Solar Panels For the Right Reasons
This move towards renewable energy is good for consumers, good for the economy, and good for the environment and the air you breathe.
Solar Saves You Money
Going solar will save you money, and you can reduce and even eliminate your electric bill.
Your solar system connects to the grid and unused power from your solar system is fed back into the grid giving you credits while saving your generated electricity for the times your solar is not producing energy. Using solar power gives you a hedge against rising prices. And by producing your electricity and monitoring your usage, your energy bill will be more predictable and protect you from fluctuating energy prices. If you have a PPA, then your electric bill is the same from month to month all year long.
Solar As an Investment
Whether you choose to buy or lease your solar system, you will reap the benefits of lower electric bills and save money. By purchasing your system, the incentives and rebates will offset the upfront costs giving you a return on your investment. In a few years, when your system is paid off, you will reap the benefits even more with tax deductions for depreciation. And with the cost of electricity rising each year, a reduction in the cost of electricity can match or outperform traditional investment instruments.
Solar Increases Property Value
Investing in a solar system will increase the resell value of your home, and in most cases, the sale of the house will more than cover the total cost of installing the system. Adding a solar system is considered an upgrade like other home renovations. According to the Department of Energy, home buyers are willing to pay a premium and homes with solar tend to sell faster if they are energy efficient.
Going Solar Helps the Economy
Solar is among the fastest growing industries in both installation and manufacturing as more and more Americans are getting on board with Solar Power. Innovation spurs economic growth, and Solar is at the forefront of bringing new ideas and new jobs to the U.S. economy.
Solar Advances Energy Independence
Solar power helps promote energy independence which protects from price fluctuations and dependence on foreign fuel sources – because sunlight is free.
Solar Helps the Environment
And most of all, Solar power helps protect the air by reducing the need to burn fossil fuels, the leading cause of pollution. Solar produces no pollution and has a positive effect on reducing greenhouse gases. They say that the elimination of carbon emissions from a residential solar power system is like planting around 100 trees per year.
So why not plant a few trees and have the satisfaction of knowing you are participating in the future of renewable energy while enjoying the financial benefits?
Semper Solaris offers the best in Solar products and installation.
We have various solar financing options available from buying to leasing and guarantee our work with a 25-year warranty. If you are contemplating installing a solar power system in your home or business, we have the experience, credentials, and expertise to make going solar an easy option.
Call Semper Solaris for an appointment today and let us help you go solar.
How does Solar Energy Work?
The sun rises and shines down on your solar panels. Sunlight is made up of photons, tiny bursts of energy which emanate from the sun and hit the photovoltaic panels (solar panels).
Photovoltaic is the process of chemical conversion of light to electrical power.
And so, begins the progression of collecting the sunlight and converting it into electricity for your home.It produces clean energy, has no moving parts and needs no fossil fuels for power.
Solar panels are comprised of a system of various parts that work together to collect and transform the sun’s energy into electricity.
Many smaller units or photovoltaic cells are linked together with metal frames and wiring connecting throughout the panels. The panels have a mounting system and are arranged at the best angle facing the sun to convert the power generated into Direct Current (DC). The total cells per solar panel and the number of panels in a solar system is directly related to how much energy is created.
Semiconductor material like silicon forms the small photovoltaic cells or modules. Although there are several types of semiconductor materials, silicon is the most common type used in making solar panels. These are busily at work allowing particles of light (photons) to pass through the material causing the electrons to break free to begin the process of creating an electrical current. Each cell needs to create an electrical field to generate a current. Each cell has both a positive and negative layer and works like a battery.
The electrical field forces the electrical current out of the cell, or semiconductor, into the metal contacts and wiring that connects the cells and the panels. The current flows into the inverter where it converts the Direct Current (DC) into Alternating Current (AC) which is the current that runs throughout your home.
A solar inverter takes the DC from the solar panels and transforms it into AC. The inverter operates much like the Central Processing Unit, the brains, of a computer.
It not only inverts DC to AC, but the inverter also provide grounding protection, monitors the system, voltage, and current on the circuits, monitors the production of energy and Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) which is the maximum available power. There are central inverters that optimize the entire solar system, and Micro-inverters which monitor each panel. Inverters are tied into your home and usually to the grid through a meter.
