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10 Questions to Ask Before Going Solar

By: Eric Huesca, SEO Content Writer

March 9, 2023

Solar panels are becoming an increasingly popular alternative energy source, allowing consumers to distribute the environmental and financial burden. But the transition is leaving people to ask themselves questions about solar energy.

With a number of solar installers providing a complete package and services, it can get quite challenging to make the right decision. Solgen Power is amongst the most reliable service providers, with an expert and skilled team that can answer all the questions you have regarding solar panels.

Worker installing solar panel on roof

Worker installing solar panel on roof.

1. Is my Home a Good Candidate for Solar Panels?

Several factors can impact the effectiveness of solar panels, including the location, shading, and orientation of your home.

First, the location of your home is an important consideration. Go power solar panels are most effective in areas with high levels of sunlight, so it’s important to consider whether your home is in an area that receives sufficient sunlight.

Additionally, the amount of space available for solar panels is an important consideration, as solar panels require a certain amount of roof or ground space to be installed.

The shading of your home is also an essential factor to consider. Solar panels must be installed in areas that receive direct sunlight throughout the day. Trees, buildings, or other obstructions can shade your home and impact the effectiveness of the solar panels.

Finally, the orientation of your home is an important factor to consider. Solar panels are most effective when installed facing south, so your home’s orientation should be suitable before going solar.

2. How Much Will it Cost?

The cost of solar panels can vary depending on several factors, including the solar panel system’s size, the type of panels used, and the complexity of the installation. Hence, it’s crucial to get a quote from a reputable solar installer to determine the cost of solar panel installation.

The installer should be able to answer all your questions about solar energy, like a detailed estimate that includes all of the costs associated with the installation, including the cost of the panels, labor costs, and any additional fees or charges.

Going solar can significantly reduce or even eliminate your monthly electricity costs. In addition to the installation cost, you should consider the potential savings solar panels can provide on your electricity bill.

The solar installer should be able to give you an estimate of the potential savings based on the size of the system and your current electricity usage.

3. What Financing Options are Available?

The ideal option will depend on your financial situation, credit score, and other factors. Here are some common financing options for solar panels:

Solar Loans

Solar loans are a prevalent financing option for homeowners wanting to purchase solar panels outright. Typically, solar loans have lower interest rates than personal loans, and they often have longer repayment terms.

You can find solar loans from various sources, including banks, credit unions, and specialized solar financing companies.

Solar Leases

A solar lease permits you to “rent” solar panels from a solar company, usually for 20-25 years. With a solar lease, you don’t own the solar panels but pay a fixed monthly fee to use the energy they produce. This option is best for homeowners who want to avoid the upfront cost of purchasing solar panels.

Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)

A power purchase agreement (PPA) is similar to a solar lease. Instead of paying a fixed monthly fee, you pay for the electricity that the solar panels produce.

PPAs typically have lower monthly payments than solar leases, and the solar company is responsible for maintaining the solar panels. However, the contract is usually longer, ranging from 15-25 years.

Home Equity Loans

They are a great way to borrow money against your home’s equity. With a good credit score and enough equity, you can use home equity loans to finance the purchase of solar panels. They typically have lower interest rates than personal loans, and the interest may be tax-deductible.

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Loans

PACE loans are a type of financing that allows homeowners to borrow money to make energy-efficient home improvements, including solar panels. PACE loans are repaid through property taxes, and the interest is tax-deductible.

Before asking questions about solar energy, it’s essential to consider the total cost of the system, including installation, equipment, and maintenance costs. You should also compare the interest rates, repayment terms, and other fees associated with each financing option to determine the best option before going solar.

4. What Incentives are Available?

Incentives can help reduce the overall cost of installing solar panels, making it a more affordable option for homeowners. Here are some incentives to look into:

Federal Solar Tax Credit

The federal solar tax credit, a.k.a. The Investment Tax Credit (ITC), allows homeowners to deduct 26% of the total cost of their solar panel system from their federal taxes. Moreover, the US government has announced extending the tax credit at 30% to 2032.

State and Local Incentives

Many states and local governments offer additional incentives for solar panel installation. These incentives can include tax credits, rebates, or performance-based incentives. The availability and amount of these incentives vary by location, so it’s essential to research what incentives are available in your area.

Net Metering

The net metering policy enables homeowners to sell their surplus-generated solar energy back to the grid. This can help offset the cost of electricity bills and can even result in a credit on the homeowner’s bill.

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs)

SRECs represent the environmental benefits of generating one megawatt-hour (mWh) of electricity from solar energy. Homeowners can sell these certificates on the open market, providing additional income to help offset the cost of their solar panel system.

Property Tax Exemptions

Some states and local governments offer property tax exemptions for homeowners who install solar panels. This can help reduce the overall cost of the system and make it a more affordable option.

Remember that some incentives may have specific requirements or deadlines, so it’s essential to plan ahead and work with a qualified solar installer who can help guide you through the process.

5. What is the Warranty for Solar Panels?

Solar panels typically come with a manufacturer’s warranty that covers defects or malfunctions in the panels themselves. Depending on the manufacturer, these warranties can range from 10 to 25 years.

