March 2018 | Shine Solar

Month: March 2018


8 Benefits of Solar Equipment for Your Home

Do you know what your last electric bill was? The average energy expenditure per person was $3,052! And how many people live in your house again? The good news is that solar panels can greatly reduce energy costs and can help you and our world in a lot of other ways too. This article will highlight the 8 benefits of solar equipment installation for you as an individual, your community, and your country.

1. Savings

Now that we’ve established that we’re all paying a lot for energy, what can we do about it? The answer is to use renewable energies. While solar panel equipment installation can be expensive up front, you’re going to be saving big in the long term. The cost of solar panel installation is paid for in about 10 years of use. Everything after that is energy savings! Solar panels have a typical warranty of ten years, but usually last for about 25, which means, you will have 15 years of almost free energy! Even better, as more and more companies join the solar energy industry and with recent advances in the technology, the price of solar equipment keeps coming down.

2. Tax Credits

While tax credits for solar energy were largely up in the air with the new tax legislation of 2017, the incentives for solar equipment installation are still there and a great resource for first-time purchasers. When you initially install your solar equipment, you will get 30% back come tax time. This means for a $25,000 system, you will receive $7,500. Pretty sweet, right? Each state has their own tax incentives for solar panel installation too, so make sure to look into what’s available in your area. You can also receive money by selling your Solar Renewable Energy Credits to the local power plant when you have extra energy (we’ll talk more about this in a little bit.) This can be another great way to subsidize the initial cost of the solar equipment.

3. Helping the Environment

Typical fossil fuels like gas and coal, put greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere, which is damaging the earth’s protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. This is causing smog, medical issues (asthma, skin cancer, etc.), and climate change to mention a few of our many problems from pollution. Getting your energy from solar panels cuts your home’s emission of greenhouse gases by 80%, so by using solar energy instead of gas or coal, you are slowing down the trend of global warming and preserving our world for future generations. A lesser-known fact is that the use of fossil fuels also pollutes the water table through waste and runoff. Solar panels use almost no water, so not only are you keeping the air clean but our water as well.

4. Energy Security

We typically don’t think about how important our energy provider is until the power suddenly goes out! With solar power, you don’t have to worry when the transformer gets struck by lightning. If the sun is still shining, you’ve got plenty of energy. If it’s stormy weather, you have saved enough energy with your batteries to make it until the sun reappears or you’ve been selling energy back to the grid and can now borrow some back. No more standing in line for gasoline for the generator! During extreme heat, people are often asked to turn off their air conditioning units by the power company or city because AC consumes more electricity than almost anything else in the home. If everyone has their air conditioning blasting at the same time, the power plant can’t keep up. This can also lead to city-wide blackouts. If you’re using solar panels, however, this won’t apply to you. They’ll keep creating energy, which means, you’ll be able to keep your AC going no matter how much energy the city around you is consuming. Don’t forget too, that as energy companies raise their rates, your energy bills will stay constant. You’re only paying off the cost of your panels, and again, usually after the first ten years, you’re getting your electricity for free!

5. Property Value

Just think of trying to find a new home that already has solar panels installed. There aren’t too many, right? This means that if you convert to solar power, you’re actually increasing your property value. Studies suggest that your property value goes up $5,911 for each kilowatt of solar power you have installed. Let’s do a little math. The average home (2,000 square feet) needs between 12-18 solar panels to be fully powered. Each individual panel produces between 250-320 watts. Let’s say you install 15 panels that each produce around 250 watts. Your total kilowatts would then be 3.75, meaning your home’s value would increase around $22,000! Let’s not forget too that solar panels extend the life of your roof. You’re less likely to experience weather damage with all those panels guarding your shingles.

6. Supporting Your Community

Little known fact: solar panels often actually feed into the public’s electric grid. This means that when you have extra energy on bright, sunny days, it goes to the local power plant. On overcast days or days where you need a little extra power, you draw electricity from the grid. (This is called Solar Renewable Energy Credits which we mentioned earlier as a way to get paid for your solar equipment.) This may seem insignificant, but every little bit of solar energy is helping your community to emit less toxic gases and make cheaper energy for everyone!

7. Jobs

Obviously, solar energy is a growing industry and every growing industry needs employees! While coal mining has largely been laying off workers for the past few decades and oil production is mainly overseas, solar panel production is now hiring new employees here in America. Not only is solar power helping you as an individual save money, it is also supporting our country’s economic growth.

