10 Things to Know Before You Go Solar
Going solar can be an exciting and cost-saving proposition for many homeowners. To make sure you get the most out of your investment, there are a few important facts to consider beforehand. Here are 10 things you should know before you go solar:
1. Understand Your Utility Company’s Rates
Before you make the switch to solar energy, it’s important to understand how your utility company charges for electricity. Besides the obvious cost of the kWh, they may also charge additional monthly service fees, delivery charges, and meter readings fees. Additionally, many utility companies have tiered pricing structures, meaning they charge more if you use more electricity, or charge different rates at different times of the day. Take the time to research these fees and rates, and make sure you consider them when calculating the cost of solar.
2. Calculate Your Home’s Energy Usage
Another important step before switching to solar is to determine the total amount of electricity your home consumes each month. The most accurate way to do this is to look at your bill from the previous 12 months, or have a professional energy auditor come to your home to evaluate your energy usage. Knowing your home’s energy needs will be important when choosing the right solar system for you.
3. You Don’t Need a South Facing Roof
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a perfectly south-facing roof to install solar panels. In fact, there are mounts that can adjust the angle of the panels in order to maximize their efficiency, regardless of the direction of your rooftop. Just be sure to check with your local regulations, as some places may have restrictions on the types of mounts you can use.
4. Solar Panels Will Not Increase Property Tax
Many homeowners get concerned about an increase in property taxes when installing solar panels. Fortunately, most states have adopted legislation that prevents this from happening. So if you’re worried about an increase in taxes, don’t be– solar panels in most states won’t affect your bottom line.
5. Learn About Solar Warranties
Most solar panel systems come with warranties that cover defects and other performance-related issues. It’s important to understand your warranties before purchasing, as this will help ensure that you aren’t stuck with an unusable system should any issues arise. A good rule of thumb is to look for warranties of at least 25 years, such as those offered with SolarWorld and SunPower solar panels.
6. Learn How Long Solar Panels Last
The good news is solar panels can last for decades. In fact, most solar panel manufacturers guarantee their panels for 25 years or longer, and depending on the brand, some will even guarantee their panels for up to 40 years. So not only will you get years of savings from switching to solar, but you can also be sure your investment will last for years to come.
7. Research the Best Available Solar Incentives
When it comes to making the switch to solar, there are a variety of incentives available for homeowners. Depending on your location, you may qualify for federal solar tax credits, local incentives, or other forms of support. Taking the time to research the available incentives will help ensure you maximize your savings and get the best value for your purchase.
What Do I Need to Know Before Buying Solar Panels?
When considering switching to solar, it’s important to do you research and make sure you understand all the costs and details involved. Take the time to understand your utility company’s rates and fees, calculate your home’s energy usage, become familiar with warranties and the longevity of solar panel systems, and look for any available incentives. Doing this will help you make the right decision for your home and ensure you get the best value for your purchase.