It can be stressful to move. Here’s something you might be surprised to learn: Moving can actually be quite enjoyable. You can find many positive things you can do to make moving less stressful and more exciting.
It is, for example, a lot of fun to move into a house and make it your own. This is especially true for first-time homeowners whose design and home-improvement skills were limited by their landlord. Your personality and the size and scope of your projects will determine the style and extent to which you can make them your own.
Solar panel installation is a great home improvement project that will help you save money and set your living space apart.
We are not talking about updating kitchen cabinet hardware or painting a statement wall. Although solar panel installation can be a costly home improvement project, it could pay off in the long term.
We have compiled this list of 5 things to do and know before you install solar panels on your new home.
- Location, Location, Location
Although it may sound like a well-worn real estate phrase, “location, location, and location” is still a powerful truism when it comes to choosing the right home for solar panel installation. Particularly, where you live is crucial to your ability to save money with a solar home.
Each state has its own rules and laws regarding solar panel installations. These include how much renewable energy utilities must purchase, how much money you are allowed to save for each kilowatt-hour of solar energy, and whether you can pay your solar panel costs over time or if you have to pay the full amount upfront.
The great news about incentives is that all taxpayers in the country are eligible for a federal tax credit of 30% towards the cost of installing solar. This can save you tons of money. Combining this credit with incentives from other states can cut down the time it takes solar panels to pay off their costs to as low as 5 to 6 years.
- Research, Research, Research
Once you have established that your state supports solar dreams, it is time to assess if your house is suitable for solar.
The first step in switching to solar power is to determine how much energy you currently use to power your home. Next, look at cost-effective ways to lower that amount before investing in solar. You may find that it is cheaper to reduce your consumption before you invest in solar panels than to buy more.
You might be able to audit your energy use, change out old bulbs, and check for unusual spikes in usage. This could indicate a problem with the wiring. You might be eligible for rebates from your utility company to purchase modern, energy-efficient appliances that use less electricity than older models.
Once you have taken these energy-saving steps, allow yourself to compare your average usage to previous years. The amount of electricity you use is a good indicator of how much solar energy you will need.
Next, Rate Your Roof
Are you able to install solar panels on your roof? This is the ideal candidate:
- You are not too old (less than 10 years).
- Made from asphalt shingles, standing seam metal, or tiles
- Constructed with a large, unobstructed face that points somewhere between southeast and southwest
- All-day, there is no shade
Although not all the criteria above are mandatory, it is possible to have a solar panel installed if your roof does not meet these requirements.
Solar panels can be placed on older roofs, but it is possible to have them removed and reinstalled if they are needed during their 25-year lifespan. Also, shading can reduce solar energy output and roof obstructions can increase labor costs.
- Get Multiple Solar Quotes And Check The Math
It was a standard practice in the past for solar salespeople to conduct an on-site assessment before providing you with a quote. LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), surveying, and other advanced technologies allow you to determine the pitch of your roof, sunlight hours, and more, without having to be present by a salesperson. Solar companies also offer easy ways to obtain multiple, hassle-free quotes for home solar online.
Once you have done your research, make sure to verify the math. Comparing cost, equipment, projected energy production, and savings estimates is a good idea. We recommend that you consult a neutral third party to verify that the estimates are accurate and supported by data.
One such neutral third party is the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), which is a U.S. Department of Energy taxpayer-funded entity. The PVWatts online tool has been created. This allows you to compare estimates from solar energy producers with an impartial data set.
- Saving Money While Building Value
How many home improvements will save you money in the long term? Solar panels are not only useful for this: They increase your home’s worth immediately after they’re installed and save you money as you use them more often. Be aware that these savings may not be possible without spending some money.
A solar system installation will cost approximately $25,000, before tax savings and incentives. But don’t be surprised by the sticker shock! A federal tax credit may be available that will reduce the cost of your solar panels by $7,500 in the first year. Your solar panels will average a savings of up to $1,000 per year. This amount increases as your utility company raise its rates.
Solar performance payments, in some cases, can be used by the state to reduce solar’s payback time down to 5 years. It all depends on where you live.
- Solar Is A Commitment
You get a 25-year warranty on solar panels. This means that you will receive at least 85% of your original electricity production by the end of 25 years from the date of installation. This is a very safe bet as there are many examples of solar panels that were installed 30 years ago and still produce as much electricity as when they were new.
This is a wonderful thing. However, it also means that you must plan for the future. You want to make sure that you choose the right installer. They will provide warranties for their work and the roof penetrations they will need to complete while installing your system. A new central inverter is required for most home solar systems after 10 to 15 years. This can be as high as $1,000.
Get multiple quotes and compare the numbers. Ask former clients about the long-term commitment of the installer before you sign anything.
It’s a joyous aspect of solar ownership that is endlessly entertaining: telling people how amazing your panels are for the next 25-years.
This post was written by Daniel Massaad, owner and expert solar technician at Energy Solutions Direct! ESD Solar offers knowledgeable and efficient solar panel installation in Dayton Ohio! Our licensed and certified contractors are masters of their craft; with years of experience servicing the great Tampa Bay area and beyond, the choice is simple. ESD excels at offering you the best in solar value!