Before getting residential solar for your Utah home, your candidacy needs examination. You and your home need to be the right fit for solar energy. You also need to make sure your goals are in alignment with the purpose of solar energy.
Utah Residential Solar Power: Worth It?
The first major thing to consider is if your state is even an ideal location for a solar installation. One of the determinants of state solar potential is the amount of peak sun hours it gets.
Peak sun hours are hours in which your solar array should be able to produce 1,000 watts (1 kW) of energy per square meter. These are hours per day in which your area received the most shortwave radiation.
The United States average ranges from 1 to 7 peak sun hours per day. These can be measured in several different ways: The NREL measures direct normal irradiance and global horizontal irradiance.
Utah has between 7.5 and 3 hours according to the NREL’s direct normal irradiance readings. The global horizontal irradiance readings show that Utah has between 5.7 and 3.7 hours. Both maps showed that most of Utah have a higher amount of peak sun hours, making it an ideal location for residential solar installation.
What’s Needed Before You Net Meter in Utah
Now that you know your state is a good fit, you’re good to go, right? Wrong! Before you can even get a bid for your home, the solar company needs some information about your home.
Usage for Your Utah Home
Usage is the amount of energy you use each month. Your home’s monthly usage and sometimes a yearly graph of usage are on each electric bill. You can also find out your usage online if you pay your power bills online, or you can call the power company and ask for it.
Rocky Mountain Power has their system set up so that the less energy you use the less you pay per watt. If you use less than 400 watts of electricity in a month, your rate as of 2018 is about 8.8 cents.
If you use more than 400 watts in a month, your rate goes up to 11.5 cents per watt. Any energy over 1,000 watts is charged at 14.5 cents.
If there are only two people living in your house, using less than 400 watts of electricity may not be an issue. Utah, however, is known for having large Mormon families, which can jack up usage in unexpected and profoundly impactful ways.
Large families equate to astronomical power bills. If your home uses more than 6,000 kWh of electricity per year, Go Solar Group can help you save money on your power bill.
Roof Shading, Size, Type, and Age
Having an ideal roof is better for your solar panels, and it makes your installation safer. This is why you should expect some basic questions about your roof before setting an appointment.
Utah solar companies need to know if you have enough unshaded space for their solar panels. If you have a tree that shades half your roof and you’d rather not part with it, residential solar may not be a good fit for your Utah home.
You need either unshaded space in your yard or on your home to make it work, which determines whether you’d get a ground mount or a rooftop mount.
Although Go Solar Group has installed solar on most roof types, the age of your roof could make a big difference. If your roof is getting close to the end of its life, you will need to replace it before you can get Utah solar panels.
The solar company you decide on should do a roof inspection before installing, regardless of your roof type. This inspection is to make sure your roof is safe both for them to install on and to hold the weight of the panels. They also make sure the roof has an appropriate southward-facing pitch to get the most sunlight out of them as possible.
Go Solar Group Financing
There are three ways that you can pay for your residential solar installation. Deciding which method you are going to use will likely determine which solar company you use, too.
You can either pay in cash(which is the best, yet most likely unobtainable option for most Utah homeowners), lease panels (through a power purchase agreement) or get a loan. Go Solar Group only does cash payments and loans, and there is very little benefit to leasing solar panels through a power purchase agreement.
Qualifications for Utah Residential Solar Cash Installations
Most don’t have the money to pay in cash, but if you do, it is the best option. With a cash purchase, you save the most money because you don’t owe any interest. Individuals that plan on paying in cash need to be aware of the solar company’s cash policy.
Although a cash payment eliminates interest, a loan may improve the time value of money should you have other investments you’d like to partake in first.
Go Solar Group requires 10 percent down for cash payments. The first half of the installation is due at permitting. The second half is due at the installation of your solar array. Some have decided to pay 50 percent down and 50 percent at install.
Requirements for Go Solar Group Affiliate Loans
Go Solar Group offers loans between 12 to 15 years at 2.99 percent interest rate. In order to qualify for our lending partner’s loans, you will need a credit score of 670 or above. We do, however, sometimes work with a credit score of 665, but this would depend on the debt-to-income ratio and other concomitant factors.
The higher your credit score, the better rates you will get. Having a higher credit score isn’t the ‘end all and be all’ though. When you decide to qualify for a loan, your debt-to-income ratio will most likely determine whether you can get the loan.
If you have recently made several large credit purchases, you might want to pay those off first. Creditors won’t loan money to people if they are taking out more loans than they have the ability to pay off.
Getting Solar Requires Utah Homeownership
In order for a Utah solar company to complete a residential solar install, they need permission from the homeowner. Renters cannot purchase solar systems because they don’t own the property.
Go Solar Group does not install solar panels on RVs or motorhomes. There are some companies and traveling installers that can help you install on an RV. We recommend researching their work before agreeing to the install.