Nowadays, everyone is talking about going green, and with good reason—tax rebates and incentives are rewarding people for their efforts.
Converting to solar energy is one of the most popular ways to make your home more environmentally friendly while saving money. But is it right for you?
The answer to this question depends on several factors we will consider in this article. Keep reading to decide if you should go green!
What’s the Cost of Going Solar?
Installing solar panels isn’t cheap. People spend an average of $15,000 to $20,000 on their system before tax credits. If you have to take out a loan to pay for your solar panels, you may feel skeptical about how long your efforts to save the environment will take to pay off.
Many different factors come into play, such as the location of your home, climate, roof pitch, and the direction your roof faces. This calculator can estimate the cost of solar panels according to your energy usage and give you an idea of how long it will take for your solar panels to pay for themselves in energy savings.
Will Solar Energy Save You Money?
In some places, electricity is inexpensive, and homeowners don’t stand to benefit as much from renewable energy.
However, most homeowners spend hundreds of dollars on electricity every month, so going solar makes perfect sense for them. Ideally, your monthly payment for your panels should be less than what you pay for electricity so that you can see some immediate savings.
How’s Your Local Climate?
Many people believe solar energy is only a good idea in places like Florida or California, where it’s hot and sunny. And while climates with a lot of sunshine are ideal areas for solar energy, you don’t have to live in one to get solar panels.
People all over the country can generate solar energy, even in extreme climates where it rains a lot or isn’t sunny often, such as Seattle. This is possible thanks to high-efficiency solar panels that produce energy in direct or indirect sunlight. That means they work on cloudy days, too.
Still, if you live somewhere with severe weather, your best bet is to consult with a solar company. They can recommend the best solar panels and give you tips for setting them up to work more efficiently. Moreover, they’ll recommend durable solutions if you need panels that withstand hurricanes or other storms.
How Much Sunshine Does Your Home Receive?
Another essential factor to consider is how much sunshine your roof receives on average. This will vary according to the time of year, but there are several other factors to think about:
- The direction your roof faces
- The amount of shade created by neighboring buildings or trees
- The angle of your roof
Solar companies can assess these factors and determine whether your roof gets enough sunlight to benefit from solar panels. Then, they may offer solutions, such as trimming trees or using micro-inverters in each solar panel. This design allows your panels to generate enough energy, even if one receives shade.
What Kind of Roof Do You Have?
Solar panels are best with solid materials, such as:
- Concrete tiles
- Asphalt or composite shingles
- Seam metal
If you have a different type of roof, you can still get solar panels, but you should consider hiring a professional installer with experience with your roof material. They’ll know what mounting hardware to use to ensure your panels are safe.
Does Your Roof Need to Be Replaced?
If you live in an older home, you’ll want to assess the lifespan of your roof before installing panels. If it needs to be replaced in the next few years, you’ll want to go ahead and get a new roof before installing panels. Doing so will save you from unnecessarily removing your solar panels when it comes time to replace your roof.
It’s worth noting that many people figure they can eventually pay for a new roof with their energy savings by going solar.
Weigh the Pros and Cons
Before making your final decision, consider both sides of going solar.
On the one hand, you will lower your carbon footprint and do your part to combat global climate change. If your home is located in a particularly sunny location, your panels can also contribute to the power grid, providing green energy for others. Additionally, you will get tax breaks, special financing offers, and possible savings in the first five years.
Of course, solar panels aren’t cheap, and the upfront costs to purchase, install, and maintain your system can be high. And, suppose your area doesn’t have a sophisticated net metering program. In that case, you may not be able to power your home solely on energy and rely on backup energy options, such as a generator.
After considering these factors, you can make an educated decision about going green. But, you don’t have to do it alone. Companies like Blue Raven Solar can help you decide whether solar energy is ideal for your home, energy consumption, and budget.
Don’t Wait to Go Green!
If you’re considering solar panels, don’t wait any longer. Federal tax incentive programs won’t be around much longer, and taking advantage of them can make it much easier to go green. Contact a local solar company and ask for a quote!
If you want to do your part and save the environment, read more of our blog posts! You’ll find articles to help you lead a more environmentally friendly lifestyle!