Solar energy is rapidly becoming a popular choice for homeowners and businesses alike. As the demand for renewable energy grows, so does the number of solar providers and the variety of solar products on the market. Before you make the leap into solar, it's crucial to arm yourself with the right information. Here are 11 essential questions you should ask before buying a solar system.
Why it's important: The system size will determine how much electricity you can generate. The estimated electricity offset will tell you how much of your current electricity usage can be replaced by solar. This helps in understanding potential savings.
Why it's important: The price per watt gives you a standardized way to compare costs between different solar providers. It's a clear metric that can help you understand the value you're getting. (PS We sell at about $1.85/w before incentives for our DIY option. That's 40% lower than your average full-install!)
Why it's important: The federal government offers a 30% tax credit for your solar project! On top of that, many governments and utilities offer incentives, such as tax credits or rebates, to encourage solar adoption. Knowing what's available can significantly reduce your upfront costs and improve the return on your investment.
Why it's important: Some solar systems can provide power during blackouts, while others can't. Knowing this can help you prepare for emergencies and decide if investing in batteries is right for you.
Why it's important: Net metering allows you to send excess solar energy back to the grid, often in exchange for credits. If your city offers this program, you might not need batteries to store energy. However, if it doesn't, batteries can help you maximize the use of your generated solar power.
Why it's important: This helps you plan financially and understand when you'll start benefiting from your solar system.
Why it's important: Warranties protect your investment. Knowing the duration and coverage of these warranties can give you peace of mind and save you from unexpected costs in the future.
Why it's important: A company's track record can give you insights into their reliability and the quality of their installations. References can provide real-world feedback on their services.
Why it's important: Solar panels don't last forever. Knowing their lifespan and degradation rate can help you calculate long-term benefits and decide when it might be time to replace or upgrade.
Why it's important: Dealer fees can add a significant amount to the total cost. They are also referred to as "origination fees" and are a flat fee slapped on top of your total system cost. Being aware of these fees ensures you're not caught off guard and can budget accordingly. (Learn more about dealers fees here.)
Why it's important: In many cases, solar panels can increase property value due to reduced energy costs. However, it's essential to understand the potential impact, especially if you plan to sell in the future.
Investing in solar energy is a significant decision that requires careful consideration. By asking these 11 questions, you'll be better equipped to make an informed choice that suits your needs and maximizes your benefits. Remember, the more you know, the brighter your solar future will be!