies.
We burn 33 percent of our coal production and 33 percent of our natural gas production to produce electricity.
It takes zero greenhouse fuels to produce solar energy. Going solar is not only good for the Earth and your family’s health.
Reducing Your Carbon Footprint
Our children, and our children’s children need our help right now. Going solar helps reduce your household’s carbon footprint by a ton.
In fact, it can help reduce your household’s carbon dioxide yearly emission by an average of 17.59 tons. That’s a lot of tons.
To give you an idea of what that means, consider an acre of 50-year-old oak trees. They absorb about 15 tons of carbon dioxide per year.
Solar is Saving You Money
Your average households annual energy costs are around $2,000. How much of that can be saved and put away if you went solar?
The short answer is, a lot, but. The only true way to know is by consulting with a solar professional.
Honestly, every home owner has with their own special set of circumstances that must be factored into a new home solar installation. This is why we encourage you to make the call and take advantage of a free phone consultation with a solar professional. You can use any one of the toll free phone numbers on this website to get started.
A solar professional looks at your actual energy usage and then will match the kilowatt rating of a solar array to those costs. They’ll look at things like the type of roof you have and how much exposure to the sun it gets.
It’s a simple process, even if you don’t know the exact details. A good solar representative can ask the right questions and know immediately what they are dealing with based on the feedback you give them.
In some states, there are solar incentives which will pay you a percentage based on how much excess energy your system produces.
Tips for Finding the Best Solar Installation Company
1. Start by Calling
Call 88-341-6182 to speak to a solar professional, who can find you a licensed, bonded, and insured solar installation company in your area, with positive ratings from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). They’ll be able to answer your questions and provide you an estimate.
2. Check Customer Reviews
Verify customer reviews online. Our participating company’s are easy to find, have been in business for a while and are stable.
3. Offers a good warranty
A home solar system is the last thing you want to have to replace twice. The warranty counts. Most solar arrays and solar panels are designed to last 20 plus years. Make sure that the warranty matches at least half of the life expectancy of the system.
4. Cleaning and Maintenance
Do they include cleaning and maintenance of the system? Solar panels only work well when they can actually collect sunlight. They require periodic cleaning and routine maintenance. Who pays for this? Make sure to ask.
5. Made of Quality Materials
Not all products for solar are made here in the United States. You want to make sure that you are buying quality and not knock-off products.
6. Offers Multiple Systems
The company should offer more than one type of solar array. Not every home has the same needs.
How much Should You Pay?
Since solar took off, the price for a good home solar array system has dropped. There are also federal incentives that help to lower the rate even further. We cannot give you an exact price because each home is different, but we can say that on the high end of things you should expect to pay around $3/watt. The actual cost varies from area to area, and the range is $3-$4 per watt installed.
If your home solar array is 6 kw it should produce 6000 watts and that would cost you $24,000 minus any federal and state discounts. That’s not a bad investment considering that the average household spends $2,000 for energy per year and
these systems should last 20 years. That breaks down to about $1,200 a year and potentially a savings of $800 per year. In 2016, the federal tax credit for solar investment was 30 percent. That changes each year, and tax credits are not guaranteed. If your initial cost is $24,000 then your federal tax credit is $7,200 making your out of pocket expenses somewhere in the neighborhood of $17,000.
On top of that, there could be state incentives too. Check with your state and local building departments. If you are a smart shopper, then consider the benefit of today’s low-interest loans. It is rumored that the Federal Reserve is adjusting interest rates upwards in the coming year so now is a good time to do the math.
Pitfalls for Solar
There are always a few pitfalls and there are the three we think matter the most.
Home Owner’s Insurance
Check with your home owner’s insurance provider to see if solar panels will raise your rates. It typically does but not by much. Still, it’s good to know upfront what you are facing.
It is also good to check with your local tax authority. Adding a $10-$20K home solar array raises the value of your home. Home value is how most cities or counties figure property tax.
Cost of the Permit
Every city has their hand out to collect building permit fees and when you install a home solar array, they will want a piece of that pie too. The installer will cover the costs or include it in the lending figures. If you can pay for it upfront then you save on the interest to repay that back to the bank. You might save a few bucks.
Is your House a good Fit?
Not every house is a good fit for solar. Your solar engineer will examine your home and its exposure to sunlight. The prime time for good solar energy is from 10 am until around 2 pm. That is the time of day when the sun is highest in the sky. If you have a really good exposure you might get 12 hours of solar collection during the longest days. Remember that as the sun’s angle drops you receive less light. So, sunrise is almost at zero light while noon is the strongest.
Do you have shading issues? Trees are a big concern, but so are neighboring buildings. A tall building will delay sun collection until past 10 am and may shut down collection before 2 pm.
Latitude makes an impact too. Where your home sits on the map is a key consideration. Higher latitudes receive less sunlight than the middle latitudes. In short, you get more sun at the equator than you do in NYC.
How Long Does it Take
The actual installation takes a day or two. The time to get a permit takes anywhere from a week to two months. The total project time is installation plus permitting. So a week to two months is pretty typical.
How to Determine the Size of the Home
Solar Array for your home
This is not a cut and dry approach, but you have to consider two things. Latitude or (isolation) and energy usage. Latitude provides the quality of incoming solar radiation and usage determines how much energy you need. If you want to estimate the size of the system you will need, simply take your energy usage per day and multiply it by 25 percent (.25.) That will tell you roughly how many kilowatts your system needs to be to cover your energy needs. Also, be sure to verify this with your solar engineer.