The process of collecting and converting sunlight to electricity goes on throughout the day until nightfall, when the panels stop generating energy. The energy that was not used by the home during the day is funneled back into the grid, and that power is credited back to you.
In the evening, the network begins to deliver the unused credits in the form of electrical power back to the home to run the lights and television and other devices used at night.
Semper Solaris knows how solar works, we know how to find the best and most cost-effective options available with the highest quality products and installation. We have various options for panels, for inverters, and should you want to be energy independent, we provide solar backup systems to store your unused energy for later use—saving even more money on your utilities. Call us for an evaluation of your property and let us help you go solar.
Choose the Right Solar Financing Options
With the cost of solar going down, now is the time to cash in on low prices, incentives, and rebates which are available from the Federal and State and City governments. These incentives paired with a solar loan are an attractive investment for homeowners and homeowners are cashing in. The upfront costs of solar, should you choose to buy, will be eased by the tremendous savings, tax deductions, and added value to your home. And if you decide to lease there is no upfront cost, a PPA is the way to lower your utility costs and regulate your monthly electric bill —saving money from the get-go.
You will benefit not only financially, but your community and the environment will reap the rewards.
A solar loan is a good option for those wanting to purchase their system. Solar loans are comparable to other home improvement loans but focused on energy efficiency projects. hey are offered at banks or solar panel manufacturers. And, you can take advantage of the Tax Credits and available deductions as well as the incentives and rebates.
Things to Consider:
- Savings on your monthly bill compared to loan payment
- Incentives and Rebates from Federal, State, and City
- Tax deductions for investment in Solar
- Subsidized loans
- Secured and unsecured loans
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Loans
Finance your solar energy installation with a PACE program. A PACE loan is available to homeowners through an authorized PACE provider.
PACE financing is attached to your property and paid through the annual property tax bill. The tax rate determines the interest rate, and if you sell your home before you pay off the loan, the balance transfers to the buyer.
Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO Program)
The HERO program is a residential Property Assessed Clean Energy PACE program offered by Renovate America, a home renovation lender. HERO financing is for home improvements and solar and energy efficiency residential projects.
Fannie Mae Homestyle Energy Loan
With a Fannie Mae Homestyle Energy loan, you can finance your solar installation. They offer affordable and flexible options to homeowners for energy efficiency and disaster preparedness improvements.
What is the difference between a solar lease and a PPA?
Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)
PPAs offer all the benefits of using a solar panel system without having the upfront cost of purchasing it. The PPA provider installs solar panels on your property, and you pay them a below market rate for the electricity for a set term, usually 20 years. The provider owns, maintains the system, an in return, receives the rebates, incentives and Tax Credits for the installation.
Things to Consider:
- Rent or own your home?
- The upfront cost of solar installation
- Financial burden from a solar loan
- Savings from the lower cost of electricity
- Reduced Carbon Footprint
Whether you lease or buy your solar system, it is a smart idea to reduce your home’s energy expenses while reducing your carbon footprint. Semper Solaris offers a variety of financing options. You will enjoy the benefits of low-cost financing for your system and reap the rewards of going solar.
Call us for an evaluation of your property and to discuss all the financing options available and go solar.
How to Choose the Right Solar Company
So, you have decided to join the trend of going solar. What next?
Investing in Solar is an important decision and a long-term investment. The most critical step in making this big decision is to find the right solar company. Your installer should be experienced and have a good reputation for top quality work and the very best solar panels available.
Going solar is a complicated process, and there are many things to consider when choosing a solar provider:
- Evaluation of Your Property
- Design and Layout of the Solar System
- Permits and Inspections
- The Right Solar Financing Options
Many situations can arise during the process of installing a solar system. Your installer must be very thorough in assessing your home’s readiness for solar.
For instance, if your roof is too weak for the system, your roof could collapse under the weight of the panels.
The company you choose should be expert in roof repair and construction. You can Google to find solar companies in California and see which companies are a good fit. You should have a list of more than one company and get quotes from each one.
