Over the past decade, residential solar energy has grown 75-fold in the U.S. We're in the middle of a major shift in the way people power their homes. Maybe you're considering making the switch yourself? If so, here are a few things you should know.
You're already paying too much.
If utility bills feel like they're becoming too expensive, you're not alone. Residential electricity rates have increased by a nationwide average of 15 percent in the last decade. While more than 40 percent of U.S. households report that they already find their monthly utility bills unaffordable, most indications in the energy market suggest the upward trend in utility costs should continue. Meanwhile, the cost of installing residential solar energy systems continues to fall steadily.
We know that switching your home's energy supply to solar calls for a big investment, but with the right financing strategy, it’s an investment that pays for itself in short order and continues to pay dividends for decades to come.
Want to find out for yourself? Grab a copy of your latest energy bill then hop on the phone with a solar energy company. They can tell you about pricing and financing options. Plus, they’ll use the information on your power bill to custom design a system for your home that balances efficiency and savings.
The choice is yours to lease or buy.
Wondering if you should lease or buy your solar power system?
If your interest in saving energy and reducing your carbon footprint outweighs the appeal of tax credits, cash rebate, and owning your home’s power supply yourself, then a solar lease is a fine option. A solar lease gives you the equipment and installation labor at no cost. Then, instead of purchasing electricity from a utility company, you pay the solar leasing company at a discounted rate. And sure enough, your energy bills drop, just not by as much as they would if you owned the system outright. It’s a step in the right direction, no doubt. But the solar leasing company pockets the tax credits, cash rebates, solar performance payments, and renewable energy credits, all of which can amount to thousands of dollars that you could have used to pay down a major chunk of the solar loan if you had bought the system yourself.
When you buy your system either with cash up front, or with financing through your solar provider, you pocket full value of the energy savings, including net-metering credits, tax incentives, cash rebates, solar performance payments, and renewable energy credits. Plus, a solar loan, like Blue Raven’s Blue Power Plus+ gives you a fixed monthly payment for the life of the loan.
Meanwhile, remember the price of electricity is expected to continue rising.
There's a lot to learn about tax rebates and tax incentives in your area.
Until the end of 2019, everyone purchasing solar for their home qualifies for a 30 percent federal tax credit—as long as your tax liability is high enough. On top of federal tax credits, your city, county, and/or utility company may also offer some kind of credit or cash rebate. You can find out more about these savings by going to the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency website or by visiting the website of your own utility provider.
Available savings vary by state, city, and utility company. For example, Duke Energy, the largest utility provider in the U.S., has a program for eligible North Carolina customers that offers a cash rebate of $0.60 per watt for installed solar energy systems. That means, a rooftop solar array of 6 kW, which is about the average size installed by us so far in 2019, would qualify for a rebate of $3,600.
Just keep in mind, qualifying for programs like that involves inspections to ensure the system complies with the rebate program's requirements and that it generates a valid amount of solar power for your home. But when you go with Blue Raven Solar, we handle the paperwork and deal with the red tape to help our customers maximize the benefits of switching their home’s power supply to solar energy and to make the process run as smooth as possible.
Not all solar providers are the same.
When you’re able to stack all the benefits of going solar on top of each other, the value of your investment in solar compounds on many levels. To make sure you capture all that value for yourself, you want a solar provider with a track record of combining savings, quality installation, and customer service. You most certainly want to select a provider that has years of experience in solar system installation, maintenance, and repairs. And you want a provider that installs top-of-the-line equipment with financing options you can afford.
Solar power can save you big money on heating, cooling, and powering your home. Naturally, we’re huge believers in it. Still, we understand it may not be right for everybody. There are many other factors to consider on top of what’s already been mentioned above. Those might include your personal financial situation, utility and government regulations, and your home’s structure, architecture, and surrounding landscape.
If you have questions and want to know more, call us at 855.429.1227, 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 energy cleaner and more affordable.