Are Solar Panels Really Worth It?

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By Megan Murphy
23 Feb 2021

ARE SOLAR PANELS REALLY WORTH IT?

Well we (of course) are going to say yes, but what will help YOU is if we tell you what factors have to be in place in order for solar panels to be worth the price. Here’s a simple, factual guide to help you decide.

FACT:

Electricity is currently provided by large utility providers. This centralized distribution means one company is responsible for pushing out all the energy to thousands, if not millions, of customers. This monopoly-type model means the utility companies are in complete control. It also means they set the rates, and in most cases, you can’t “shop around” for your electricity.

When you install a solar panel system, you are effectively installing your own personal power plant and creating/owning your OWN energy.

Something to consider - if you install solar and stay tied to the grid (meaning you sell any  electricity you don’t use back to the utility company for a credit toward your bill), then you are still “grid-tied” and will lose power if the grid goes down.

If you install solar and a home battery backup, then you are self-sufficient and can create, store, and use your own electricity without being completely reliant on your utility company.

FACTORS TO CONSIDER:

Your property - how is your roof? Do you get sun? Would you need to factor shading or tree removal into the cost of your project? RisingSun will work with you on this. Do you have land and prefer a ground mount system? Are you considering solar for a commercial property?

Your electricity bill - what is your bill now? Compare your current rate to last year’s, the year before - has it gone up? Nationally, the average rate increase is around 3%.

Cost of Solar Panel System - now consider the cost of installing a solar panel system. Will the payments toward the loan you took out to install the system be less than your current bill? In most cases, the answer is yes. Plus, that rate doesn’t change. You’re effectively locking in your rate because you’re paying the bank back for your system at a fixed monthly amount. No more rate increases from your utility company.

Cash, Financing, Interest Rates - are you planning to pay cash? If not, which company offers the best financing options? What do the loan interest rates look like? RisingSun has worked to find the best lenders in the industry, and because of this, we’re able to offer rates as low as 0.99% (depending on your creditworthiness.)

Solar Rebates, Incentives, Federal Tax Credit - here is one of the biggest financial reasons to go solar. In December 2020, the Federal Tax Credit was extended. This means, right off the bat you’re going to get 26% back in the form of a tax credit for your solar project. Then, you have to factor in any rebates or incentives from your utility company (and RisingSun’s team will help you find that money.)

Something to consider: You might be asking yourself, “But why would the utility company offer me a rebate to go solar if they’re going to lose money when I become an independent power producer?” Great question.

The federal government has mandated a certain percentage of the energy created by utility companies must be “clean energy.” By having a certain number of customers with grid-tied solar panel systems, this is how the utility companies meet that federal quota.

Non-Financial reasons to invest in solar - are you interested in reducing your carbon footprint? Does producing clean energy hold significance for you? There are many reasons people choose to go solar and the “green” aspect of it can be a big motivator.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Get multiple quotes - don’t just sign with the first company you meet with, even if it’s RisingSun! Do your homework. This is a big investment, and you need to make sure you’re getting the best value for your money, the best equipment for your expectations, and the best forecasted ROI.

Bigger isn’t always better - make sure whoever you’re working with is selling you a size appropriate system. Bigger panels aren’t always best - there are different panels for different uses: commercial, residential, ground mount systems, traditional roof mount systems. It also makes zero sense to produce more energy than you use because you’ll reach a point of diminishing returns.

We offer these pointers to you free because we want you to get the most for your money, and to make wise decisions when going solar. We’d love to earn your business, but even if we don’t, we don’t want to see anyone get taken advantage of while making the switch to clean energy. Reach out, we’re here to help.