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Your Free Home Solar Quote: The First Step
Despite the ability to go solar for zero down, the cost of solar panels makes solar energy a long-term investment, which you’ll want to consider upon reviewing your quote during your customized, in-home consultation. Every solar company will feature different solar products and include different installation costs, so it is wise to get a solar quote from multiple installers in your area to make sure that the solar array and the cost will satisfy your needs.
Determining Your Solar Quote
Why Electricity Usage Matters
The amount of energy the home consumes, also known as usage or kWh usage, helps solar experts determine the best size of the solar array for homes. While several months of usage gives a general idea, a full year's usage measured in kWh provides an accurate picture of how the homeowner's energy consumption fluctuates.
Before setting an appointment, Go Solar Group makes sure potential customers have high enough usage for solar to benefit them. Homes consuming roughly 500 kWh or more per month (6,000 kWh per year) are the best candidates for residential solar. Homeowners who don't hit this benchmark in electricity consumption are not advised to go solar, but can if they still want to. The only exception to the usage requirement is if the home is a new build and does not yet have the new homeowner's usage patterns to draw from at that residence.
Electricity providers record monthly usage on each bill. To determine usage, you can look at your electricity bills, call the utility and ask for a year of usage, or you can call the utility company with one of our representatives. If you decide to call on your own or review your electricity bills, you can either call us or fill out our 12-month usage form to start your customized quote process.
How Other Factors Affect Quote Estimates
While electricity usage can determine solar qualification and solar array size, it isn't the only factor. Before receiving a quote, appointment setters go through a series of questions with the prospective solar customer. These questions help determine the equipment options and payment programs. Together these factors determine if an individual should consider solar after initiating the quote process, so they know for sure whether it's even an option for them.
Credit Score: What to Expect
While going solar for zero down is an option and saves far more over time than traditional electricity, most solar-powered homeowners go on a payment program. While a cash purchase has the most solar ROI, solar loans still bring in considerable savings, making credit scores significant in solar qualification. The higher the credit score, the lower the interest rate on the payment program. The baseline credit score is 650, but a higher score will equip the homeowner with a lower interest rate if they do not choose to purchase the system outright with cash. In addition to a high credit score, a low debt-to-income ratio will also improve program options. During the initial phone call, the appointment setter will ask about creditworthiness. While it may seem more daunting up-front to purchase and own a solar array, this option has far more benefits than leasing solar panels.
Federal Solar Incentive Qualification
Qualification for federal solar incentives also has a significant impact on solar quotes. Until January 2021, the Federal Solar Tax Credit covers 26 percent of residential solar arrays. To qualify for this tax credit (the ITC), homeowners must have taxable income. Go Solar Group strongly discourages people from continuing with solar if they don't qualify for this credit, because of the drastic difference in potential ROI.
Homeownership and Solar
Homeowners will own the solar array once installed on their properties. Individuals who are interested in solar need to own their homes, or get the homeowner on board. Ultimately, the homeowner whose name is on the title of the home must opt-in and sign the contract. If you have plans to move in the next 6 months, it's probably best to postpone solar installation, since the installation may take longer than the typical two to three months due to permitting approval and installation.
Roof Type, Shading and Dimensions
While battery backup typically isn't included in a solar quote, it pairs well with each system. However, if the solar company the homeowner chooses doesn't have battery backup options, it may become difficult to add battery backup to the array. All of Go Solar Group's solar arrays can upgrade with battery backup. Customers can add any of our three levels of battery backup at any time. These levels include the Powerwall home battery by Tesla and emergency batteries and portable solar panels by Goal Zero. The customizability of these levels of battery backup allows every homeowner the option to add solar storage to their home, in either portable or embedded formats. Battery backup is a wise option for homeowners who want to keep and use more of their solar power instead of exporting excess, unused solar energy back onto the grid at pennies on the dollar.