The Benefits of Switching To Solar Are Endless
Take Power Into Your Own Hands
Are you ready for the
Houston has seen a 167% increase in heavy downpours since the 1950s. Texas State climatologist John W. Nielsen Gammon noted that “the overall trajectory of extreme weather in Texas is unmistakable and strongly linked to climate change.” In a world where unpredictable weather and other factors can quickly overwhelm local infrastructure and emergency response, governments are urging people to be as prepared as possible. Solar panel systems coupled with battery storage gives you the option to back up your entire home or just the essentials.
Energy rates are
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), electricity prices have increased 1.8% per year for the past 25 years, from an average price of 8.38 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in 1994 to 13.01 cents/kWh in 2019 (the most recent year for which annual data is available). Inflation could cause energy costs to rise more quickly over the next few years. Installing solar panels may be the best way to reduce this uncertainty about future electricity prices. Homeowners can lock their power rate for the next 20 plus years by going solar and enjoy the peace of mind.
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Frequently Asked Questions
If you can afford to pay your electricity bill, you can afford to go solar. $0-down solar financing options, including both solar loans and solar leases, make it easy for homeowners with good credit to start saving on their electricity bills by going solar. You can quickly find Solar installers and financing options by answering a couple of questions on the SolarSesame marketplace.
There are three solar financing options: you can purchase your system in cash, take out a solar loan to buy your system, or sign a solar lease/power purchase agreement (PPA). Homeowners save money starting form month 1 even when they take out a loan to finance the solar panels. Cost of financing has significantly dropped and you can finance your solar panels for as low as 0.99% APR with no upfront payment.
Solar rebates and incentives vary depending on where you live. The most significant is the 26 percent federal investment tax credit (ITC), which allows you to deduct 26 percent of the cost of your solar energy system from your taxes. Some states offer additional tax credits, and certain municipalities and utilities also offer cash rebates or other incentives. You can check the incentives available in your state by checking our Solar Incentives page.
Unless your solar energy system includes battery storage and you are fully off the grid, you will still receive a bill from your utility. However, you can dramatically reduce your bill, or even cut the amount you owe to $0, with a solar panel system that matches your energy use.
The size of your solar energy system will depend on how much electricity you use on a monthly basis, as well as the weather conditions where you live. Take a look at your past electricity bills and use SolarSesame’s free calculator to determine the best system size for your needs.
Solar power systems that include solar batteries, known as solar-plus-storage, are increasingly popular, but can be pricey. Luckily, batteries are not necessary for most solar homeowners. As long as you are connected to the grid, your system does not need a battery: excess power goes back into the grid, and you can draw from the grid if you need more electricity than your panels can generate.
Solar panel systems are made of durable tempered glass and require little to no maintenance for the life of the panel. If something does go wrong, most equipment manufacturers include warranties. With regular maintenance, your system should continue to generate electricity for 25 to 35 years. Maintenance is usually covered by your contract.
Depending on where you live, shingled roofs can last up to 30 years. Foam roofing will last anywhere from 15-25 years, and tile roofs can last up to 50 years. If your existing roof is nearing the end of its lifespan or needs maintenance, it makes sense to repair or replace it before installing solar. Since solar energy systems are designed to last for 25 to 35 years, it can be costly to remove your solar panels and reinstall them to repair or replace your roof.
When you install solar panels on your property, you will still be connected to the grid. This allows you to draw from the grid when your system is not producing all of the power that you need, and send power back to the grid when you produce more than you use. It is possible to go off the grid with a solar energy system that includes battery storage, but it will cost significantly more and is unnecessary for most of homeowners.
The amount of power your solar energy system can generate is dependent on sunlight. As a result, your solar panels will produce slightly less energy when the weather is cloudy, and no energy at night. But when you consider the high electricity costs and financial incentives, solar is a smart decision. Even if you live in a notoriously cloudy city, or even Alaska!
Solar panels convert sunshine into power, so if your panels are covered in snow they can’t produce electricity. Snow generally isn’t heavy enough to cause structural issues with your panels, and since most panels are tilted at an angle the snow will slide off. If snow does accumulate, your panels are easy to clean.
Depending on where you live, installing solar power can increase your home value more than a kitchen renovation could. Studies also show that homes with solar energy systems can sell for more than homes without them.
Home Solar System Size
Amount solar panels incress home value
If you own your solar energy system, your solar house will sell at a premium: studies have shown that solar increases property values. However, if you lease your system, that is not the case. You will need to either buy out your lease before you sell your home, or work with your leasing company to transfer the lease agreement to the home’s new owner.
Some utility companies offer something called a net energy metering (NEM) program. What this means is they will offer you a credit for any energy your system offloads to the grid. So if your solar panels produce more power than you need, the extra will be sent to the grid and Power Company will compensate you for it.
Net metering is the system used by utility companies to credit solar energy system owners for the electricity produced by their home’s solar panels. That way, you’re only paying for electricity you use beyond what your solar panels generate. In some cases, you can even sell your excess power back to the grid (now that’s power!) Net metering policies differ from state to state, so be sure to ask your Solar Consultant for more information on how your utility handles solar energy customers. You can find one on SolarSesame marketplace.
Start by getting a solar quote for free on SolarSesame. Your quote will be customized to maximize your home’s solar potential and will include all the incentives & rebates available in your area. If you’re planning to buy your system, your quote will include a variety of equipment choices and financing options. Once you’ve made your choice, your installer will conduct a site visit to assess your property. Then your solar installer will file all the necessary paperwork with the city to have your system approved. The actual installation only takes a day or two to complete, so your system can be up and generating solar power quickly.
There are a few criteria that everyone should use when choosing a solar installer. Confirm that they are certified, licensed and insured, have relevant experience, and can provide references. Good news is that SolarSesame takes care of all these things for you as we only work with the top solar companies. Once you select an installer from the SolarSesame marketplace, meet with them in person before you sign an agreement to ensure that you are comfortable working with them.