July 2018 | Shine Solar

Month: July 2018

 

What Types of Solar Financing is Available?

You’ve been thinking about installing solar on your home. But, you don’t know if you can afford it. How much will it cost you? Installing solar panels in your home comes with tons of benefits. It might seem too expensive for you. But, did you know that there’s financing available? You’ve many options available when it comes to solar financing. But, what is the right one for you? Not sure where to start? We’ll tell you all there’s to know about the types of solar panel financing. Ready to learn more?

Solar Financing: What Are Your Options?

In 2006, the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) was put in place to promote the use of solar systems. Since then the cost of installing solar systems has gone down by about 73%. Now the tax credit available is the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit. You could be eligible for up to 30% tax credit. Your tax professional can give you a better idea about your eligibility for this tax credit. Solar systems are becoming more popular because of the tax credits, availability and environmental benefits. When it comes to solar panel financing, you’ve options ranging from solar loans to your local PACE program. Here are the most popular financing options available:

Secured Solar Loans

You might’ve heard about secured loans before. Secured solar loans work the same way. The only difference is that these use your home as collateral. The loan terms for secured solar loans are from 5 to 20 years. The interest rate will depend on the requirements from the lender and your credit profile. Due to many of the other better options on this list, rates are not as competitive as they once were.

Unsecured Solar Loans

If you haven’t heard about unsecured loans before, the main difference is that for these loans you won’t have to give any collateral. This would be a guarantee of payment. When it comes to unsecured solar loans, the collateral equivalent is the solar panels. This type of loans doesn’t have the FHA guarantee benefit. Unsecured solar loans have the same terms as secured solar loans. The terms are between 5 to 20 years. The solar loan interest rates for these loans are between 3.5 to 9 percent. The rates they offer you might be higher than for a secured loan. But, you aren’t placing any collateral on the line. Some people may consider these loans less attractive because they aren’t tax deductible. Also, the origination fees for these loans may be higher than the fees for secured solar loans.

Property Assessed Clean Energy Programs (PACE)

This program is available for residential and commercial properties. States and municipalities offer these programs. You should do your own research to make sure your state or municipality offers this type of program. Right now, more than 30 states offer the Commercial PACE program. The Municipal PACE program uses your home as the collateral. There might be FHA guarantee available. To make sure, you should do your research and contact your local PACE office for more information. As of this moment, the residential PACE program is available in 3 states. The states of California, Missouri, and Florida have their own programs. California is the state with the most programs. It offers 10 programs. The loan terms vary depending on the program you choose. The interest rates for this type of financing are 3 percent or more. Besides the benefit of PACE being a government program, this type of solar panel financing is tax deductible.

Solar Leases

A solar lease can be seen as renting your solar equipment which is pretty similar to what you are doing with the utility company. You’ll agree to make a fixed payment or rent every month for the use of the solar equipment. The payment is set using an estimate of the amount of electricity the equipment will produce on a monthly basis. You pay the company for the right to use the equipment and the electricity it produces. When you get a solar lease your payments aren’t eligible for tax credit. Since you aren’t the owner of the equipment, the tax credits belong to the company who’s leasing you the equipment. Most of the solar leases are for a term between 20 to 25 years. At the end of the lease term you don’t own anything. So you miss out on benefits like home value increasing and so forth.

Solar Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)

A PPA is almost identical to a solar lease, except that you don’t have a fixed monthly payment, you only pay for the power that you actually use. If you cannot qualify for a solar loan, a PPA is you next best option Many people use the term Solar PPAs interchangeably with Solar Leases. Even though both work in a similar way, they aren’t the same. When you get a Solar PPA, you’re paying to buy the electricity that generates the system at a set per-KWh price. Again foregoing any ownership benefits.

Should You Get Solar Panel Financing?

Yes, you should get solar financing if you want to get your solar system for your home or business. Remember that not all types of financing are equal. So before contacting the financing company, you should do your own research about your options. If you’re thinking about getting solar equipment for your business, the terms of the loans or leases won’t be the same as for a residential purchase. When you aren’t sure about purchasing your equipment, a lease or PPA might be the best option for you. Look for a financing option that meets your needs. So you’ve decided to finance your solar panels. Don’t know how to get started? We can help! Contact us to get your solar analysis today. P.S. All interest rates above are as of this writing and should not be considered a quote for you.

