Does Residential Solar Makes Sense?

5 Guidelines to Help Decide if Solar is Right for Your Home

Have you ever thought about getting solar panels for your house before? Well if you have, then you might have heard plenty of solar companies that say “solar can save you a lot of money.” It is something that will not only help you save thousands of dollars, but will also help our environment. They make it sound real easy right? Most of the time it is, but there are 5 quick things to think about when considering residential solar.

Are you the owner of the house the solar panels will be installed in?

This may seem like a dumb question but it’s actually very important. If you are living in an apartment or renting your home, buying solar panels for your home isn’t the best idea. You might have restrictions on what you can do to the home when you are renting.

Which purchase option makes the most sense for acquiring solar panels?

Cash

This means that you have the financial stability to pay for the whole solar energy system upfront. Then the solar panels are all yours and you will start seeing a reduction in your electricity bill. This option also provides the fastest return on your energy investment.

Finance

This is the most common way that people purchase solar panels. The typical length for these loans is 12 or 20 years. But of course there are different lengths you can finance for. Of course, once the system is installed and running, you will immediately start to see the difference in your electricity bill every month.

Lease

No upfront cost but there is not ownership of the equipment. This also means that you will have never ending payments. You might not be paying an electricity bill every month, but you will be paying your lease payment indefinitely.

Does your home electric bill continue to rise every year?

This is a big factor in considering solar panels. Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows an average of 2-5% increase per KWH every year. Here is a table of the cost per kilowatt hour for every state in 2017.
As you can see by comparing the 2016 table to 2017, the residential prices per kWh fluctuate from year to year. For most states, it went up year over year. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the U.S. average for residential electricity rates has grown by 2-5% annually from 2006.

Is Net Metering for Solar Available Through Your Local Power Company?

Net metering essentially calculates how much power is coming out vs going in at each residence. The reason this works is the utility companies credit you for overproducing electricity and sending back to the grid. For the electricity you don’t use, it gets sent to the utility company to use for others and they give you credit on your account. You can use this credit for under producing months at other times throughout the year. This means that over the course of a year, you can have a complete 100% offset and never have to pay a rising electric bill again.

Are there ways to make your house more efficient now before getting solar panels?

Saving starts with energy efficiency. For example, if you live in an older home that has an inefficient heat source, the cost to upgrading to a more efficient source may be less expensive than getting a solar energy system designed and built to run an inefficient home. You usually save more in the long run by investing in a more efficient heat source and then, only needing a smaller solar system to run the more energy efficient home.

Calculate

Reference your past electric bill to get a good calculation of your consumption needs.

Consult

Consult with a solar specialist to get familiar with their suggested design and equipment.

Compare

Not all solar installation companies are the same and you should see what you can save by comparing at least 2 quotes.

Going solar is a fantastic way to save money, preserve the environment, and take back just a little bit more control of your life. If you have any questions regarding any of the above items or other aspects of going solar for your home, please feel free to contact us at any time. We’re always happy to help.

Begin Your Journey to Energy Independence

Free quote and no obligation. Simple installation process.

Idaho

Big Dog Solar
2545 E. 17th Street
Ammon, ID 83406
(208) 228-5163

Big Dog Solar
1310 Yellowstone Ave
Pocatello, ID 83201
(208) 254-2561

Colorado

Big Dog Solar
474 28 1/2 Rd.
Grand Junction, CO 81504
(970) 875-6202

Big Dog Solar
168 N Aspen Ski Way
Pueblo West, CO 81007
(719) 224-8955

Iowa

Big Dog Solar
797 Blairs Ferry Rd NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
(319) 208-2202

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