Buy Solar Energy System
There are a number of steps to follow when planning to power your home with solar energy. After choosing which option is best for you to use solar (see step 3), follow the steps afterward that apply to you. Your solar energy installer and local utility company can provide more information on the exact steps you will need to take to power your home with solar energy.
buy solar energy system
Before starting the process of powering your home with solar energy, homeowners should investigate their energy use and consider potential efficiency upgrades. Homeowners should be well aware of their total electricity usage, and consider low-cost and easy-to-implement efficiency measures before choosing solar.
Before deciding on the best way to use solar electricity at home, assess the potential solar energy that can be produced at your address. Because PV technologies use both direct and scattered sunlight to create electricity, the solar resource across the United States is ample for home solar electric systems.
These tools are an excellent starting point and can help you determine whether your home is suitable for solar, and if not, the best path forward for still benefiting from solar. While these tools are helpful, they don't account for all of the variables that need to be considered for your particular system. For that, you will need to work directly with a solar installer who can provide an accurate assessment of your solar potential as well as detailed recommendations, estimates, and equipment expertise.
Purchasing and installing a system that you fully own and maintain is no longer the only option if you want to go solar. Even if you rent your home or don't want to purchase a rooftop system, there are many programs will enable you to still benefit from solar electricity.
Purchasing a solar energy system with cash or a loan is the best option when you want to maximize the financial benefits of installing solar panels, take advantage of tax credits, and increase the market value of your home, and a solarize program is unavailable or impractical.
One of the most efficient ways for communities to go solar is through a Solarize program. Solarize programs allow a locally organized group of homeowners and businesses to pool their purchasing power to competitively select an installer and negotiate reduced rates. This bulk purchase enables more people to go solar because the group model makes the process easier, increases demand for solar, and also lowers installation costs.
There are also online tools that can help you easily find and compare solar installers. Obtain at least three bids for the PV system installation and make sure the bids are based on the same characteristics and metrics to enable comparison shopping.
A federal tax credit is available for solar energy systems. The credit is for 30% through 2019, then decreases to 26% for tax year 2020, then to 22% for tax year 2021. It expires December 31, 2021. Learn more and find state and local incentives.
If you are interested in finding the best solar panels to power your home and help the environment, the sticker shock may give you second thoughts. However, there is another option: Leasing solar panels can allow you to switch to solar energy without the upfront investment.
Leasing solar panels makes the switch to solar energy more attainable for customers who may not have the cash reserves required for the upfront investment in solar panels. However, unlike buying solar panels, or using a payment plan toward the purchase of solar panels, leasing solar panels means you do not own them. Rather, a third party owns the equipment.
On average, leasing solar panels will cost between $50 and $250 per month. This cost is determined by multiple factors, i.e., how much energy you use, the company, your location and your credit score. Plus, some solar companies require a down payment, while others allow you to lease with a $0-down agreement. These costs should be considered when determining if you should lease a solar panel system.
There are a few ways to look at the payment options available for buying or leasing solar panels. In considering these options, the biggest factor may be how long you plan to stay in the home and what money you have available to invest in the solar panels.
On average, solar loans last about 20 years, although some are available for short periods of time. Considering the average payback period for people who own solar panels is seven to 10 years, owning is ultimately the better way to save money.
That means you will ultimately end up spending more than the upfront cash rate for the solar panel. The difference between getting a solar loan and using a solar lease is that, with a loan, you own the system. If you are interested in a solar loan, you will need to shop around for the best rates and terms.
With a solar lease, you do not own the system and therefore do not qualify for government or private rebates or incentives for the solar panels. Depending on where you live, the cash-based incentives may be significant enough to make purchasing solar panels a much better option.