Are Solar Panels In MO a Good Investment?

Did you know that households in the United States paid a whopping $118.16 average for their April 2018 electric bill?

That’s right! All because the average cost of electricity in the country for that month ran for 12.89 Cents per Kilowatt-hour.

As someone who lives in Missouri, you may have paid a little less (statewide average was at $94.97). But this doesn’t mean that you can already relax. Especially since electricity rates have continued to show an upward trend over the last few years.

This then brings us to today’s big question, “Are solar panels a good investment?” Followed by “How can using solar energy benefit me?”

Don’t worry. All these (plus how it works and how much you can save in the long run) we’ll answer in this post, so keep reading! Just keep in mind all of the numbers quoted below our average numbers based on past performance in the market.

What Solar Energy Is in the First Place

Let’s talk about solar energy first. That way, you can have a better grasp on why solar panels are a worthy investment.

That massive ball of fire we call the sun produces what we call photons. These are energy particles that reach the Earth within 8 1/2 minutes. That’s after traveling a whopping 93 million miles.

Within a span of an hour, the sun sends so many of these particles our way that they’re enough to meet an entire year’s global energy needs.

To use this energy though, we need something to convert it into usable energy (AKA thermal or electrical power). That’s where solar panels come into play.

A solar panel consists of many solar cells. When photons come into contact with these cells, their electrons detach from the atoms. From here, the electrons pass through an electrical circuit, which then generate electricity.

The more solar panels wired together (called a solar array), the more solar energy it can convert. So, the more panels you have, the greater the amount of solar energy you can reap and use.

Reduced Reliance on Electrical Energy Means Great Savings

Think about how less electrical energy you’d have to use if you have a solar set up. Consider that the sun supplies us daily with its photons.

It’s almost like an unlimited supply of photons waiting for you to convert them into energy. Energy you can use for all your household appliances and gadgets!

With your solar panels, you can generate electricity on your own. This means you don’t have to buy it from an electricity company.

Here’s something to put things in better perspective:

The average household in the U.S. consumes about 11,000 kW/h. Last April, Missouri’s average electricity rate was 10.36 Cents. This means that if you were to use solar energy even for only 5,500 kW/h, you can already save about $570 a year!

Make the complete switch to solar, and you can save up to $1,140 a year. Within five years, that’s almost $5,700 in savings.

How’s that for renewable and money-saving energy?

More Reasons to Go Solar

If you’ve always wanted to take part in the green revolution, then going solar is one of the best ways to do that. Through solar energy, you minimize your need for electricity derived from CO2-generating fossil fuels (AKA gas and coal). This can then support all other efforts in reducing the risk and effects of global warming.

There’s also the fact that top-of-the-line solar power systems deliver reliable energy source. So long as the sun keeps shining, your panels will generate electricity. Although MO weather can be unpredictable sometimes, you can predict how much electricity your system can generate.

Furthermore, setting up your home with solar energy can boost its resale value! With so many home buyers wanting green features in their home, they may bid as much as $50,000 more on your home.

Do Solar Panel Benefits Justify the Installation Costs?

With all these benefits of solar energy, you may be wondering why not everyone uses them. For the most part, it’s because many worry about the installation costs.

Indeed, you can expect a hefty bill for your solar panel installation. But factor in all the benefits it’ll bring you, and you’ll see right away that these outweigh your initial expense.

How long is this “long run” though? After using it for about 10 years, you most likely have already recouped what you paid for it. After this, every kW/h of solar energy you use already translates to savings.

What’s more, solar panel technology continues to see huge improvements. Updates that have resulted in solar equipment costs seeing an 80% decrease!

To top everything off, you’ll find financing services that’ll help you have those panels up and running as soon as possible. You can qualify for a loan that doesn’t require a cash down payment. You’d need time to compare service providers though, but it’s all worth it once you start seeing considerable drops in your electricity bills.

All these translate to more affordable installation expenses. So, why not take advantage of it now to start your savings as soon as possible?

So… Are Solar Panels a Good Investment?

You bet they are!

With solar energy powering your home, you don’t have to rely that much on the expensive services of electric companies. You also no longer have to worry about dealing with the potential rise in electricity rates for many years to come. Best of all, using renewable energy sources allows you to become a more eco-conscious individual.

All said, we hope that this brief but concise explanation have answered your question, “Are solar panels a good investment?”. But if you want to know even more about solar energy, then please feel free to check our other resources out!

