We have all seen the ads and heard about adding solar energy to your home, but is it really the right thing to do? The costs are not cheap, at least not if done correctly, so it is a worthwhile investment? Solar energy has been around for a very long time, people were putting it on their houses for more than 50 years, so why the big push now? Solar has been the dream of many for energy independence for many years, and to be able to harness the power of the sun and not pay for energy is an amazing temptation. Some places, such as out in the wilderness, solar is about the only way to go, other than having a generator. In suburbia? Is it still the right thing to do? Here are some of our thoughts that you can take into consideration.
Recovery of costs
The first thing you need to know is the numbers. How long will it take you to recover the cost of the solar, 1 year? 5 years? 10 years? This is important and also makes a difference in what you get installed.
Not all solar installation companies are the same, and not all the deals are either. Once you find someone that seems like a good deal, get some references and talk to people they have completed jobs for. Search online for reviews as well. There are a lot of scams in the solar installation trade, make sure you don’t fall for any.
Check with your local and state governments and see if there are any tax incentives for going solar. Sometimes they can be significant and almost pay for your panels. Sometimes it’s just as easy as asking.
Decide what you actually need. How much solar. Spending a lot more money than you need to cover your roof with solar doesn’t make sense. Find out what you need and install that, look for where the price breaks are.
House value increase
Solar will generally make you a profit when you sell your house. It can add an average of $15,000 on the selling price of your house. If it cost you $10,000 to install, that’s free money. So you save money on your electric bill, and make a profit on the equipment when you sell as well, how cool is that?
Scams to watch out for
Solar has attracted the same people that used to sell aluminium siding and house alarms. Make sure you are using a reputable company and do your research. Some fly by nights will take your deposit and just disappear, or they will install a system that is far below what you paid for, using distressed solar cells. Again, use a reputable company.
One of the best things in solar is that if there is a blackout, you are not really affected by it. You have your solar and your batteries.
Depending on your power company, very often you can sell the excess electricity that you are getting from solar back to your power company. Not all companies do this, but enough so that it’s worth checking into.
Honestly, we think that if you can get solar energy on your house, that it’s a no-brainer, but we would also say that you have to take the return on investment into consideration. There are many people jumping on the bandwagon to sell you solar, but the prices are going down so it is best to do your research. We wish we could say it’s a simple decision, but, depending on your area and supplier, it can get complex rather rapidly. We love it, we use it, but do your research.