Wind

7 Things You Should Know Before Going Solar

Have you been thinking about going to solar energy? As little as a decade ago it was rare to see any solar powered homes. But now with people becoming more aware of our carbon footprint and wanting to be more involved in going green it is becoming much more popular.

If you are seriously considering this or are just curious here are some things to know:

1. Solar systems are getting cheaper. About $4,950 per kilowatt. The cost has fallen since 2007 by about 50%. It takes afew years to recoup your initial outlay but when you think of what you will be saving it is a great investment. The sunshine your location receives, the higher electric rate you currently are paying and financial incentives all affect your return positively.

2. With a solar system added to your property this may cause a reassessment to be performed. These are triggered by construction that increases the square footage of the structure, such as a room addition. If a property assessment is triggered, in most states, the addition of the panels are exempt from any property taxes.

3. You can profit from your surplus power. Your system will be tied into your local utility grid and, unless you live in a remote area, the net metering from this can earn you a credit instead of a bill. This means that if you make more energy than you need you could get paid for it.

4. After you have installed the solar energy panels you will want to contact your homeowner's insurance company and have a policy amendment done. This will mean you will pay about $10 more each month but it is important to have this added on incase of a fire or other damage.

5. The type of roof you have can impact the cost of the installation. A Spanish tile is going to be costlier than a regular asphalt shingle. Shake and tile are going to mean more intensive care needs to be taken to be sure that any attachment points are properly sealed. This extra time taken can add 10% to 25% to the initial cost of the installation.

6. Be sure to Look for a company that offers a strong warranty, that the inverter is covered for at least 10 years and the panels for 20 to 25 years. Be sure the manufacturer of the panels is based here in the U.S. Be sure the installer is bonded and licensed and no complaints have been filed with the Better Business Bureau. They should be able to supply you with at least two recent customer references.

7. Did you know you could rent instead of buying your solar panels and equipment? There are a few companies doing this. The company owns and maintains the solar panels on the home and sells the electricity back to the homeowner. Then, at the end of the rental period, the homeowner can either extend their lease, buy the panels or have it removed.

Eve Sherrill York

About Eve Sherrill York

Have written online for several years on many subjects. Also use the username 'celticeagle'.

Eve Sherrill York

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