Although solar panels in general add value to a home, a home with leased solar panels can complicate a real estate transaction. If the panels cannot be moved, or the lease cannot be transferred to the new owner (either because they are disinterested or the lease originator will not agree), then you may have to pay more to break the contract. Advertisement THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT AND NOT EDITORIAL CONTENT. Please note that we do receive compensation for any products you buy or sign up to via this advertisement, and that compensation impacts the ranking and placement of any offers listed herein. We do not present information about every offer available. The information and savings numbers depicted above are for demonstration purposes only, and your results may vary. Compare Quotes From Top-rated Solar Panel Installers
Depending on the terms of the solar lease, you may be able to get solar panels up and running on your home for little to no money down. Although you will continue to make payments throughout the term of the lease, you will also save money through your utility bill.
Whether you use cash or a private loan for solar panels, the amount you have to pay to own solar panels is not insignificant. If you do not have the available funds for a cash purchase, then you will pay more over the life of a loan in interest.
Based on the Investment Tax Credit, also known as the federal solar tax credit, you can deduct 26% of the cost of installing solar panels on your home from your federal taxes if you own the system. This credit is guaranteed through 2022.
Depending on your state, you may or may not be eligible for a tax credit for the purchase of solar panels. Because cash incentives are one of the biggest benefits of purchasing solar panels, then leasing may have an advantage if your state does not offer a tax credit.
When you lease solar panels, you get the benefits of reducing your utility bills and helping the environment without dramatically affecting your savings at one time. Depending on the lease program and terms, you may be able to buy the solar panels at the end of the agreement.Best Solar Companies By States And Cities
Owning or leasing solar panels both allow homeowners to enjoy utility bill savings while helping the environment. Leasing is better if you want to get started with solar without a large initial investment while owning is the best way to save money long-term.
The most common source for solar panels is a solar company, which serves as a certified dealer and installer of solar products from major manufacturers. If you have friends, family, or neighbors that recently installed solar panels, you might have opted for this route.
You can buy all solar energy parts individually or opt for a solar power system kit. These systems include all components for different setup options, including off-grid and grid-tie solar power systems.
Solar panels vary in length and width and are typically less than 2 inches thick. As their power output has increased over the years, so too has their physical footprint (length x width). While some panels available today can be lifted and moved around by just one person, more and more are becoming large enough to require two people to maneuver them. The largest panels (8 feet long or panels that ship on 8-foot pallets) are long enough to incur an oversize shipping charge from many shipping carriers. You can read more about the increasing size of solar panels on our blog.
The number of solar panels you will need depends primarily upon the amount of electricity you are trying to produce and the insolation in your area. Solar insolation can be thought of as the number of hours in the day that the solar panel will produce its rated output. This is not equivalent to the number of daylight hours. Check out our Solar Insolation Map for the USA.
Please keep in mind that solar panels produce electricity and should not be used to produce electricity for heating or cooling sources. If heating is your main issue, explore the resources on this website for Solar Air Heaters and Solar Water Heaters in the Other Renewables section here in our Resource Library. Solar air heating and solar water heating are examples of solar thermal technologies which produce heat but not electricity (and are much more cost-effective than solar panels). While solar electric panels are not an economically feasible choice to power your air conditioning, a solar panel can power an attic fan that can help reduce the amount of time you use your AC.
Solar panels themselves last for decades and require little to no maintenance. Many of the first solar panels produced in the 50s are still in use today. Most solar panels manufactured today have a 25-year warranty on power production. A typical warranty states that the panels will produce at least 80% of their rated power after 25 years.
In addition to the solar panel mounting hardware, there are additional components that you will need for a safe installation. Suppose you plan on using just one solar panel in a battery-based system (an off-grid system). In that case, you will need a solar charge controller and overcurrent protection to protect each significant component of your system: solar panels, solar charge controller, deep cycle batteries, and inverter. If you plan on using more solar panels in your system, you will also need to safely wire the photovoltaic solar panels together and to the charge controller. An easy and safe way to do this is by using MC (multi-contact) connectors. These connectors connect to the cables coming from the solar panel and can be cut in half to expose bare wire. Combiner & pass-through boxes collect the bare ends of the wire from multiple solar panels; then, from the combiner box, you can run just one set of wires to the solar charge controller. You will need an appropriate-sized breaker for each series string of solar panels. 041b061a72