Residential Solar Benefits

Facts About Solar Energy
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In the solar industry, there are three main divisions of solar: utility, commercial, and residential solar.

When looking for solar, homeowners have two options. They can opt into their utility’s solar program, or they can find a residential solar company.

Although businesses and utility companies have installed the largest share of solar, residential solar is a viable energy solution. The ROI of solar makes it a particularly appealing option.

The Financial Benefits of Using a Residential Solar Company

One of the reasons residential solar has grown is because homeowners realize its savings potential. Although the cost per watt is less for utility-scale solar, utility customers are often charged more for it.

Photo Credit: NREL

Utility companies with solar programs often charge participants a fee on top of the regular rate. While adding the infrastructure and acquiring the land for the panels costs the utility, the upkeep of this energy source is less intensive, making for lower long term costs in solar farms. It is uncertain why these programs are more expensive. However, it seems it is to deter customers from choosing this energy option.

What Goes into the ROI of Residential Solar

When homeowners purchase solar, they receive a federal tax credit. This tax credit, along with net metering and any state incentives, makes residential solar thousands of dollars cheaper than purchasing power through the utility. 

Increased Home Value and Residential Solar

A Zillow study found that homes with purchased solar arrays increase home value. How much solar panels increase the home’s value depends on the location. However, in general, homes with solar have sold for 4.1 percent more.

Qualifying for Residential Solar

Those who qualify for residential solar save thousands on their electricity bills. However, while everyone wants solar, not everyone qualifies for it.

There are several factors that individuals and their homes need to have in place before they can make residential solar a reality. Not qualifying for solar, however, doesn’t mean residential solar isn’t a possibility. It just means these individuals need to take specific actions until they can meet these conditions.   

Reviewing the qualification steps for solar helps individuals determine when to purchase a solar array. See if now is a good time for you to go solar by looking at some of the qualifying factors below.

Solar And Homeownership

To get a solar array for a home, the potential customer first has to own the home. Those who rent or own a mobile home will have to participate in a utility or community solar program until they can move toward homeownership.

Financing Solar 

Because solar is a big-ticket item, the homeowner needs a decent credit score or cash so they can finance the array. They should also owe federal taxes each year so they can qualify for the federal tax credit. Often these taxes are deducted from each paycheck, so those who have a steady full-time job should be able to qualify.

The Role of Energy Usage in Residential Solar 

As much as we would love to put panels on homes that don’t use very much electricity, it just doesn’t make financial sense for the customer or the company. For Go Solar Group customers, the minimum usage for a home is 500 kWh per month, annualized at 6,000 kWh.

Solar Panels and Shaded Roofs 

Homes also need unshaded space facing the right direction and angle for optimal sun exposure. If there isn’t enough usable space on the roof, the backyard might be an option for backyard solar panels/ground mounts.

The Best Residential Solar Company Offers

For those who qualify for residential solar, installing solar panels on their homes is a no-brainer. However, choosing a solar company can be tricky. 

When considering which solar company to use, there are a couple of services to consider. Although these services won’t impact the production of the array, they can increase customer satisfaction and solar savings.

These services include the financing options, the referral program incentives, customer service, and battery backup. As a potential customer, it is imperative to make sure the residential installation company of choice hits the mark on all these areas.

Choosing the Right Financing Options

There are three main financing options used in the solar industry. These options include paying in cash, qualifying for a loan, or getting a leased array.

Financing with Cash or Loan

If the homeowner can afford to pay cash, this option is going to save the most money. The second best option is to apply for a solar loan. Solar loans allow customers to own the system, which increases the value of the home and allows the homeowner to take advantage of tax credits.

While there are minor advantages to leasing solar panels depending on your circumstances, it almost always makes sense to own your solar panels instead of leasing them.

Leased Solar Arrays 

Leased solar arrays are the least beneficial financing option. Homeowners that choose this option don’t save as much in the long run, but they often pay less per month. It is also harder to sell a home with leased solar because the homeowner doesn’t own the solar array attached to the roof.

 Referral Program Incentives

It is natural to share something you believe in with others. However, being incentivized for it doesn’t always happen. Customers should make sure they check out the solar company’s referral incentive program before referring a friend so they won’t miss out on this bonus. 

Quality Customer Service

Everyone drops the ball at some point, but companies who go out of their way to make things right are worth supporting. Finding a company that you can trust will take care of everything, will make your solar experience a rewarding one.

Battery Backup Options

Solar arrays by themselves do not store excess electricity, which is why customers should look for a solar company that provides storage options. One storage option that works well for residential solar is battery backup. Go Solar Group offers three battery backup options to its customers. 

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