Solar power is rising in popularity in the U.S. Before you switch your household's power source to solar energy, you should first ask yourself some important questions to ensure that you make the right choice for your home.
How Much Do I Pay for Power Now?
Perhaps the first question that you should ask yourself before deciding to switch to solar power is how much do I pay right now? Are my utilities becoming too much for my budget to handle?
If you feel like you are paying too much, you are not alone! In fact, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says that in 2017 homeowners can see a rise in heating and cooling costs of on average 5 percent.
This rise in energy costs comes at a time when more than 40 percent of American households already experience difficulty affording their utility bills each month.
Take a look at your energy bill and have it available when you’re ready to talk to a solar company. They’ll be able to take your current rates and customize a system for your home that balances efficiency and savings.
Should I Lease My Solar System or Should I Buy It?
Before making the switch to solar, it’s worth researching whether you want to lease or buy your solar power system.
If you are more interested in reaping energy savings than tax credits, you might consider leasing your system. When you lease it, you get the equipment and installation of the system at no cost but instead will essentially purchase your power from the solar company at a discounted rate. You will see your energy bills drop in price—albeit not at the full value that is available to people who buy their systems. When you lease, you are given a share of energy savings. However, a big drawback is that you are not eligible to claim tax credits on the system, which can amount to thousands of dollars from the Federal and State governments.
If you buy your system, you get the full value of the energy savings applied to your utility bills as well as the tax credits made available by the IRS. You pay a fixed price each month for the system and are not penalized for buyout or prepayments.
What Tax Credits Are Available in My Area? What Credits or Rebates Does My Utility Company Provide?
The tax credits for switching to solar power can substantially lower what you owe the IRS each year. Everyone purchasing solar for their home qualifies for the 30% federal tax credit (as long as your tax liability is sufficient enough to receive the credit).
In addition to claiming credits offered by the IRS, you also may be able to claim credits and rebates available in your city and state. You can find these savings by going to the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency’s website or by visiting the website of your local utility provider.
The amount of savings applied to your bill can vary depending on in what state or city you live. For example, Duke Energy, the largest utility provider in the U.S., offers credits of up to 51 percent to qualified solar power users. Those savings are applied directly to customers' bills and lowers the amount that they pay each month for electricity.
Because more people are claiming solar power rebates and credits, you might have to sign up and be placed on a waiting list. Working with a company like Blue Raven Solar will ensure that you don’t have to wait on these lists.
The energy company in your area must also ensure that your system complies with the rebate program's requirements and that it generates a valid amount of solar power for your home. Blue Raven Solar will do this for you as well. Working with a solar company that is a full service, end to end company makes this part so much easier.
Which Solar Power Provider Should I Choose?
Finally, you should ask yourself which solar system provider will give you the best combination of savings, quality of installation, and customer service. You most certainly want to select a provider that has years of experience in solar system installation, maintenance, and repairs. You also want a provider that can offer a top-notch system at price you can afford.
A solar power provider like Blue Raven Solar can get your home set up on solar power quickly, efficiently, and affordably.
Solar power can save you big money on heating, cooling, and powering your home. But it may not be right for everybody. There are many other factors to take into consideration in addition to the ones mentioned above including your personal financial situation, utility and government regulations, and your home’s potential capacity to produce solar power. If you have questions and want to know more, call or visit us at blueravensolar.com to talk to a qualified solar energy expert.
Rather than continuing to pay ever increasing costs of fossil fuel energy, we at Blue Raven Solar believe that switching your home's energy source to a solar system can make your home's utility bills more affordable and help to reduce emissions that benefit all of us.