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To address most concerns, we have to weigh the "Pros & Cons"

Why Go Solar?

Wondering if you should go solar or not? There are lots of reasons to say yes to the glass! Solar is a good financial investment, it increases the value of your home, and now is the time to do it while federal tax incentives are in place. Let’s take a look at the financial benefits.

Does Solar increase your home value?

Having a solar system on your home increases its value. Studies have consistently shown this. How much? The National Appraisal Guide of the United States of America states that the value of a solar system equals the value of the energy produced each year times the number of years left in service. So, if purchasing the energy produced by your solar system each year would cost $1,928, and your system has 24 years of service remaining under warranty, the appraised value of that system equals $1928 x 24, or $46,272.

What if you are only in the home seasonally? Your solar system is working for you whether you are there or not. Most utility companies must offer a service called net metering. This means that when you get a solar system installed, they replace your regular meter with a bi-directional meter. This special meter measures power flowing both ways— into your home and out of it. 

What happens when you make more power than your home uses? The utility buys it from you. They credit your account and at the end of a certain period of time, if they owe you money, they will cut you a check.

In summary, here are some things to know about solar and your home’s value:

1) Every time the utility raises its rate, your solar system becomes more valuable because you have a guaranteed, locked-in payment.

2) You can recoup the cost of the system with the sale of your home.

3) Net metering allows you to sell your excess power to the utility.

Solar Myths

Solar is more affordable than it has ever been. For most people, it’s cheaper than paying your utility bill. According to Energy Sage, the cost of solar has dropped about 20% in the past 5 years. At the same time, federal tax credits have been extended. Residential solar will be eligible for a 26% tax credit for projects that start in 2021 and 2022. That will drop to 22% for 2023. After that it goes away, so we are in a unique bubble where you can “double dip” your savings.

Other things to consider...

● Solar allows you to count on a fixed payment every month rather than a fluctuating

energy bill

● Solar protects you from utility rate hikes

● Solar raises the value of your home

Besides rock-bottom interest rates, solar loans are also zero down, and most don’t require you to pay for 2 months after your system is installed. This allows ample time for your solar system to get installed so you don’t end up with an electric bill and a solar payment at the same time. It also gives you time to claim your federal tax credit if you qualify. By applying your tax credit immediately to your loan, you can lock in a very low, affordable monthly payment. If your roof is over 10 years old, you may want to take advantage of the attractive solar loan

terms to change your roof as well. Instead of paying thousands of dollars out of pocket for a new roof, it will add approximately $20 to $40 per month to your solar payment.

Other things to consider...

● In Florida, insurance companies may require you to change your roof if it is 15 years old or older.

● Most solar loans are 20 to 25 years, but your system will continue to work after that.

● If you do not apply the federal tax credit to your loan, your payment will go up after 18 months. However, the solar loan payment is still usually lower than (or equal to) your

current utility bill.

94.7% of solar panel components are recyclable— the problem is finding companies that do it (RecyclePV is one of them). The fact that the U.S. has not mastered its recycling strategy is less

about the panels and their components and more about an overall strategy for managing waste. That said, most retired solar panels are re-used rather than recycled. Because solar panels continue to work at a lower efficiency long after their warranty period, areas of the world with lots of land, like the Middle East, purchase them and put them to use continuing to make clean energy. While we don’t have a perfect recycling plan in place for solar panels at this moment in history,

the National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates panels achieve a net-zero carbon footprint in 1 to 4 years, making solar a very "Green" solution nonetheless.

Other things to consider:

● Your household’s single-use plastics consumption over the next several decades will far

outweigh the amount of material in your solar panels (and only about 9% of it actually

gets recycled).

● The solar industry is working on this issue. Europe is a bit further ahead on this than the

U.S., but that gives us a platform to launch from.

● The 5.3% non-recyclable materials are mainly dust trapped in filters. The dust can be

incinerated or re-used as a substitute for sand in construction.

Once they go up, solar panels generally don’t require interference from humans at all! Your panels, inverter, and bi-directional meter should all work together tickety-boo, and there’s no need to worry about them. The only routine maintenance you need to consider to keep your panels working at peak performance is to give them a cleaning now and again. A squeegee and mild detergent (like car wash soap or Dawn dishwashing detergent) will do the trick to remove any film that could be reducing your panels’ energy production.

Other things to consider:

● Keeping an eye on your monitoring software will show you if your panels are losing efficiency due to dirt or another problem.

● Many solar installation companies offer solar panel cleaning services.

● If your panels are not working properly for another reason, this should be covered under

your warranty.

It’s true that not all days are sunny, but they don’t have to be for solar to make sense. Some of the least sunny places in the world are leading the way in solar power generation (Germany, for example). When it comes to looking at whether or not solar makes financial sense for your home, a good solar consultant will use a software program to generate a design just for you.

This design uses a sophisticated software program that takes into account where your home is located, the typical weather conditions, and also things like shading and the grade of your roof. As a result, the estimate is extremely accurate... 100% sunny days not required!

Other things to consider:

● If a solar consultant attempts to sell you a cookie-cutter solution, this is a red flag. The system should be designed specifically for your home.

● When comparing solar quotes, take a look at how many kilowatt hours the system is designed to produce and compare that to the actual kilowatt hour usage on your electric

bill. This will tell you if the system is oversized, undersized, or “just right.”

● Some companies offer a production guarantee with a window of up to 15% overage or underage. This will be in their contract.

Solar installation companies need a license in order to install in different states. This is because there are a lot of chances for things to go wrong. A licensed company has proven that they have the know-how to do the job right. They also know how to maximize your investment by choosing the right panels, installing them in the right configurations, and at the best angles. When you try to DIY a solar system, you are risking several dangers and disappointments. 1) Without proper

tools, you are unlikely to design the right-sized system or to optimize it for production. 2) The electrical work required can cause injury or fire if not performed by a licensed electrician. 3) You risk damage to your roof. 4) You risk a fall from your roof. 5) You may struggle with the permitting process and regulations, causing frustration and delay. 6) You may not be eligible for local, state, or federal rebates if your system isn’t installed by a licensed contractor. Other things to consider:

● Solar is as affordable as ever these days. Most people’s monthly solar payment is less than their average electric bill.

● If you install your panels incorrectly, you may void the warranty.

● If your system isn’t optimized, the amount of money you lose in energy production over time can outweigh the amount you saved doing the project yourself.




Solar may not be the best option, we can determine if it's the right fit for you!

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