Reputation & Reviews
Check companies in your state local areas and make your list based on the reputation of the companies:
- Reviews on Yelp, Facebook, Google Business, and Better Business Bureau
- Angie’s List and other online sources
- News articles
- Recommendations from satisfied customers
Credentials & Expertise
It is essential to know the experience of a company, and whether they have the proper certifications and licenses. You should be able to find these out on their website.
Things to Ask Your Solar Company:
- How long have they been in business?
- Do they handle all the permits and paperwork for city and state require?
- Can they provide examples of previous installations with testimonials?
- Do they have a business license for their state and jurisdiction?
- Do they have liability insurance?
Proper Solar Company Certifications:
- North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABC)
- General contracting, electrician and home improvement licenses
Quality Products & Solar Installations:
- What options and types of solar panels do they offer?
- Do they use the latest solar technology?
- Do they use the best installation equipment such as solar mounting brackets and reinforcement?
- Do they offer Product and installation warranties?
- Do they offer multiple solar financing options?
The top companies offer a variety of the most popular and reliable solar panels and equipment using the latest technology. They offer warranties on products and their expert installation. they only use the sturdiest brackets and reinforcement systems available.
Attentive and Helpful Service
The relationship between you and your solar company should be built on trust. They should accurately represent costs as well as projected savings on electricity and have a track record of happy customers. Look for companies that have a reputation for exemplary customer service.
Semper Solaris’ core values like trust, loyalty and high-quality service. We will steer you through the process answering all your questions and addressing all the problems that arise promptly. We do have a track record of happy customers.
Call us today to schedule an evaluation of your home.
There has never been a better time to go solar!
Play the Safe Bet: Always Choose American Made Solar Panels
If you are thinking about going solar and want to begin the process, how do you choose the best solar panels when you finally decide to go solar? There are numerous available options for solar panels on the market today, and the choices seem daunting. But you can narrow down your options and choose the most efficient, reliable panels made.
An excellent place to start is by looking at the most popular and reliable brands used by the top Solar installers.
Solar panels are made in manufacturing plants all over the world. China is leading the way in sheer volume of manufactured panels. But the unfair competition from China and their illegal practices has resulted in a tariff on Chinese solar panels, paving the way for North American Solar manufacturers to once again dominate the market here in America. The most reputable Solar Companies use American made solar panels which have proven to be the most reliable and efficient, and are the superior option in quality, price, and economics.
Quality & Economy
American manufacturers adhere to the highest standards of quality and offer top-quality panels to their customers.
Semper Solaris chooses premium panels for both quality and economy.
Solar is the fastest growing energy source, and there are huge benefits from American solar-panel manufacturing. Since the tariff on foreign-made panels has taken effect, American Solar manufacturing is reestablishing their standing in the field of solar technology. Jobs in the solar manufacturing sector are on the rise as well as transportation, engineering and goes so far as to affect education, taxes and other government policies including clean energy practices.
The move towards a renewable energy economy will allow for energy independence as we break free from the price controls of the utility companies.
American-Made Solar Panels
America is the pioneer of solar energy. Solar panels manufactured in America benefit from American innovation. They provide more choices, not only in quality and price but promote a renewable energy economy as we move away from fossil fuels.
Why Buy American Made Solar Panels?
- Reliability—proven track record
- Highest efficiency = greater customer satisfaction
- Highest environmental and safety standards
- Warranties – Semper Solaris offers a 25-year manufacturer’s warranty
- Accountability – Manufacturers that stand behind their products
- Customer Service – fast replacement in the case of defective panels
At Semper Solaris, we use the very best products made in America and choose leaders in the manufacture of solar panels that comply with our standards. We are leading the way in promoting solar products made in America. You can count on our top-notch service and the highest quality products made in America.
Understand the Solar Installation Process
If you are considering going solar it is essential to understand the process from beginning to end.
There are many aspects to the process, and you need an installer has experience in every facet, so the project does not get bogged down. You will first decide upon a reputable provider that meets your needs, and they will do an initial inspection of your site. They will take measurements and discuss the options with you, including how much you will save on your utility bill, the available rebates, incentives, and financing options.
After the initial signing of your solar contract lease or loan, you will begin the first phase of your installation which is the assessment by an engineer or technician to evaluate your home for the installation. This visit is more in-depth than the initial evaluation to begin the process.
