Rooftop revolution! 10 important questions about going solar at home.

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1. Why solar?

There are many benefits to installing solar technology at your home or work: solar energy doesn’t harm the environment or depend on non-renewable fossil fuels, helps heal the environment, creates local jobs, and reduces our reliance on foreign powers for energy. But most importantly, going solar will save you money as a homeowner and energy consumer.

2. How much will it save me?

Let’s get right down to the numbers! Once they go solar, homeowners see an immediate and significant decline in their monthly energy bills. Exactly how much you’ll save depends on your usage, the size and scope of your solar system, your energy grid provider’s policies, and what kind of payment options you chose. But the key point to remember is that you’ll be saving money immediately and one you save enough to pay off the cost of the installation and the system – usually in 6-7 years – your electricity will essentially be free as long as you keep using your solar panels, which is actually like generating income.

3. Why is solar so important for our environment?

The damage human beings are causing to our planet isn’t just an abstract problem for our grandchildren to deal with – it’s causing significant and dangerous consequences right now. In fact, we’ve done more damage to the earth in just the last hundred years than in the entire history of mankind previously. Our reliance on non-renewable fossil fuels like gas, oil, and coal are the main reason for that.

The good news is that a solar energy system requires zero emissions, greenhouse gases, or hazardous waste.

How much can it help our environment? For every kilowatt-hour of energy produced by your new residential solar power system, you’ll offset about 2 pounds of CO2. A typical system produces nearly 10,000 kWh of energy per year, so you can reduce your carbon footprint by over 8.5 tons of CO2 per year. That’s the equivalent to planting 200 trees per year, taking over 500 cars off the road for a day, and not consuming nearly 900 gallons of gasoline. That’s just each year and each household – so imagine the possibilities if whole neighborhoods, communities, and cities started going solar!

4.  But how much will it cost?

In recent years, solar technology and rooftop solar systems have dropped in price precipitously. Individual units vary based on the size and scope of your panels and solar system, so prices vary as well. But financing is available so you can start out with a small out-of-pocket investment and still access immediate energy bill savings. By installing solar panels, you’ll essentially be locking in the cost of your solar forever because once your home solar system is paid off, there will be no further costs, while utility bills are rising every single year.

With a quick no-obligation consultation, a local solar energy expert can assess your needs and start a proposal of actual cost.

5. Are there grants, rebates, and tax credits to help with the cost?

One of the huge advantages of converting to solar energy at home is the amount of help you’ll get from our government – both state and federal, and even the IRS.

Your solar installer can give you more information on specific programs you might qualify for, but here are a few:

Federal Personal Tax Credit

The federal government covers 30% of cost of your solar power system through tax incentives.

Personal Tax Exemption

The tax advantages go even deeper when it’s time to file, which could mean thousands of dollars in your pocket.

Property Tax Exemption

When you install solar power to your residence, your property taxes may be exempt from increases in California.

State and local rebates.

There are even rebates, grants, and incentives based on your state and municipality – or city. Click here for more information on California incentives.

6. What financing options are available?

So far it all sounds great, but you still might not want help with paying for the initial cost of the solar unit. The good news is that there are plenty of financing options so you can go solar and start enjoying the benefits without coming out of pocket much at all. While some homeowners prefer to pay cash, others take out a home equity loan or build the cost into a mortgage refinance. But there are also power purchase agreements and solar leases where the equipment is owned by a third-party but you get the savings.

7. Yeah but is there maintenance, and what will that cost me?

Solar panels require almost no maintenance – maybe just cleaning them with a hose a couple times a year. Solar electric systems have no moving parts and are completely weather resistant. Most solar panels are expected to last up to 30 years, and that technology is getting better every day. Solar systems also come with a 25-year warranty, so you’ll be covered if anything does malfunction.

8. What if I move?

If you sell your house or move, you’ll still have plenty of options depending on whether you own or lease the solar equipment. Most likely you’ll want to just leave in on the house for whoever buys your home, as the presence of solar energy is a huge plus for the buyers and will raise your sales price. You can also pay to have the solar electric system transferred or return the equipment to the leasing company and start again at your new home.

9. Why is California so perfect for solar energy?

California is one of the leading states for sunny days, making it a perfect environment to take advantage of solar power. Even in Northern California or areas that get more rain solar is extremely effective, with only a 15-20% difference in electricity generation compared to the sunniest locales.

If you haven’t noticed, energy bills are rising out of control in the state at the same time there’s a huge water shortage, all which can be helped by going Green. The state also has some of the most generous incentives and rebates, making solar the perfect money-saving option.

10. What is the process to get started?

Looking into solar energy for your home is so easy, First, you have an initial no-risk consultation with a local provider to walk you through the options and answer your question. Next, they will come out to your house and carefully evaluate your home. That will allow them to draft a detailed proposal, which will include financing options and help with all available rebates and tax credits. Once you give them the green light, they design the system and prep everything and then come out and install your new solar system. All that’s left is for you to power up and start saving money!

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We know some great local solar companies, so give us a call or send us an email if you’re interested!

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