- Renewable & Alternative Energy
Why Rooftop Solar Is Becoming a Smarter Choice for Tech Savvy Homeowners
Solar is more popular than ever!
What’s driving this trend?
Some of it is a society-wide desire to be more environmentally-sensitive energy users. Solar companies cite a favorable regulatory environment that encourages more solar-friendly incentive programs.
Costs of systems have dropped by over 50% over the last 5 years reducing the “payback period” to 5 to 7 years. Since the average system lasts for approximately 25 years that means 18 to 20 years of “free” electricity. No more worries about utility price increases as you are generating all the electricity that you need.
Local governments and power companies are certainly doing their part. Some programs pay homeowners who own solar systems for each kilowatt hour their solar panels generate by applying a credit to home electric bills. In some places, such as Rhode Island, the credit is higher than the utility rate, meaning homeowners can pay off the system faster and enjoy years of clean, renewable solar energy. Even cold and cloudy Minnesota recently announced it has added more solar capacity in the first three months of 2017 than in all of 2016. The Federal Government also allows a 30% tax credit for any system installed before the end of 2019 which further reduces the upfront cost of the system.
Solar savings: up to 100 percent on homeowner electric bills
Properly sized systems can reduce the usage portion of your utility bill to Zero!
How much you save depends on the amount of your average electric bill, the location of your home, its orientation to the sun and what local solar programs are in place. But the savings are definitely real, the technology is readily available, and governments are getting behind solar in a big way.
So what’s stopping most people from cutting the (electric) cord and going solar? The most common answers are complexity and cost.
Solar requires intricate measurement, permits, professional installation and proper connections to the power grid. Complicated! Solar also has a reputation for high upfront costs, high pressure sales tactics and poor customer service.
There are other new companies making solar more affordable, less complicated
But those old stereotypes are breaking down like old air conditioners. A growing solar manufacturing sector is producing innovation and competition, putting downward pressure on prices, which have been dropping for years.
A rise in consumer service companies is also steering the solar ship, making the rooftop solar process much easier for homeowners to navigate.
Websites like One Click Solar for example, helps identify solar’s potential for an individual home by delivering a full set of solar-related information and services about any specific property in the U.S.
Here’s how websites are doing it:
1) Do it all online!
It’s axiomatic that you can only make something simple when you understand it deeply. The website has pared down the complexities of solar power to their essence. You get a simple set of questions and information requests that instantly generate information relevant to your address.
2) An estimate of the size of the system you need in seconds – free
With just your address and average electric bill, generates an instant estimate of the square footage of solar installation you will need to offset your energy usage costs.
3) Pick out your roof on the map and see what happens
Outline your rooftop on google maps, then watch as you instantly get the number of peak sun hours your roof receives and other data pertinent to how well solar will work for you. Browse anonymously at your convenience until you are ready to decide.
4) Instant cost estimates and finance options (prepare to be pleasantly surprised)
Register online and check off finance and ownership options and get cost estimates, including monthly payments, automatically. Solar prices have been declining for years. Your costs may be much less than you think.
5) Eyes-on inspection is scheduled automatically
The website will instantly generate a calendar invitation for a certified, bonded local solar installation professional to inspect your home and answer questions. You can accept, decline or reschedule the appointment without leaving the page.
6) The Website takes it from there
If you decide you’re on board with solar, you can relax. Measurements and installation, permitting, system monitoring, connecting to the electric grid and other services are carried out under the contractors supervision.
With costs heading down, complexity being managed by professionals, and homeowner savings on the rise, residential solar has become a practical choice for prudent, energy conscious homeowners.
Here an example of just that!
Are you ready to cut the cord?
Keep an eye out for this new trend of buying solar for your home on the web.
What's most important to you?
What is most important to you when buying solar for your home?
© 2017 Michael Salvati