- The condition of your roof’s structure to make sure it will support the panels
- Your electrical panel for compatibility with the solar system
- The system design for compatibility with your home.
- Evaluate the sunlight and shade for placement of the panels on your roof.
- Calculate how much sunlight your system will be able to capture
Paperwork & Documents
Your installer will handle most of the paperwork and the permitting of your solar power and will only have you sign on the dotted line. There is much work to be done, and the paperwork lays the groundwork so that all the bases are covered before the installation process begins.
- Building permits from City
- State and Federal Solar incentives
- Local solar programs
- Clean Energy Financing programs like PACE
Solar System Equipment
After the paperwork and permits, it is time to choose the equipment and design the solar system for your home. Your Solar provider will help you select the best equipment and components for your situation. But it is a good idea to have something in mind before you discuss final plans. Once the equipment is on order, the date of installation will be scheduled according to your installers availability.
- Permits approved (30 to 60 days)
- Approve system design
- Choose and Order equipment
- Solar panels
- Supporting hardware and wiring
Installation of Solar Components
The permits have approval. The equipment arrives. And now it is time to install your solar.
It will take around two or three days to complete depending on the design and preparation of the roof.
- Solar Panels
- Electrical panel
- Electrical wiring.
- Racking to support panels
- Connect inverter to panels
Final Approval & Connecting to the Grid
Once your inverter is installed, and the DC is converted to AC it is time to connect to the electric grid. The city planning and electric company will come to inspect your solar installation:
- Make sure the system meets all regulations.
- The system is installed correctly
- Has proper connection points
- Check that electrical systems are working properly
Once these have approval, it is time to be connected to the grid and with a flip of a switch—you are now generating clean, renewable energy and the savings begin.
Understand the Solar Permitting Process
After you have signed your contract for your solar with your provider and done the necessary paperwork including financing and all applicable incentives and rebates, you will have an initial inspection of your site followed by site assessment. Any significant structural changes to your home require permission from your local government planning office. The permitting is critical to ensure your installer is meeting all applicable building codes.
If they don’t, then you must start all over again.
Your installer will file the various applications for permits. Permitting involves the city and county governments, and it is dependent on how fast they approve. Some cities are stricter than others.
Your installer should be experienced in this process and will take it from here handling the applications for permits and follow through to final approval. You will only need to sign the paperwork.
The permitting process for solar involves several parts of the Californian Building Code Title 24:
- Building Code
- Residential Code
- Electrical Code
- Mechanical Code
- Plumbing Code
- Energy Code
- Fire Code
As you can see, there are many rules and regulations involved in the permitting process. It can get very complicated and sometimes drag the process out.
The good news is, In California, the Solar Permitting Efficiency Act (Assembly Bill 2188), passed in 2014, made it a requirement that all local governments adopt ordinances that expedite the permitting process for small residential solar systems. Other states have also implemented expedited permitting processes for Solar Systems. Your experienced installer will know how to advance the process so that they can install your rooftop solar within the earliest possible timeframe.
The local permitting agency must review permit applications to ensure compliance with state and local requirements.
- Structural safety
- Electrical safety
- Planning and Zoning
- Fire Safety
After you have gone through the necessary permitting approval of your system design and it meets all the required building codes, it is time to order the equipment and set a date for installation. The installation will take a few days. And once the installation is complete, you have one more hurdle in the permit approval process.
Final Inspection & Approval
The city government inspector will check the installation to be sure the wiring was done correctly and that the mounting is attached, and the system meets all electrical and roof and building codes.
Following that, your electric company will do a final inspection. It will take approximately two weeks to a month for final approval before your system is given the green light to connect to the electric grid. The system will be connected, and it is time to flip the switch. Your solar system connects to the grid, and your solar panels will begin generating power and saving you money.
Semper Solari’s technicians are knowledgeable and proficient in installing solar from the initial site inspection through the final approval of your system going live. We handle all the paperwork and permits and are there with you every step of the way. Call us today for a free evaluation and consultation. We will help you on the road to going solar.
Monitoring Your System: How to Keep Track of Your Energy Production
If you plan to install a rooftop solar system in your home, you already know you will save money. But how do you see the amount of power your panels are generating or how much money you are saving?
