What To Know Before Purchasing a Solar Energy System for Your Home
Solar energy is growing fast, with large numbers of homeowners having systems installed to supplement the electricity they get from their local utility grid. Here are some things you should know before purchasing a solar energy system for your home.
1. You’ll still pay utility bills if you stay on the grid
Solar systems are designed to supplement your energy needs. Most solar homeowners are still connected with their local utility provider, which means there will be some charges for electricity consumption as well as taxes and delivery fees. The good news is that this bill should be significantly reduced.
2. If you lease your system
Typical residential solar systems are made to operate in a home for 20 years or more. If you think you’ll move during your system’s contract period, find out ahead of time what your solar company’s policy is on transferring the lease to a new owner.
3. If you buy a system
Homeowners who purchase their solar systems outright can qualify for a variety of incentives, one of the most substantial being the federal solar Investment Tax Credit. This credit provides a 30% tax break through 2019 and slightly smaller percentages over the next two years.
4. One size doesn’t fit all
The solar system you purchase should be the right size for your energy needs. The Department of Energy provides a calculator to help you determine how much energy a given system will produce for you. Before shopping, calculate your monthly electricity use in order to install a system that will bring you the savings you desire.
5. Factors that affect the energy generation of a solar system
Several factors should be considered when determining the amount of power a new solar system will generate. These include:
· How much sun throughout the day will be in direct contact with your solar panels
· The condition and angle of your roof
· The compass direction faced by the part of the roof where the panels will be installed
· The number of sunny days you have where you live vs. days that are rainy, snowy or otherwise overcast
· How much shade your panels would get from trees or other structures, and if anything can be done to increase the amount of available sunlight
Other important questions to answer before purchasing a solar energy system for your home:
· What is the amount of upfront fees you’ll pay?
· If you purchase with a loan, what will the annual percentage rate be?
· How will your payments be calculated, and will they vary during the term of the loan?
· Will you be facing a balloon payment at the end of the loan?
· Can a lien be placed on your home or your solar system by the lender?
Buying a solar system for your home is a serious undertaking. It’s always best to do your homework ahead of time and then consult with a trusted expert in the field who can guide you to the best decisions.
Burlington Fireplace & Solar of Wisconsin understands the many variables involved in a solar purchase and installation and is here to answer your questions. And when you visit us at 857 Milwaukee Ave. in Burlington, you can see a fully installed, 24-module solar array in front of our store. Learn more about solar for your home by calling (262) 763-3522.