In addition to the manufacturer’s warranty, many solar installers also offer installation warranties. These warranties can cover the workmanship and installation of solar panels. They can range from 1 to 10 years, depending on the installer.

It’s important to ask about the specific details of the installation warranty, including what is covered and for how long. When reviewing the warranties for solar panels and installation, ask your solar contractor about any applicable limitations or exclusions.

For example, some warranties may not cover damage caused by severe weather or other external factors. It’s also important to ask about the process for filing a warranty claim and any associated fees or costs.

By understanding the warranties for solar panels and installation, you can ensure that you are protected in the event of any issues or defects with your solar panel system. In addition, working with a reputable solar installer like Solgen Power can help you receive strong warranties and additional peace of mind and confidence in your investment.

6. What is the Expected Lifespan of Solar Panels?

The expected lifespan of solar panels can vary depending on several factors, including the quality of the panels, the installation, and the system’s location. On average, solar panels have a lifespan of 25-30 years. However, some higher-quality panels may last up to 40 years or more.

When asking questions about solar energy, it’s essential to consider your investment’s long-term benefits. Solar panels can significantly save energy bills over time, with many homeowners seeing a return on their investment within 5-10 years. However, the longer the panels last, the more significant the overall savings will be.

Additionally, the lifespan of solar panels can impact the resale value of your home. This increase in value can help offset the initial cost of installing the panels and provide additional long-term benefits.

A reputable installer like Solgen Power uses high-quality equipment and follows best practices for installation and maintenance. Regular maintenance and cleaning can also help extend the lifespan of your panels and ensure that they continue to operate at peak efficiency over time.

7. How Much Electricity Will my Solar Panels Generate?

Our team at Solgen Power provides you an estimate of the amount of electricity your solar panels will generate and how much you can expect to save on your electricity bill.

The amount of electricity your panels generate depends on several factors, including the size and orientation of your panels, the efficiency of the panels, and the amount of sunlight in your area.

In addition to the energy output estimate, the solar installer can also provide you with information about any available incentives or rebates in your area that can further reduce the cost of solar panel installation.

By taking advantage of these incentives and maximizing your solar panel system’s energy output, you can save even more on your electricity bill over time.

Ultimately, understanding the significance of alternative energy can help you in making an informed decision about solar panel installation. By working with Solgen Power and asking the right questions, you can ensure that you are making the best choice for your specific needs and budget.

8. What Maintenance is Required for Solar Panels?

Additional maintenance charges often lead to users wondering: What I wish I know before going solar. While solar panels require relatively little maintenance, regular upkeep can help them function optimally and extend their lifespan.

One of the most important aspects of solar panel maintenance is keeping the panels clean. Dirt, debris, and dirt can accumulate on the panels over time, reducing their efficiency and energy output.

In addition to cleaning, inspect your solar panels recurrently for any signs of damage or wear. Cracks, chips, or other damage can influence the panels’ energy output and reduce their lifespan. So, if you observe any damage, get it repaired to prevent further issues.

Finally, ensure that the wiring and other components of your solar panel system are functioning properly. Regular inspections and maintenance by a qualified professional like Solgen Power can help detect and address any issues before they become more serious.

By taking these steps to maintain your solar panels, you can ensure that they function optimally and provide maximum energy output over their lifespan.

9. How will Solar Panels affect my Home's Resale Value?

Research has shown that solar panels can positively impact the resale value of homes. A study even found that homes with solar panels sold for an average of 4.1% more than comparable homes without solar panels.

The increase in value can be attributed to several factors. First, going solar can significantly save energy bills over time, which can be an attractive selling point for going solar.

Additionally, solar panels are seen as a valuable investment in sustainability. They can help attract buyers who are interested in reducing their environmental impact.

However, the impact of solar panels on resale value can vary depending on several factors, including the quality of the panels, the age of the panels, and the location of the home. It’s important to research the potential impact of solar panels on your specific home and location to determine if it’s a good investment. 

Overall, solar panels can provide significant benefits for homeowners, including energy savings, environmental benefits, and potential increases in resale value.

10. How Long Will the Installation Take?

Amongst the top 10 questions to ask before going solar is the timeline for installation to ensure that it fits your schedule and needs. The length of time it takes to install solar panels can vary depending on several factors, including the system’s size, the installation’s complexity, and the installer’s availability.

A reputable solar installer like Solgen Power provides you a detailed timeline for the installation process, including an estimate of how long the installation will take from start to finish.

We may also be able to work with you to schedule the installation at a convenient time, taking into account your schedule and any other factors that may impact the installation process.

In addition to the timeline for installation, the solar installer should also provide you with information about what to expect during the installation process, including any disruptions or inconveniences that may occur.

By understanding the installation process and timeline upfront, you can ensure that you are prepared for the installation and that it meets your specific needs and requirements.

Wrapping Up

Suffice to say, with the right approach, going solar is really a no-brainer. So contact us at Solgen Power to get your estimate today. Rest assured, our Solgen Power team will get in touch with you and fulfill all your solar panel installation needs.

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Copyright © 2022 Solgen Power, All Rights Reserved