Have you been wondering whether you should take the leap over to solar in 2018?
Some reasons for doing so are obvious, such as cleaning up the environment or supporting U.S. energy independence. But there may be other things you haven’t considered.
Like any big decision, a pros and cons list is always helpful. Here are some major pros and cons for going solar this year.
Why Go Solar in 2018 - The Pros
Take advantage of tax rebates before they expire
There are lots of great solar rebates (many in California) to take advantage of. They can offset the cost of solar in a big way. But they won’t be around forever.
The Federal Tax Credit, which is available in all states, offers an incredible 30% reduction in solar installation cost. But it shrinks to 26% in 2020. Two years may seem far away, but it’ll be here before you know it. Also, the transition to solar isn’t always a swift process, depending on many factors such as your solar provider, permitting and your utility provider.
Increase your home’s value with solar
In a large study, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory looked at the value of homes with rooftop solar. They quantified it based on homes sold across eight states, and over a fifteen-year period.
One of the findings was that home buyers consistently pay more for homes with solar installed. In fact, the homeowners who invested in solar made back at least as much they spent buying the system. Plus, homes with solar installed spent less time on the market.
Save on energy bills
With energy costs on the rise, rooftop solar can save you money every month. It puts you in control since the rates for solar don’t fluctuate like they do with utility companies.
If your electricity bill comes in around $100 a month or more, there’s a good chance solar could save you big money in it's 25+ year lifespan. You could even end up zeroing your bill out, depending on your energy consumption.
Simply put, the sooner you switch to solar, the more you’ll save over time.
Challenges to Going Solar in 2018 - Cons
Solar might not make sense for your energy consumption
Here’s something you’re not often told—if your main motivator for switching to solar is to save money, it depends on how much you’re spending now.
If your energy bill is less than $100 a month, the investment in solar energy might take 10 or more years to pay itself back in energy bill savings. Of course, after the payback period you'll still be saving a significant amount of money, just not as much as a high energy consumer would.
Plus, financial savings aren't the only reason why homeowners go solar. They might primarily be trying to positively impace the environment, or protect themselves from future rate hikes from their utility.
Upfront costs of solar
The size of your home, the angle of your roof, and other factors weigh into the details of your system.
Whether you purchase, lease, or choose a PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) can affect the pricing structure of your rooftop solar system. If you buy, even though the ROI (return on investment) of solar is great, the upfront costs can be intimidating.
If that matches your own description, there are "zero down" loan and lease options to consider before ruling solar out.
Getting solar is a complex transaction - where to begin?
This is a big one. Even if you’re pretty sure solar would be a great investment, knowing where to start can be overwhelming.
What’s the best equipment? Who are the best rooftop solar installers? Can you trust that you’re getting the best prices and warranties for your home? Where does someone even begin this process?
Solar Pros-and-Cons Professionals
That’s where getting several quotes from vetted, certified solar installers is a huge advantage.
Pick My Solar is a third-party platform to help you troubleshoot these solar pros and cons. It’s what we do every day.
Check out how we do this and reach out if you’d like some help answering these and other questions.