Photovoltaic cells in the solar panels transform sunlight into energy and energy into direct current (DC). The inverter is connected to your homes electrical system and converts DC to AC for use in your home. You can increase the productivity of your solar panels by monitoring your system to achieve peak solar power efficiency. You can take advantage of products and services to get the most benefit out of your system.
Most solar systems connect to the grid through Net metering or net energy metering.
A net meter replaces your regular electric meter on your house and is connected to the power from your solar system and the grid. Net metering monitors your solar power generation and usage and keeps track of energy that is routed back into the network grid and stored there.
What you don’t use is credited back to you to be used when your panels are not producing electricity, like at night or on very cloudy days. It is possible to build up enough extra credits during the summer months so that you can use them in the winter. If you generate enough electricity from your panels, you can eliminate your electric bill.
Solar monitoring software for your system works through the solar inverter to monitor your solar system’s performance in real time.
Your solar system will come with built-in software for this purpose. It will track the energy generated and energy use. It will help you optimize energy usage and detect problems in your system.
It is essential to monitor your system, so you are sure it is operating at optimal levels. The information gathered by the software is sent to your installer through a cloud-based system with a website where you can view your system statistics. Web monitoring works with computers, mobile apps, and smart home devices. You can access the data from your mobile devices without connecting to your Wi-Fi.
- Spot problems in real time and minimize your system’s downtime
- See your day to day, monthly, and yearly savings
- See the benefits of upgrading to more efficient appliances and fixtures
- Adjust your power usage to match the production of your panels and eliminate your utility bill
- Run appliances during your optimum solar generation.
- Tweak your power usage by identifying appliances using the most power
- Program appliances like your refrigerator to use energy when the rates are lower
Semper Solaris’s solar panels are installed with a state-of-the-art monitoring system which allows you to keep track of your solar energy production. Our monitoring support specialist will help you access your system through your home computer, a mobile app, or device. You can log on any time to view your system’s performance. There is no better time to go solar, call us today for an evaluation of your home and join the solar revolution.
Maximize Your Investment: Why Using a Contractor for both Your Solar and Your Roof is a Smart Idea
Now is time to go solar. The cost-benefit concerning savings on electricity is enough to justify the expense of installing a solar system on your roof. Add to that the value it adds to your homes resale value.
The government incentives and tax rebates alone are enough to bring the price in range for homeowners. In a few years, the system will be paid off while you continue to profit from the reduced power bills.
Solar & Roofing
The most important consideration when installing solar on your roof concerning durability and the life of your solar system is the condition of the roof. It is essential to have your roof assessed for the ability to handle the weight of the solar panels. But maybe it would be better to maximize your investment and start fresh with a new roof combined with your new solar panels.
Unless your roof is relatively new, it is likely your roof will need repairs or will degrade faster than your solar panels. Why not consider starting with a new roof and a new solar system and maximize your investment?
If you replace your roof when you install solar panels, you will save money by avoiding the expense of removing and reinstalling your solar panels should you need to replace your roof in the future.
Roof Repair vs. Replacement
If you do have problems with your roof needing repair or replacement, there are labor costs involved in taking the panels off and putting them back on. If your hardware also must be removed, the cost will be a few thousand dollars higher than just the roof repair and panel removal. If you combine a new roof with a new solar installation, it is unlikely you will need to replace your roof for life of your panels.
Panels last from 30 to 35 years and are much more durable than roofing material, and they will protect your roof from degradation. A solar power installation will save you thousands upon thousands of dollars throughout the life of the system. So, the added cost of reroofing is well worth it in the long run and is better than taking a chance that there will be problems with your roof later.
The Right Solar Company
Few solar companies offer roofing services. Choosing a solar company that is also an expert in the repair and construction of roofs, is a very safe bet. At Semper Solaris, we have built our reputation on the construction of roofs along with our solar installations.
We offer warranties on roofing and solar as well as great discounts when you install a new roof along with your solar panels. If you need roof replacement anyway, consider installing solar along with the new roof. It is a wise investment to make, and the financial benefit is enormous for both savings and value added to your home.
If you already plan on installing solar on your rooftop, consider starting with a clean slate by also installing a brand-new roof.
