As the price of electricity continues to rise, many homeowners are making the switch to solar. The solar industry is thriving more than ever thanks to the average 25-year life of solar panels that can save the homeowner a significant amount of money. In this blog you will learn about the top 7 mistakes homeowners make when going solar and how to avoid them.
1. Putting Off Buying Solar Panels
Deciding to go solar is a big decision that can lead to additional questions and expenses. Some people choose to wait when making this change to their home due to the cost. However, the longer you wait the more savings you are missing out on.
The urgency for homeowners to go solar is increased due to the popularity of solar energy. The more that people go solar, the sooner that solar rebates and tax incentives may be phased out. This means that by the time you decide to install your own solar system, it may be too late to take advantage of these financial incentives.
You will still be able to take advantage of the lowered electricity bills and become more energy efficient and until the end of 2021, be able to take advantage of the 22% tax incentive when going solar. Therefore, if you are still wondering if solar is truly worth it; the answer is YES.
2. Buying Cheap Solar Panels
You are most likely considering making the switch to solar due to the potential of saving money. It is easy to think that all solar companies are equal and that it makes most sense to go with the cheapest system you can get. However, when going solar; saving money on the type of panels you install is not the place to cut corners. Purchasing cheap solar panels may seem like the right idea now, but the short-term savings will cost you more money in the long run.
Cheap solar systems are more expensive for the homeowner in the long run instead of paying for a superior system with a 5 star provider. If you go with cheap solar panels you will most likely get what you pay for. Some examples can include low quality or poorly installed panels, faulty inverters, lack of customer service or support after the sale and finally a system that does not meet the standards that were initially presented to the homeowner.
3. Thinking “One Size Fits All”
When it comes to going solar, every home is different. Because of this, sizing a solar system can be a bit more complex than it appears. Think of it as trying on a suit or purchasing a pair of shoes, your solar system should fit you and your family's energy needs based on your home's size and needs. Your solar system should not only be sized carefully based on your current energy usage but you should also take into consideration the goals you may have for lowering your energy bills and what your plans for the future may look like - whether this means your family will expand or get smaller. You should also take into account climate, panel orientation, shading and efficiency.
When considering going solar, we recommend that you meet with one of our highly trained Energy Consultants who will be able to not only listen to you but also explain how they will take your future plans into consideration in their presentation. They will also take into consideration an evaluation of your roof, the orientation of your home and your current electricity consumption as well.
4. Not Doing The Proper Research
One of the most important things to consider when going solar is to research the company. Make sure they are licensed and insured. It is also important to look into the warranties that they offer and their online reviews as well.
5. Not Taking Rebates and Incentives Seriously
As you may know by now, a good quality solar system is not necessarily inexpensive. It is however, a long-term investment. When converting to solar, it requires commitment. However, there are incentives such as tax credits, rebates and many other incentives in each state that can help you lower the cost of going solar.
In fact, if you are a homeowner in the United States, the government encourages you to invest in solar power. They do this by offering different incentives through the Department of Energy that assist in bringing that cost down as much as 22% from a combination of Federal, State and local incentives.
6. Thinking “DIY”
If you are the type of homeowner that likes to do things yourself -especially if this means saving a buck or two - you may be tempted to install your solar system yourself. As easy as it may sound, you may not know everything that comes with installing a solar system. Such as how to determine the system size, how much roof support you may need and how to properly wire a solar panel. There is a lot more that comes with it, these are just a few of the key factors. If you do not know any of these, you should probably leave the installation process to the professionals.
You definitely do not want to make any mistakes in the installation process that can lead to damaging your home and cause issues with your energy use. Make sure when getting quotes that the companies are reputable and accredited. Finally, keep in mind that hiring someone cheap or a friend/family member could be just as bad as installing the solar system yourself.
7. Having Unreasonable Expectations
If you have recently asked yourself, “Is going solar really worth it?” you may have an expectation of seeing immediate savings as soon your system is installed and running. However, you must keep in mind that depending on the type of panel and your average energy usage; it may take a few years before you truly begin to see the financial benefits of switching to solar.
It is key to remember that the sun is also uncontrollable and unpredictable. Your systems output could vary from day to day and between seasons. Another factor to take into account is tree shading. In an ideal world, no shading would be preferred.
Therefore, you must have realistic expectations for how long the payback period will be before you begin to see that your investment is paying for itself. Try to think about your solar investment as an investment in the stock market, some days will be more ideal than others. This is why doing research is so important when going solar, so that you can set yourself up for realistic expectations when it comes to return on investment.
Choosing to go solar is a great investment not only for your home and the environment but also your wallet. However, you must go into this with an open mind and realistic expectations. As you get ready to make your change to solar, keep these 7 common mistakes in mind and avoid them.