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?

Solar panels have been around for years, but it’s only recently that homeowners have started to take them seriously and purchase panels for their homes. The use of solar energy almost doubled in 2016 from years prior, and today, its popularity keeps growing.

If you’re not already using this kind of renewable energy in your home, you may be asking yourself “how much do solar panels cost?” After all, it’s nice to help the environment and do something to increase the value of your home, but you have to do so with a certain level of financial responsibility.

You may be surprised to realize what solar panels prices really are. They’re not always as expensive as people tend to assume. Plus, they tend to offer more savings than you expect in the long-run.

Here’s a closer look at how the cost of solar panels adds up – and starts paying for itself.

The Basic Cost of Solar Panels

Before you get into all the specifics of the cost of solar panels, think about the basics. This includes paying for raw materials, covering installation fees, and planning for routine maintenance of your home’s future solar panels.

Materials

There’s more to creating a renewable energy system in your home than the use of solar panels alone. You’re also going to need the right support for the panels, proper wiring, and an inverter. Otherwise, you’re just going to be capturing the sun’s energy without being able to convert it into fuel for your home.

Panels are held in place by mounting materials. They are all connected by special wires that carry the energy from the panels to the inverter – the tool that makes the sun’s energy suitable for appliance and other electrical uses. Inverters produce a certain amount of voltage to run everything from your refrigerator and AC unit to charge your phone or keep your TV running.

Installation

Once you wrap your head around everything your home needs to convert energy from the sun into useful electricity, you have to estimate the installation costs.

Unfortunately, there’s no cut and dry answer to this. Many variables play into how much the total installation will cost.

First, there’s the difference in installing top-notch solar equipment versus basic materials. Then, there’s the matter of how the roof of your home is set up and whether or not modifications need to be made to create the best solar energy system.

Maintenance

You know all the roof maintenance you have to do for your home after heavy snowfalls or to clear fallen leaves? Well, such situations require a bit of solar panel maintenance, too.

Solar panels aren’t particularly fragile, but they do hold up better when properly taken care of. Investing in basic maintenance means getting an annual inspection of your system, removing any natural build up, and doing other cleaning tasks. You may have to pay for a repair on occasion as well.

Additional Things to Consider

After crunching the numbers for the kind of system you want and how you plan to keep it in good shape, start to factor in other things that will affect the cost to install solar panels and keep them running in your home.

The following are some of the main things to keep in mind.

Where You Live

It’s much different to pay for solar panels in Florida or Texas as it is to invest in them in Kansas or Arkansas. Not to mention, the direction your house is facing regardless of the state you live in will have an effect on the total cost, too.

Look into the average cost in your state or county to get a good idea of what you can expect to pay. Consider the average voltage rates each home consumes while you’re at it.

How Much Energy Your Home Uses

Speaking of the average energy needed to run a home in your area, take a second to think about how much you are like or unlike the normal homeowner.

For example, it’s one thing to run AC at a normal level every day and keep all your appliances running. But, it’s a totally different story if you have a full house that does laundry every day of the week or there’s a gamer under your roof who spends a few hours a day on their console. Such habits use more energy, and they’ll need the proper solar panel system to keep things going.

How to Cut Down Your Total Solar Panel Cost

No matter how much energy you spend in your home, there are some ways you can cut down on solar panels cost.

Get multiple quotes to make sure you’re getting the best deal for your home. Also, take the time to consider the kind of equipment you really need. Don’t be afraid to ask questions regarding one controller versus another or taking the time to decide just how many panels are necessary.

The more attention you pay to every little detail, the more you can manage how much you actually pay when it’s time to cover the costs. Plus, keep in mind that solar panels will eventually pay for themselves!

Investing in panels now means you can significantly cut back on your energy bill later. These savings may not seem like much over time, but they can truly surprise you once they start to add up.

Figure Out How Much Do Solar Panels Cost for Your Home

If you’re someone who likes to think in absolutes, you need a professional to help you figure out how much do solar panels cost for your home. Thankfully, you’ve come to the right place. Our energy experts are here to answer any questions you may have.

We provide a free solar analysis to help you start figuring out the costs, then provide all the insights and support you need to pick the right equipment and get everything installed in your home.

Ready to see what all the fuss around solar is really about?

Click here to contact us and take the first step towards getting your own solar panels!