7 Things to Consider Before Going Solar

Making the shift to solar can seem like a daunting task, however, if you do a bit of research you’ll find that it can be a pretty easy transition. Especially with the right partner. Here are 7 things to consider before you make the shift to solar.

How much does solar cost, really?

Solar panel costs have come down by 80% in the last 10 years making them more affordable. A 5 kiloWatt (kW) solar power system enough to power a typical home now costs approximately $10,000 once government incentives are factored in. The actual pricing can vary based on the brand of the solar power system, choice of financing and installer.  

The best part is that most consumers can now avail of zero money down programs such as leases, Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and loans to get a solar panel system.

Great,  but how much will I save?

In many states it is now cheaper to get your electricity from solar panels than it is to get it from your utility. The average homeowner can save cut down their electricity bill by up to 70% and save between $1,000 and $2,000 per year.  The exact savings depends on many factors such as utility rates in your region, size of the solar panel system and how much sunshine your roof gets, etc.

PowerScout has made it incredibly easy to estimate solar savings for your home. You can get an INSTANT estimate of solar savings for your home through our FREE Solar Calculator.

How long will solar panels last?

Typically, your solar panel system will last 25 years or more. Most solar panel manufacturers provide 25 year warranties on performance giving you peace of mind. Not only this – but it’s also very low maintenance. Generally we suggest hosing them off in the summer, and keeping them free of leaves in the fall – and that’s just about all the upkeep you’ll need.

How do solar panels look?

Solar panels have come a long way in how they look. When they first came out, they were bluish grey in color that some consumers didn’t find very attractive on their roofs. With the latest monocrystalline technology, modern solar panels are all black that can look beautiful on your roof enhancing your home’s curb appeal.  

Is my roof suitable for solar?

Most homes have roofs that are suitable for solar. If your roof is really old and you are considering replacing it in the next couple of years, it might be better to perform the replacement and then put solar panels on them.

Some roof facets are better for solar than others. For example, in the United States, it is better to put solar panels on south facing roof facets than on north facing roof facets to produce more electricity. Also, it is advisable to put solar panels on roofs that are relatively unshaded from near-by vegetation and obstructions.

PowerScout’s FREE Solar Solar Calculator analyzes your roof through satellite imagery and provides an INSTANT estimate of whether your roof is good for solar or not.

Are there government incentives where I live?

The largest government incentive for solar comes in the form of a federal tax credit equal to 30% of the price of the solar panel system, making the effective price 70% of the list price. Since this is provided by the federal government, you are eligible irrespective of the state you live in. Even if you don’t pay income taxes, you can avail this benefit indirectly by leasing solar panels from a solar company for a lower rate than otherwise possible.

In addition, many states and cities offer additional incentives in the form of upfront rebates, state tax credits and ongoing benefits for producing solar energy. To better understand all the incentives you could be eligible for, check out PowerScout’s Solar Calculator.

How do I choose the right installation company?

Once you have figured out that you can be saving a bunch from adopting solar energy, next you need to figure out which installation company to work. It is important to choose the right installer to get a great price and excellent quality. Too often we have seen consumers paying 20-30% more for solar panels by not shopping around. Also, choosing an installation company that has not been vetted can be risky. Poor installation can damage your roof and also reduce the electricity generation and overall life of your solar panels.

With PowerScout, you can now get quotes from up-to 4 high-quality installers in your location who have been certified on our 30 point quality checklist. Not only will you get a great price but also you can feel assured that the installation will be top-notch.