With the recent push toward renewable energy, we are seeing more and more solar energy. As the price of solar panels drops and government subsidies increase, many homeowners are considering if solar is right for them. The answer, of course, is that it depends. For many homeowners, solar could be a great solution that helps the planet and their pocketbooks. So is solar right for you? Read on to get the TrustDALE take on this important question.
The Basics of Solar
Solar energy harnesses the single most powerful energy source around us, the sun. It’s completely pollution free and renewable (or at least for the next 5 billion years until the sun burns out). So as far as the environment is concerned, adding solar power to your home in a win-win. But, of course, most homeowners have another concern, their bottom line. Besides the environmental benefits, they want to know if solar is affordable, or will even save them money.
So here’s the most basic rundown. If you answer yes these few questions, solar is very likely to help you financially, at least in the long run:
- Do you own the building or property where you want to install the solar panels?
- Do you pay $75 or more for your electricity each month?
- Do you have at least 100 square feet of roof or lawn space?
- Do you want to save money?
If you answered “yes” to all of these, solar is probably right for you. If you answered “no” to any of these, solar might still work for you, but you will have some other factors to consider.
The Cost of Solar
The cost of photovoltaic cells, the functional part of solar panels, varies considerably. So does the size and number of cells required for a particular system. So it’s very hard to put out a firm number on how much a solar installation will cost. Most systems cost no less than $5,000 and no more than $30,000 after all government incentives are considered. We know that’s a broad range, and some systems may exceed even that range.
To get a better idea of what a system will cost, we suggest scheduling a free consultation with one of our TrustDALE certified businesses, Solar Choice USA. Solar Choice USA has installed thousands of systems across the Southeast and will come to your home and do a solar power evaluation free of charge. The evaluation will include taking a look at your power bills and your property to determine how much a solar system would cost to install and how much it could save you.
Government incentives right now are very favorable toward residential solar. You can save as much as 50% of the cost of equipment and installation in rebates and tax reductions. However, there is no guarantee that these incentives will last forever, so if you are considering solar, waiting 5 or 10 years could cost you a lot.
One fact to know about solar is that a solar system is an investment. Like any investment, you may not see the full return on your investment immediately. What you will see immediately is a 70% to 100% drop in your power bills. However, how long it takes to break even and start saving more than the cost of your system depends on the size of your system, the cost of installation, and how much electricity you use.
For homeowners who aren’t able to pay for a system up-front, there are financing options available. Solar Choice USA partners with lenders who offer great financing for qualified customers. You may even qualify for a loan with no payment and no interest for up to 12 months with as little as $0 down.
Another option is to take out a home equity or title one home improvement loan. The benefit of a home equity or home improvement loan is that you can deduct the interest just like you do on your mortgage.
A third option is to lease a solar system. In most cases, the monthly cost of the lease will be less than your old power bill. It is also a steady, predictable cost from month to month. And even though you may not get the same financial benefits as you would with an outright purchase, you will still be reducing your carbon footprint significantly. This is an excellent option if you want to cut down on your reliance on fossil fuels without making a large up-front payment.
Solar Choice USA isn’t just in the business of selling and installing solar panels. They want to help you reduce your carbon footprint as much as possible. To help cut your energy use, they will provide an energy efficiency audit of your home. Most homes were not built with energy efficiency as a high priority. That means that there is usually a lot of room to save by making your home more energy efficient. In fact, Solar Choice USA guarantees at least a 25% reduction in energy use when you implement their simple efficiency solutions.
What Does Solar Choice USA Do for You
Installing a solar energy system involves many steps. There are technical steps to the design and installation. There are also bureaucratic steps to secure financing, submit paperwork to the government and power company, and pull permits. Luckily, Solar Choice USA is there with you form the very beginning to the last moments of your installation and beyond. Solar Choice USA is a turnkey solution. They will take care of:
- Analyzing your property and power bills
- Estimating your system size
- Designing your system
- Arranging financing
- Submitting paperwork to the power company
- Pulling any necessary permits
- Installing the system
- Monitoring and maintaining your system
You can expect your system to last 30 years or more. All of the equipment Solar Choice USA installs is warrantied for 25 years, and only Solar Choice USA includes a 25-year warranty on all workmanship. You can feel confident that your solar energy system will be a lasting benefit to your home, your pocketbook, and the environment.
If you are considering going green with solar energy, consider Solar Choice USA. They have undergone Dale’s 7-point investigative review and stand by Dale’s Make-it-Right Guaratnee™. When you work with Solar Choice USA, you can feel confident that you are getting the best prices for the best products and service available.