Jessica PirroJanuary 9, 20201940
When it comes to getting a solar panel installation, each of the solar companies that you research or come in contact with, make getting a solar panel installation sound so easy. But determining whether or not a solar panel installation is going to be a smart investment for you will depend on a few major factors. Before you decide to get a solar panel installation it is recommended that you determine whether or not a solar panel installation is going to be worth it.
When exploring your solar panel installation options, there are going to be a few questions that you’ll be able to ask to figure out if a solar power system will be worth it for you.
How Much Do You Pay for Electricity?
Your current electricity bill is going to be the largest factor in determining how much money you are going to save by installing solar panels. You pay your utility company for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity that you use, and your rate varies significantly depending on where you live. In certain parts of the country, you can pay as little as 8 cents per kWh; in others, you’ll have to pay 20 cents or more.
When you get a solar panel installation, you can effectively install a mini ‘power plant’ on your rooftop to replace the electricity that you get from your utilities. This means that homeowners that have high electricity rates from their utility get its electricity. This means that homeowners with high electricity rates from their utility are the ones who are going to save the most when they switch to home solar power.
The Cost of Solar Power Systems
The cost of solar power systems is going to vary based on the solar power system equipment that you choose and the solar company that your work with. It may be tempting to get the cheapest solar panels that are on the market, but your total 20-year savings is going to be much higher when you invest in high-quality solar power system equipment. It’s going to important to take some time to review all of your solar power system equipment options and finding the right combination of price and quality for specific needs.
It’s also going to be important to do some research about the solar incentives and solar rebates that are available in your area. These solar incentives can reduce your solar power system's net cost by 50 percent or more. There’s also the 26% federal investment tax credit that you can take advantage of and municipalities have additional financial solar incentives for their residents. Some utilities are also going to offer cash rebates to their customers, to help encourage them to get a solar panel installation.
Financing for Solar Power Systems
Regardless if you are choosing to buy your solar panels or get a solar lease, they will both have a major impact on your solar power system’s long-term value. If you can purchase the solar panel installation with cash, you are going to save more than with any other option. Even with a $0-down loan for solar, your savings could still be in the tens of thousands. While solar leases and power purchase agreements are going to require no money down and promise a maintenance-free option, they come with a trade-off: your total savings will typically be just 10 to 30 percent of your electricity bill.
Are Solar Panels Going to Be Worth it if You Don’t Live in Southwest?
While solar panels thrive in the sunlight, you may be surprised to learn that you don’t need to live in the Southwest to achieve lots of solar savings. Some of the states with the most installed solar power capacity in the country (including New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts) are in the Northeastern U.S. - more famous for their snowy winter than sunny summer days. Why? Because these states are most often going to have higher electricity costs and better local solar incentives than other places in the country.
Tips for Perspective Solar Panel Installation Customers
Get Multiple Quotes for Your Solar Power System
Like with most big purchases, shopping for a solar panel installation is going to take a lot of research, including research on the solar companies in your area. In a recent report that was done by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recommended that consumers compare as many solar panel installation options as possible to avoid paying inflated prices offed by the bigger solar installers in the solar power industry.
The Biggest Solar Installers Typically Aren’t Going to Offer the Best Prices
When it comes to solar installers, bigger isn’t always better. One of the main reasons homeowners are encouraged to consider all of their solar power system options, not just the brands that are large enough to pat for the most advertising. In a recent report by the U.S. government found that the large solar installers are $2,000 to $5,000 more expensive than small solar companies. If you have offers from some of the bigger solar installers, be sure to compare the quotes from local solar installers so you don’t have to overpay for your solar panel installation.
Compare All of Your Solar Panel Installation Equipment
National-scale solar installers aren’t just going to offer higher solar panel installation prices - they will also have fewer solar power system equipment options, which may have a significant impact on your solar power systems electricity production. Bu collecting a diverse collection of solar panel installation quotes, you can compare the costs and savings based on the different solar power system equipment packages that are available to you.
There are going to be multiple variables to consider when searching for the best solar panels on the market. There are going to certain solar panels that will have higher efficiency ratings than others, investing in the ‘top-tier’ solar panels isn’t always going to result in higher savings. The only way to find the best solar power system for your equipment for your property is to evaluate quotes with the varying equipment and financing for solar panels offers.
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