8. Affordable Solar Equipment Installation

Seem to good to be true? People are often afraid of solar panel installation because of the upfront cost of installation. Many solar panel companies now offer affordable payment plans. This is similar to just paying your monthly energy bill! Think of this like a rent-to-own house. You’re slowly paying for a product you will eventually own over time, rather than throwing your money away to the energy company every month. Who wouldn’t want a deal like that? Interested in how much solar panel installation would cost you? Get a free Solar Analysis!

How to Choose the Best Solar Companies in Fayetteville AR

If you live in one of the 50 biggest cities in the U.S. and invest in a 5-kW solar PV system, you can expect to save $44 to $187 per month. While the amount saved varies based on your location, savings are virtually guaranteed when you invest in solar panel installation. This is true even if you don’t live in one of the 50 largest cities in the country. The trend of utilizing solar power for homeowners is one that is continually growing. If you have decided you want to use this source of energy, the first step is to find the right solar companies for installation. Use the tips and information here to ensure you choose the right solar installation service for your power needs.

Create a List of Solar Companies in Your Area

The first step in finding a quality solar panel service provider is to determine what companies are in your area. You can use pen and paper, a Word document, or even Excel spreadsheet to create this list. Make sure you include both small, local businesses, as well as national companies serving your area. To begin your list, simply do an online search for “solar companies,” then your city and state. Once you have created your list, you can begin additional research to learn more about the company.

Look for Reviews and Recommendations

After creating the list of solar companies serving your area, begin to ask for recommendations and reviews. You can do this by asking friends, family members, co-workers and neighbors about companies they have used for solar panel installation in the past. It is also a good idea to read consumer reviews for installers in your area. Reviews left by past customers are a great way to learn more about the service. Remember, it isn’t uncommon to have one or two negative reviews in the mix. Don’t judge a company by just a few of these. Look at several reviews to determine if mostly good or mostly bad comments have been left.

Check the Company’s Credentials

Once you have checked reviews and received recommendations, you are ready to move on. You likely crossed a few companies off your list at this point. The next step is to consider experience and credentials. Take some time to browse solar companies’ websites to find out how long each one has been in business. If possible, learn about the types of projects they have completed. For example, sizes of solar panel systems the company worked with and roofing types. These factors will be crucial. It is crucial to find installers who have worked with homes similar to yours in the past. In addition to a company’s experience, also find out about credentials. Most solar companies will advertise their certifications online; however, you can also contact the service provider and ask, if necessary. While state licensing is important, be sure to look for other certifications a company may have. These are given to companies that meet specific installation and service standards in the industry. The more of these a company has, the better.

Acquire Several Quotes

It may be tempting to use the information above and then choose the company that comes out on top. However, there is another consideration. The installation of solar panels is a significant investment, so you need to find out about cost before moving forward. While cost isn’t the most important factor to consider when choosing solar panel companies, it is one you can’t ignore. When asking for a quote for services, don’t ask just one company – request a quote from several. Modern solar companies offer online quote forms. Here you can ensure that important factors, such as local electricity rates and energy usage are considered. In addition to being able to compare prices, seeking several quotes will let you see how responsive a company is. This could help you see how a solar project will progress.

Research Financing Options

There are several ways to finance solar panels. One option is to pay with cash. You can also secure a loan, lease the panels or enter a power purchase agreement, or PPA. Find out what options are offered by the solar companies you are considering using. If you currently know how you want to finance your new panels, be sure the company you have selected offers that option. If you aren’t sure what financing option is right for you, find a company that offers several.

Find Out if Panel and Inverter Warranties are Provided

The performance and power output for most solar panels last for 25 to 35 years. The warranty covers repairs needed for the silicon cells if the energy production falls below a certain rate. A product or workmanship warranty may also be provided. This will cover other parts of the panel, such as the laminate, backing, and glass. While damage to these parts of your panels will be rare, it can cause significant losses in the generation of electricity. The element most susceptible to breakdown is inverters. These are continually working to convert DC power into AC power used in your home. An inverter warranty usually lasts between five and 10 years. Be sure to ask the company you are considering hiring what type of warranties they offer. If the answer is “none” or “limited,” then it may be wise to keep looking.

Finding the Right Solar Company to Install Your New Panels

After you have reviewed the factors here and narrowed down options, you should have one that stands out as the clear winner. Finding the right solar companies for installation of solar panels is crucial if you want to reap all the benefits this alternative source of power offers. Be sure to keep the tips here in mind and do plenty of research before hiring anyone. This can help ensure you choose the “best of the best.” If you are ready to hire a company or have more questions, contact our qualified team at Shine Solar. We will provide you with a free estimate and ensure you get the results you deserve.