6 Important Factors to Consider Before Installing Solar Panels
There are multiple benefits to installing solar panels to your home — from reducing or even eliminating your energy bill to being an environmentally friendly alternative energy source and reducing your carbon footprint.
If you are considering installing a solar panel system on your home, here are a few things you should consider:
1. Financing Options
Installing solar panels on your roof is an incredible way to save money even though it’s a common misconception that it’s expensive. We have seen a significant rise in adoption, in tandem with solar energy becoming one the cheapest form of electricity worldwide — costs are consistently going down, which is great news for the environment today and for future generations. With the support of federal and local governments, there are several opportunities for tax incentives (like the solar investment tax credit) and additional state and utility incentives on a more local level.
2. Roof Condition and Angle
One of the many amazing benefits of going solar is that the panels are very durable and have a lifespan of 25 years or more. However, most asphalt shingle or composition roofs last about 20 years,1 considering climate and weather conditions like snow, hail, and hurricanes affecting the lifespan. You must ensure your roof is in suitable condition prior to installing a solar system.
In addition to your roof age and condition, you’ll also want to consider its layout, material, and the direction it’s facing. Even if your roof is not directly receiving sunlight it does still receive some sunlight which allows you the opportunity to reap all the amazing benefits that come with going solar if your home qualifies.
3. Energy Consumption
You’ll also need to consider your energy consumption each month of the year and determine why some months are higher than others — for example, you’re probably running the air conditioner more in the summer which could explain why your electricity bill is higher during those months. Based on your energy usage and your home’s dimensions (including roof type, size, and shading), Momentum Solar experts can then help you design a solar system that best suits your budget and your energy use.
The amount of direct sunlight is a very crucial factor to consider. More sunlight shining on your solar panels means more energy production — so if you live in the South or Southwest, you generally have a greater opportunity to produce more solar energy than if you were to live in the Northwest. Places like Island County, Washington (the least sunny county in the entire US) gets only about 60% of the solar radiation in comparison to a location somewhere in Southern California.2 While you can still receive amazing benefits from installing solar panels in cloudy states, like the federal solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and other incentives that may be available in your state, you may need to install additional panels to make up for the lower energy production.
5. Rebate Eligibility
Rebates and tax credits can considerably reduce the cost of your solar panel installation, but you may be required to complete paperwork within a set amount of time. It’s important that you review your state and federal options with your solar company so that you have a better idea of how much you can save with solar.
The Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit provides you a 30% tax credit3 of the price of the system. The credit is available for a limited time, applying to systems that are installed before December 31, 2021. Multiple states additionally offer rebates and incentives, as do some utility companies.
6. Warranty Options
If you install a solar power system on your home, chances are your panels will perform efficiently and hassle-free for years. Nonetheless, issues can occur in rare situations, so it’s important to understand your product warranty coverage by your panel manufacturer. This will help to assure that your service and support needs will be covered if a problem ever occurs in the future.
The right solar panel system allows you to reap the benefits of cleaner, more affordable energy. Aside from the savings, think about the other advantages it has to offer in regard to reducing your carbon footprint to help support the environment.