What are some of the key things to know before you go solar? Well, no doubt you’ve heard all about all of the solar savings and environmental benefits this clean energy could offer your home. And if you haven’t, we’ll get into that. Maybe you’re in one of the cities that have set clean energy goals or you’re just plain sick and tired of more frequent power outages. Whatever brought you over to the sunny side, one thing’s for certain: there’s loads to know before you go solar.
Top 7 Things to Know Before You Go Solar
Did you know that solar could account for about 40% of the nation’s electricity supply by 2035? That’s a pretty big deal! It seems like everyone is hopping on this clean energy train and it’s understandable that you want to join them. Strap in, everyone! Before we take a trip to the sun, here are a few need-to-knows:
1. How Do Solar Panels Work?
The sun is a big, bright ball of energy. So, how does all of that energy in outer space make its way to your bungalow in southern California? Or your townhome in North Texas? No matter where you reside, one of the top things to know before you go solar is, how do solar panels work?
While we’ve got this great guide that really gets into the nitty gritty, here’s a quick rundown:
- Solar panels absorb rays from the sun.
- Photovoltaic (PV), or solar cells, convert sunlight into usable electricity.
- Abundant solar energy flows through and powers your home.
Getting power to your home with solar is seamless with the right system. And the great news is, the solar industry is constantly improving the efficiency of solar technology. These innovations, such as advancements with the Enphase IQ8 microinverters, maximize the efficiency of generation and reliability for your solar energy system. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand how solar panels work. However, it’s a good idea to be knowledgeable when selecting the right solar panels for your home.
2. Is Your Roof Right for Solar?
Knowing whether or not you need a roof replacement is an important thing to determine before you go solar. The quality of your roof depends on a lot of factors. We’ve created a useful guide to help you decide if your roof is ready for a face-lift.
Here are some important things to consider:
- Take into account the age of your roof. While slate or tile roofs can last up to 50 years, shingles (the most common roof type) typically last about 20-25 years.
- Be realistic about damage. Whether it’s normal wear and tear or severe weather damage, it’s important to evaluate your roof’s condition before going solar.
As always, the best bet is to contact one of our Solar Energy Specialists for a free roof evaluation as a part of your consultation.
3. Are Home Energy Audits Worth it?
Home energy audits are totally worth it. If you’re wondering how much energy is being used in your home, home energy audits provide the answer. Home energy audits will point out some common ways you might be wasting energy, such as drafts caused by an improperly insulated roof. But they also can tell you which devices or appliances might be using the most energy. Learning how to read your electricity bill could be your first step into learning about your home consumption. Here, you’ll most likely find your energy output and nifty information about your time of use habits.
The great thing about solar panels is, once they’re installed, you’ll find out exactly how much solar energy your solar panels generate. Thankfully, our solar systems come with a built-in solar monitoring system to simplify keeping track of consumption.
4. How Much Money Can You Save With Solar?
Speaking of consumption, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that the average U.S. residential utility customer used about 10,715 kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2020. That’s an average of about 893 kWh per month! And you’re paying for every kilowatt-hour. That’s why solar savings are definitely a thing to know before you go solar.
Here are a few things that factor into how much you can save by going solar:
- Location – Solar savings tend to vary based on your state. Check out our cool guide to solar savings by state to receive an estimate of how much you can save based on your residential area. And to get a more accurate estimation, contact a Solar Energy Specialist for a free consultation.
- Federal Solar Tax Credit – The U.S. government offers a solar investment tax credit that can be claimed on homeowner’s taxes for up to 30%. The federal government just passed the law increasing the amount you are credited on your income taxes. Check out this guide for more information on how much you can save with this credit.*
- Solar Panel Incentives – Depending on where you live, your state and even local organizations might offer solar rebates and incentives that could reduce the cost of your solar system.
- Net Metering – This is a big one! Net metering is a program offered by your utility company. If your solar panels generate more energy than your home consumes, you could receive credits on your utility bill. Check with your local utility company to see if they offer a net metering program for clean energy.
5. Can Solar Reduce Your Carbon Footprint?
According to the EIA, the U.S. primarily generates electricity by burning fossil fuels. This means of energy production releases large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which essentially traps in heat, causing global warming. In 2020, electricity generation contributed to about 25% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the country.
For the homeowner concerned about their environmental impact, solar might be the answer. Solar energy generates clean, renewable energy to your home. In fact, the carbon footprint of a solar panel is roughly 20 times less than the carbon output of coal-powered electricity sources. While solar panels aren’t completely pollution-free, the clean solar energy they can generate for decades is.
6. Do Solar Panels Increase Home Value?
Another important thing to know before you go solar is whether solar panels will increase your home value. While specific numbers may differ, having an operational solar energy system may increase the value of your home, depending on where you live. A 2019 study found that homes with solar sold for more than 4.1% on average from March 2018 to February 2019. If you’re thinking about selling your home, it’s good to know that solar could potentially increase your home’s value.
Investing in a solar energy system is a big decision. So, it makes sense that there are even bigger benefits you can get from it. People are learning that solar is the way to go when they want to generate clean energy and protect themselves from rising energy costs, while also potentially increasing their home value.
7. How Do I Choose the Right Solar Panel Installer?
While it’s great to jump into the ‘“green” side of life, there are so many things to know before you go solar. Probably the most important thing is how to choose a good solar panel installation company, like ADT Solar.
Choosing a solar panel installer can be intimidating, which is why it’s helpful to look for the following:
- Make sure the company you’re choosing has warranties in place. That way, you know your investment is protected in the years to come. ADT Solar offers warranties for labor, a production guarantee, a solar panel manufacturer warranty, and many more forms of protection. Contact one of our Solar Energy Specialists to find out more.
- Read reviews about the company you’re choosing. Make sure a majority of the reviews aren’t negative and that they don’t state the same problems over and over. That’s a clear indicator of a company to steer clear of, no matter how well-known their name is.
- Choose a company that’s been in the game for a while and has a good reputation. This is another way to protect your investment, with a company that will continue to be there for you in the years to come.
Go Solar with ADT Solar
ADT Solar is a leading solar company that also offers roofing services. Our solar installers are knowledgeable in the installation of rooftop solar panels and ensuring your roof stays secure with a high-quality solar panel system. Get your solar panels installed expertly and efficiently. Contact ADT Solar today for your free solar consultation.
*Tax and credits or incentives including those provided by federal, state, or local governments may change or end. This can impact the amount of money you might save. Consult a tax professional to understand any tax liability or eligibility for any tax credits that may result from the purchase of your solar system.
**If you have taxable income and own the system, you may qualify for the federal investment tax credit (ITC). It is your responsibility to determine your eligibility and to apply. Consult a qualified tax professional for assistance and details.