Are you interested in switching to a solar energy system? Whether it’s for your home or business, you might have many questions before you go solar. If so, we have the answers you need!
Switching to solar energy is a big step, but it brings several benefits. But even when the concept has been around for a while, it’s not something everyone is familiar with.
So, here are the essential answers to your solar energy queries. Let’s start!
As the name suggests, solar energy refers to the power that comes from the sun. It uses a device called solar panels containing silicon cells to collect that energy, trigger a reaction, and generate usable power.
Solar panels constantly absorb energy from sunlight as long as it’s available. The stronger the light, the more power it collects.
Yes, solar energy systems work even when it’s not sunny outside. The biggest difference it shows is that it works less efficiently due to limited power.
Nonetheless, your panels will continue to collect energy even through indirect sunlight. For example, if it were cloudy or during the evenings.
Anyone can switch to solar, but solar power systems aren’t suitable for all homes. You might have to consider a few things when looking for a solar company to see if your home or building makes a good fit. It includes the following:
- High to average access to sunlight
- Regular full sun exposure on the roof
- Durable roof material
- Roof condition and quality
Solar panels are long-term, so you want to be sure your property can withstand them. It’s best to contact a professional to evaluate your space before you install them.
Solar installation costs usually vary on the size and type of panels you use. But on average, you can expect to pay around $15,000 to $25,000 for it.
You may be able to install the system yourself, but it usually takes some time to get it right. But note that whether you can do it yourself often depends on the panels you use. You can easily attach some of them to the roof, but others might require more equipment and experience to handle correctly.
Before you go solar, it’s also good to consider the upfront cost. Although solar panels are expensive upon purchase and installation, they offer benefits after that. The payment is one-time unless you need to repair or replace it.
So, it guarantees you savings in the long run. The cost you save varies on your location and average power bill cost. But you can expect to save at least $1,500 a year.
Most grid-tie systems pay back the investment within a five to ten-year period. You can also try solar panel calculators for a more comprehensive savings estimate.
You might wonder where all the excess solar power goes when you don’t use it. Does it stay in the system? Will your home use it all up at once? If you want to know, you can store them if you own an off-grid system.
Most of the time, people put them into battery storage. Otherwise, they go towards thermal energy or mechanical storage. These allow you to use the stored power when your panels have no access to light.
On-grid systems don’t have batteries, so you can’t export them there. Instead, the excess power you generate gets exported to the grid of utility companies for other people on the grid to use. Because of the setup, these utility companies compensate residential solar power owners for contributing.
Solar panels can give you lifetime benefits if you continue to use them, but that doesn’t mean the system lasts forever. You can expect performance differences or damages in 25 to 30 years as it wears over time.
By then, you probably should replace the system instead of getting a repair due to the possible lack of parts. Some solar energy companies offer warranties. You check in with your manufacturer to see if you can use it to save on installation costs.
When you go solar, you get tax benefits and incentives from the government. As of writing, you can get up to 30% tax credit if you install a solar power system from 2022 to 2032.
Your state might also offer you local incentives with the federal tax credit. You can contact a finance professional to clarify other perks.
Just because you can’t afford the whole system now doesn’t mean you can’t go solar. Some financing options allow you to make the switch without paying in full. These are as follows:
You can say a solar lease is like renting a room. You get the rights to use it but pay monthly and don’t own the system. This way, you use solar energy for a lower cost, given that the installer benefits from the incentives.
A solar PPA is similar to a solar lease, but you pay for the power at a fixed rate every month based on how much energy you use. Under this option, the ownership of the system and incentives still go to the provider.
One thing to note with a solar lease or PPA is that you might not be able to maximize the benefits. So, many still recommend purchasing the system yourself.
According to several statistics, solar homes sell for about 3% to 5% higher than non-solar properties. If you intend to put your house for sale in the future, consider doing so once you get the payback amount from your solar energy system.
This way, you can let go of the property, knowing what you receive from it will all be profit.
If you want to go solar soon, you might want to clear a couple of the questions in your head, from what it is to how they benefit you. It gives you a general idea of what to expect and allows you to put it to great use from the get-go.
Check out the rest of our blog for more guides and tips.