August 2016 | Shine Solar

Month: August 2016


Benefits of Net-Metering

Like rollover minutes on a cell phone bill, net-metering gives renewable energy customers fair credit on their utility bills for the excess clean power they contribute back into the grid. This simple billing arrangement is one of the most important state policies for encouraging investment in solar – and it benefits everyone, solar and non-solar neighbors, alike!

The Top 3 Reasons Arkansans’ Should Go Solar and Why Delaying Can Cost You Thousands of Dollars!

You asked for it and now you’re gonna get it!  Served up hot for you are the Top 3 Reasons Arkansans’ should go solar and why delaying could cost you thousands of   dollars!
Reason #1: Solar isn’t as expensive as it used to be
Back in olden times (as in 2-3 years ago) solar was very expensive, but times have changed fast!  Previously, homeowners only went solar for three reasons:
Let’s face it, if you really want to get away from other people you have to go where there are no power lines, hence, no electricity.  Hard-core hunters, fisherman and recreationists have long invested into off-grid solar systems to power their cabins and hidden getaway.  Logic says that if you can afford to build a cabin in the woods then you can afford a solar system to power it.  Although not economical, it’s probably better than paying the utility company thousands of dollars to run power lines directly to your cabin.
Everybody has a hobby, right?  Hobbies by definition are fun to do but don’t usually make you any money.  Hobbyists turned to solar because they enjoyed playing with alternative forms of energy and liked the aspect of clean, renewable energy to power their homes, vehicles and toys.  Again, not economical, but a ton of fun!
Some people just want to be prepared and there are few forms of self-reliance more dependable than generating your own electricity.  Preppers like to be prepared for the worst and want the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing that come hell or high-water they will have electricity.  Investing in solar for these people is nothing more than emergency preparedness.
Times have changed and investing in a rooftop solar system has become an affordable, smart decision for most homeowners.  The overall cost of solar panels and components has dropped by 70% since 2009, even as panels are getting more efficient.
As solar prices drop and utility prices increase across the country, the viability of going solar becomes a reality one market at a time.  Solar has been a make-sense decision for a few years now in California, Arizona, New Jersey, Texas and several other states.  Now Arkansas is having its turn!
Reason #2: You don’t have to pay for your solar system upfront and in CASH
Once again, times have changed.  In the last couple of years SOLAR LOANS have become prevalent in the market place.  Now you can finance your entire solar system as long as you at least have a 650 credit score or higher and a respectable debt-to-income ratio.  No industry that sells high-ticket items has been been able to flourish without attractive financing options (homes, cars, boats, appliances, home improvement, etc.). Until recently there were no viable finance options for homeowners who wanted to purchase a solar system.  Homeowners’ only option was to write a check or take out a second mortgage against their home.  Neither one of these options sounds very attractive or fun.  Solar loans have competitive interest rates and fees and most importantly, long-term paybacks which allow for energy savings to be realized the very first month after your system is installed.  Some companies will even forgo payments for a full-year just so you can redeem your tax credits and start realizing some savings upfront.  Competitive financing is the key to making a solar investment work for most families.
Reason #3: Solar saves you money
Occasionally, we’ll have prospective customers tell us that it’s not worth switching to solar unless they can save at least $100 per month (or $50, $75, $200, whatever). Here’s the deal, the amount of savings is irrelevant.  In fact, as long as you’re not paying MORE than what you pay the utility company you are coming out way ahead.  I’ll explain by asking you a question: Given the option, would you rather RENT your home or OWN your home?  Most of you I’m guessing would say OWN your home.  Why?  One simple word: EQUITY.  When you own your home, even if you’re making payments to the bank, every month you are getting a little closer to owning your home outright.  Your monthly payments are eventually going to deliver you an asset free and clear.  The person who rents will never own the home they live in no matter how many monthly payments they make to their landlord. It’s no different with electricity.  Would you rather “rent” your electricity every month from the utility company or eventually “own” your electricity, permanently.  When you invest in a rooftop solar system you own the asset that will kick out electricity for thirty years or more!
Bonus information:
The cost of the electricity you generate will NEVER go up, unlike the utility company who can and will “raise the rent” on you anytime they like by increasing their rates.  By owning your solar system, you lock-in your cost of power which creates some consistency and predictability in your life.  No more unannounced rate-hikes by the utility company.  No more surprises.  No more forcing you to do whatever they say without your approval.
Now for the cherry-on-top:
For the foreseeable future, when you invest in a solar system good ole Uncle Sam will give you a 30% tax credit off of the purchase price.  (Example: Invest 30K into a system and the federal government will give you a $9,000 tax credit), I can’t think of any other investment you could make today that both saves you money from month one and offers you a 30% tax credit.  I challenge you to name one investment that even comes close.  I don’t believe you can do it!
Like any other investment you make in life, it pays dividends to educate yourself and make an effort to understand the details.  Too often we rely on opinions of friends, neighbors and even family to draw our conclusions without truly investing the time to find out for ourselves.  I encourage you to do your own research about investing in solar and find out if it makes sense for you and your family.

Uncle Sam Likes Solar

Did you know that the government will actually pay you for investing in a rooftop solar system?  No joke, they’ll let you take the money you would have paid in taxes to the IRS and instead allow you to invest it into a solar system to generate your own electricity.

Here’s exactly how it works:

Way back in 2005, Congress passed a bill called “The Energy Policy Act” which created a 30% federal tax credit for anyone who invests in a residential or commercial solar system. Throughout the years the names and bills have changed, but the tax credit has never been axed. In fact, at the end of 2015 Congress passed yet another tax credit extension which guarantees this tax credit until the end of 2019. After that, the tax credit is gradually reduced until it completely disappears in 2023.

For example, if you were to invest $30,000 into a new solar system the federal government would give you a $9,000 tax credit, or 30% of purchase price, which can be used to reduce how much money you owe in taxes. Not a bad deal, right? I mean, how many other investments can you think of where the government will outright pay for 30% of your cost?

This tax credit has proven to be one of the most important incentives ever enacted by the federal government to spur growth in any single industry.

As a result of the multi-year extension of the credit enacted in late-2015, solar prices are expected to continue to fall while installation rates and technological efficiencies will continue to climb. The ITC is nothing short of a tax policy success story and we expect this fact to continue to play out over the next several years.

Like any other investment you make in life, it pays dividends to educate yourself and make an effort to understand the details. Too often we rely on opinions of friends, neighbors and even family to draw our conclusions without truly investing the time to find out for ourselves. I encourage you to do your own research about investing in solar and find out if it makes sense for you and your family. To find out more about whether or not solar makes sense for you – or get a free quote – give us a call at 844-807-4463.