IS SOLAR EXPENSIVE?
Most people think installing solar on their home is out of reach financially. Nothing could be further from the truth! While some homeowners can pay cash up front, more than often they will take advantage of a "solar loan" which is available through many different banks. There are a wide variety of loans available, most with no down payment and no out of pocket expense. Solar loans usually have low interest rates that can make your payment equal to - or even lower than - your current electric bill. We can discuss your best financing options during your initial consultation.
Best of all, with recent laws passed in the United States homeowners can receive a 30% tax writeoff on their total solar installation, resulting in significant savings overall. Local municipalities have other incentives as well which add to these savings.
HOW MUCH CAN I EXPECT TO SAVE?
This is a great question, and it depends on what you’re currently paying your utility company, how much sun your roof receives on a typical day, and what type of installation is required to meet your family's needs. During your initial consultation we will provide you with a Solar Estimate that is specific to your home. Overall, we will show you that you will save money with solar, otherwise we will tell you that you're not a good fit. Customers that go solar typically save from a third to more than half of what they otherwise would have spent on electricity over a 25 year period. Many customers basically "trade" their electric bill for their solar payments, and as they pay off their system over the years they can even realize a profit when they sell back their electricity to the utility company!
ARE SOLAR ROOFS HARD TO MAINTAIN?
Photovoltaic systems have no moving parts and no plumbing, so they really have no maintenance that is normally required. There should not be any annual maintenance costs, and any equipment failure is covered under warranty.
WHAT ABOUT HAIL STORMS AND OTHER ACTS OF NATURE?
Solar panels, to be sold in America, are required to be warranted against 1” hail stones. However, in the real world what we normally see is that even hail that exceeds 3" in diameter bounces off most panels without a scratch. Regardless of what type of damage nature might cause to your panels, rest assured you are covered under warranty (or an insurance rider in some cases) and your roof and panels should be covered either in full or less your normal deductible.
SHOULD I BUY BATTERIES FOR ENERGY STORAGE?
Our company is headquartered in Colorado, where we have an average of 300 days of sunshine per year. Many states, such as California, Florida, and Arizona boast this many (or more) days of sunshine per year. Considering your roof is not shaded with tall trees, this ample sunshine is usually more than enough to power your home. However, certain situations may require extra energy storage, or batteries. Solar is for savings, storage is for security of power. Adding a battery is often a subjective decision on the part of the homeowner that they never want to be without power. In that case, the companies we represent are more than qualified and very happy to assist in installing either a grid-tied battery backup system or a completely off-grid system as desired.
WHAT ABOUT COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES?
We work with Brite Street, which almost exclusively offers solar for commercial installations. We also work with companies like Solar 4 Planet A that offer financing and installations for non profits, also offering enticing long-term savings. Let's talk more and see how we can help.
WHAT IS THE INSTALLATION PROCESS?
After you sign up, your solar company must confirm the original design with a site survey, design, and engineering specs, and then secure approval from the utility company before the install. Depending on the system design and size, installations could be as quick as one day or could take a couple of weeks for larger commercial systems. Timeframes can vary from one municipality to another. In all cases, we strive to get your solar on your roof and running as quickly as possible.
WHAT ABOUT MY HOA? WILL IT ALLOW ME TO GO SOLAR?
In Colorado and many other states, Homeowner Associations (HOA's) cannot prevent a homeowner from installing solar or any renewable energy system on their house. If your particular HOA is resistant, we will advocate for you and educate them on the current law. Once we have a professional design set to show the HOA, approval is usually granted immediately. They have an interest in making sure that work done on the exterior of your home is done well and up to code.
WHAT IF I WANT TO SELL MY HOUSE LATER ON?
Sometimes you hear stories about nightmare closings due to the fact that solar installations were leased and not purchased, and the current lease is not transferable so the new buyers have to bring thousands of dollars extra to closing to pay off the current lease. Yes, this does happen. That is why the companies which we represent do NOT get you into this situation! With outright purchase by using a home equity loan (more on that later), or even by financing your solar install through one of the many financial institutions we recommend, you can easily transfer the ownership of your home and your solar lease to the new buyers without penalty. Contact us with any questions about this and we'd be happy to clear up and misconceptions.
WILL ADDING SOLAR MAKE MY HOUSE MORE VALUABLE?
Yes! Studies show that solar adds to the value of properties when it comes time to sell. This is true across various building qualities and in regions all over America. (Read more in this report: “Selling Into The Sun – Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory” ). So, adding solar to your home or commercial property makes tons of sense. Right now, fewer than 5% of properties offered for sale typically have solar, so adding solar makes your property a hot commodity. If you or your Realtor have any questions about this we are happy to provide you with actual market analyses that show the increased value of solar homes vs. non-solar homes on the sale market in several locations around the U.S.
I'VE HEARD LOTS OF HYPE ABOUT SOLAR FROM MANY COMPANIES I'VE NEVER EVEN HEARD OF. HOW CAN I KNOW WHO TO TRUST?
No doubt you're growing tired of seeing endless ads on social media about "free solar" and other outright lies just trying to get you to sign on the bottom line. Also, with the new tax credits we will also see many more solar companies crawling out of the woodwork. The best recommendation? Do your homework! Google the solar company and see what their BBB rating is, or if they have complaints posted anywhere on the internet (www.ripoffreport.com is a good source for unedited consumer complaints). Also, beware of small local installers trying to get your business. Supply chain problems can result in your solar install being backed up 6 months or more! Again, we only work with companies that have top consumer ratings and have ample supplies in their inventory. We do not hire inexperienced door-to-door sales people either. All of our team members are highly experienced in not only solar, but in real estate, construction, roofing, and renovations as well. We will make sure your solar experience is fun, profitable, and enjoyable for many years to come!