Call us today, and we can evaluate your home for a new roof and solar system.
Capitalize on Your Solar Investment – Battery Storage and How You Can Make Money with Solar
If you have or are contemplating installing a solar system on your rooftop, why not capitalize on your investment?
You can profit from your solar installation from savings on your electricity. A penny saved is a penny earned. And battery storage can give you that extra penny or two.
Profit from Solar
With the cost of electricity rising, investing in solar makes sense. And you can create a profit scheme from using solar energy.
Generating your power is a hedge against the rising and fluctuating energy costs. You can capitalize on the savings on utility bills and solar rebates and incentives, as well as the increased value of your home. The lowered cost of electricity through net metering is essentially selling excess power generated from solar, back to the grid.
It comes back to you as credits in the form of electricity when your solar is not producing electricity. By selling your power back to the network, you are receiving credits toward your electric bill as good as cash.
Maximize Profit with Backup Battery
Adding a backup battery to your solar system will enable you to store extra power for your use, get a financial return, or be prepared for emergencies when the grid goes down. If your electric company charges high demand rates, or you have Time of Use (TOU) rate structures with high peak and off-peak rates, you can use your stored power to control costs. Electricity rates are lower during the daytime, and solar panels are producing the most energy.
You can save energy in your batteries for use during high demand or peak hours and avoid the higher rates during that time. Or, you can use the power from your battery during off-peak hours and generate surplus energy to sell back to the grid during on-peak hours.
You will save money and create an income by adjusting to changing rates. Some companies, like LADWP, have tiered rates designed to push your rate higher according to how much power used during your billing period.
Depending on your power usage, and for heavy use days, you could feasibly use enough of your solar power to give you a deficit which would force you into a higher tier. With battery storage, you can monitor your energy and save your solar power to the battery to use on high use days or for overages and avoid all or most of the extra cost of higher tiered rates.
Make a Move Towards Energy Independence
If you are considering a solar system but have not yet made a move to go solar, Semper Solaris can help you make your decision with accurate and helpful guidance from our representative. Whether you have a system already or are planning to, Semper Solaris can install an LG Chem or Tesla Powerwall backup battery so that you have surplus power when you need it. You can use the extra energy to generate a profit from your solar power system or go off the grid.
Call us today and let us help you maximize your solar investment for a financial return and move towards energy independence.
Protect Your Solar System
Solar panels are made of tempered glass and are designed to tolerate extreme temperatures, weather, and other outside factors. They are tested to handle falling debris, hail storms, and very high winds. But many other factors can cause damage to your solar system, and you have no further to look than your backyard.
It is essential to safeguard your investment to avoid damage, loss of efficiency, and even theft. If you have installed Solar Panels on your roof, you will be saving a lot of money on your power bill. And although solar panels are reliable requiring little support, you can preserve and protect the life of your solar panels through regular inspection, maintenance, and cleaning.
It is good to get a regular comprehensive examination of your panel system to see that it is performing at its optimal efficiency and that it is safe, with no issues to the electrical system and components. Inspection is especially critical if your solar system is a few years old.
Comprehensive maintenance for your system should include:
- Inspecting the electrical system wiring and components
- Inspection of the roof for degradation
- Review of monitoring equipment
- Racks and mounting
- Checking for faulty wiring
- Replacing cracked or broken panels
- Thorough cleaning of panels
- Clear debris, such as leaves, or dirt (use garden hose)
- Schedule a cleaning with your solar panel provider OR Install a solar cleaning system
- Keep trees and foliage trimmed So panels are not shaded from the sun and to keep falling branches from damaging your panels
Conserve Solar Power
- Monitor your system and know when your panels are the most productive.
- Adjust your power usage to when your system is generating the most electricity
- Use smart plugs or power strips to turn off appliances not being used
- Use timers on your devices and run the most power-hungry appliances during your optimum solar generation.
- Led lights 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs
- Motion sensor lights will cut down on unnecessary lighting in some areas
- Weatherize your home
- Store power – Semper Solaris can install an LG Chem or Tesla Powerwall backup battery for surplus power.
