Are you mindful of energy you use? Want to help with improving our environment while contributing to the community? Solar power is quickly gaining in popularity and now is a great time to take a look at Solar because it’s more affordable than ever. There are a few things to understand when making the decision on whether or not to go solar, all of which are important, and can play a significant role in your choice. A little reading and effort can go a long way towards ensuring you make the right choice, and get the correct system for your individual needs.
Why Use Solar Energy?
Solar energy provides numerous benefits over using traditional electric power from outside companies. Understanding these benefits is helpful in deciding if your situation could improve by having a solar system installed.
Savings on Your Electric Bill
By far, the most popular reason for switching to solar energy for the home is the amount of money that can be saved each year, when compared to using traditional electric services. This reason becomes even more important as years pass, given the steady increase in energy costs over the past decade, which has been on average 2-3% increase year over year. Solar energy costs are fixed, the energy source is free and prices will not rise like those seen from a power company.
It is important to note that with some solar panel systems, it can take a period of time before you actually see any extra money in your pocket. Many times, switching to solar should be considered a long-term investment, rather than an immediate way to increase your monthly resources. It all depends on how you pay for your installed system, which is broken down in greater detail below.
Increase in Property Value
Boosting the value of your home is another prime reason to install a solar system. Recent research has shown that doing so can increase your home’s value on an average of $6,000 for each kilowatt your system produces. This can tack on tens of thousands of dollars to your home’s resale value, which is easily higher than the initial equipment cost
Different Ways to Pay for Solar
Several options of how to pay for your solar energy are available, each with its perks and benefits for different goals and situations. Sunrun, a leading provider of quality and affordable solar panel systems, offers choices that satisfy most of these goals and scenarios, and can be tailor-made to fit individual preferences.
If you are not in a position to shell out the money for a solar system upfront, and do not need to own the system yourself, the option to simply pay a fixed, monthly fee is a good pick. There are a couple of situations this model applies to, including:
- Pay for Use: The system is installed, and you pay only for the amount of power being used, rather than the system itself. This is where you see the most immediate savings, as traditional power companies charge around 20 percent more for their energy. This rate is also fixed, and not subject to the increases in traditional energy costs over the years. However, the added value to your home is lower, since you do not actually own the system.
- Loan: If you would rather own your system, but do not have enough capital to pay for everything at once, loans are available directly from providers like Sunrun. No down payment, and a lower, fixed payment each month over traditional energy costs, mean you see both long and short-term savings.
This option is good if your primary goals are either long-term savings, or want to increase your property value as much as possible. The easiest way to look at it is to deduct what you would have paid each month for traditional energy from the entire upfront cost of the solar system, until the balance reaches zero. Energy costs after that would be virtually nonexistent, which will accumulate over time to a value much higher than if you always pay a monthly bill. The government also gives you a 30 percent tax credit, which allows you to reach that threshold even quicker.
Another option offered by Sunrun, is where you pay a fixed amount for a specific period of time, all upfront. This locks in a specific, low rate that will never increase, since the entire sum has already been paid in advance. While you would not own the system, you would have the assurance that comes from knowing that industry professionals stand ready to help with any problems or maintenance needs. If you own your own system, you usually must perform these tasks yourself.
The Sunrun Difference
While there are plenty of solar system companies to choose from, not all are equal in both quality and service. Solid warranties for both workmanship and roof, a 95-percent performance guarantee, and competitive rates all translate into one of the best sources for all your residential solar-energy needs.
I think this article needs to go into how solar power can get sold back to the Grid to increase savings