In California alone, homeowners have installed over 580,000 solar projects, and saved thousands and thousands of dollars on their electricity bills in the process. In the wake of recent energy bill fee increases and constantly changing rates, many homeowners are seeking to install solar panels to help avoid some of those new costs.
Now is also a great time to go solar. Since 2007, it’s only cost less and less to install solar panels, according to a study by the U.S. Department of Energy. Not only that, but the 2016 Annual Energy Outlook by the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts that these solar panel prices will stay at a steady low until at least 2035.
In this great time for solar, homeowners are asking important questions about the solar panel installation process. We’d love to help find some answers.
- Can I afford to install solar panels?We’ve come a long way since solar panels were first created. Solar panels are now more affordable than ever, and all kinds of rebates and financing programs have been created in recent years. For example, the HERO Program can help approved homeowners pay for their solar panels through their property taxes rather than through high upfront costs. There are also currently several rebates and tax incentives offered by both federal and state governments to help you create renewable energy through photovoltaic (PV) systems. In addition, many companies offer special financing or discounts.
- How do solar panels save me money?By using solar energy, you can lower your electricity costs or even bring them down to zero. Through a process called net metering, several homeowners with solar panels actually receive money from the electricity company for all the extra energy that they produce! For homeowners with families, who run the air conditioning often, or who run a lot of appliances and technology, solar panels can mean saving hundreds of dollars per month. In California, “grid parity” has currently been reached, meaning that the costs of installing solar panels are officially less than the costs of paying the average electricity bill each month. Also, unlike your electricity bill, your solar panel payments will eventually all be paid off.
- How often do I have to maintain them?One of the best features of solar panels is that they require very little maintenance. For example, at Semper Solaris we only use SunPower solar panels—the most efficient on the market—come with a 25-year bumper-to-bumper warranty, meaning that they’re built to last 25 years with little to no work on the homeowner’s part. Any solar company should work with you to ensure that there are no obstructions that could decrease your panels’ ability to soak in the sunlight, but you may have to occasionally trim branches or other blockages that grow close to your roof. Solar panels don’t usually have to be cleaned in order to continue to work well, but you’re free to hose them off to keep them always looking new.
- What do I have to do to install solar?Most of a homeowner’s work in installing solar panels is in finding the right solar company. But once you find the contractor that’s right for you, they should take care of the rest. A good solar company will be licensed, have excellent ratings with the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List, and will keep you well informed about the installation process. Once a solar company has the proper permits from local governments, the installation process should be very quick and simple.
- Where do I go for more information?Contact local and veteran owned Semper Solaris and we’ll be happy to answer your questions—and give you a free energy analysis.