Protect Solar Panels
- Alarm System
- Serial numbers for your home insurance
- Fence your property
- Use locks
- Pest Guards to keep rodents from nesting in your wires, roof, and panels
At Semper Solaris, we are committed to top-notch solar energy installation, maintenance, and service to our customers. We offer a full system diagnostic with an inspection, tune-up and maintenance services for your solar system.
If your system is older or you have any issues with your solar system, Semper Solaris is a company you can trust. Our solar experts can diagnose and fix any solar system problems you may have from the panels to the electrical system to the roof. If there is a problem—we can fix it–give us a call.
Understand the Value Solar Panels Add to Your Home
If you are contemplating or have decided to go solar and have a solar system installed on your rooftop, you will save money on electricity. And the benefits are not only financial you will reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to the efforts to move away from carbon-based fuels and towards renewable energy. But how does adding solar to your rooftop affect your bottom line over time?
Solar Panels Increase Property Value
The research is in, and study after study confirms that purchasing a solar power system for your rooftop will increase the value of your home. And the total cost of the system is offset by the rise in the home’s resale value even before taking into consideration the incentives and tax rebates.
Purchasing Your Solar System
Adding a solar system is considered an upgrade like any other home renovation only the return is much higher for solar than for a kitchen or bathroom. According to the Department of Energy, home buyers are willing to pay a premium for homes with solar and homes tend to sell as much as 20 percent faster than homes without. And beyond that, the reduction in energy costs continue to produce excellent returns on the investment, saving thousands of dollars for many more years.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory Study shows that property value goes up about 20 dollars for each $1 in savings from a rooftop solar installation. Buyers are paying more to enjoy savings on their utility bills, which makes a mortgage payment more affordable. According to the Lawrence Berkely Lab’s study, the rise in property value is approximately four dollars per watt on average.
A 5 kW system or 5,000 Watts will fetch around 20,000 in increased resell value. So one kilowatt (kW) equals 1,000 watts times 4 giving a $4,000 increase in resell value.
Here is the calculation for a 3.1 kW system:
3.1 kW system – 3.1 X 1,000 = 3,100 watts X 4 = $12,400 increase in resale value.
Smaller systems increase the value of even more per watt than larger systems.Homebuyers consider any size solar installation to be an asset. According to studies, this is called the “green cachet” effect where homebuyers are willing to pay more to have solar.< Solar is beneficial for homeowners and homebuyers alike.
It is clear that going solar is a smart investment that gives you a hedge against rising energy costs, and in most cases, outperforms traditional investment mediums. By purchasing your system, incentives and rebates will reduce the upfront costs significantly and give you a return on your investment. But how does Leasing affect this return and the resale value of your home?
Solar Lease (PPA)
In a Power Purchase agreement, PPA, the homeowner does not own the panels and does not make payments on the solar system. Instead, the PPA company installs, owns, and maintains the panels. You are either charged a set rate for the electricity produced or pay only for the energy used, and the company gets the benefits of rebates, incentives, and tax breaks. Solar leases can last up to 20 to 25 years.
If you are leasing your solar system, the process of selling gets a bit complicated. For sure you are buying the system in the long run, but if you sell before your lease is up, how does that affect the resell value and purchase of the house? If you sell your home and have a PPA, there are two routes you can take.
If the buyer will take over the lease and enjoy the benefits of the PPA, it can still be attractive because the buyer will save a lot of money on electric bills. If however, you wish to take the solar with you or the buyers do not want to assume the lease, what happens?
It will likely require that you pay off the contract at a pro-rated amount and pay the cost of having the panels removed from the roof, repair the roof for the new buyers, and have the panels installed on your new home if that is an option.
Installing Solar Panels?
There are no reliable studies on how leasing solar affects the value of your home. In the future, that will be a consideration for reviews, but there is no data on it now. Either way, you and the buyer will benefit from lowered energy costs.
So if you are wanting to install solar panels, but plan to sell your home in the future, you should find out all the terms for this process and make it part of the contract before you sign. Of course, with solar panel prices getting lower and lower all the time it is becoming more affordable.
And with the addition of incentives, rebates, and tax breaks, purchasing is the better option to make sure you get the most value from your solar power system.
There are many solar financing options, and we can help you find the right fit whether purchasing or leasing.