6 Questions You Should Ask Before Going Solar

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The Dollar and Cents of Going Solar – Are You Ready?

If you are thinking about going solar, here are some things that you should consider before you do or do not get them installed. Solar power is a great choice, it can save you a lot of money, but you need to make sure you are informed.

Solar panels can lower a three-digit energy bill to under $10. This year, with a 30-percent federal tax credit on solar panels extended until the end of 2019, solar panel installation is especially popular. Let’s take a look at the cost-effectiveness of solar panels and highlight some critical questions that will help you reach an informed decision.

stack of money bills and change close up on dark wooden surface

The dollars and cents of going solar

A solar panel system for most residential homes will cost between $15,000 and $25,000, or $10,500 to $17,500 after the federal tax credit. Here are four ways you can pay for your solar panel system:

1. Cash.

Paying upfront will bring you the biggest return on your investment. Your solar panels will pay for themselves in five to seven years.

2. Lease agreement.

Solar leasing is available in about half the country. You’ll pay a monthly rent instead of an upfront fee for your panels. The leasing company will install them and collect any government credits or incentives on your behalf.

Leasing solar panels are generally not recommended, as it does not provide any lasting value to the lessee. It usually contains an escalator clause, which increases lease payments by 3 percent a year. It can be a deterrent to potential homebuyers should you decide to sell your house before the lease is up.

3. Solar loan.

These loans, created just for funding this purchase, can be secured or unsecured and have high origination fees.

little wooden home on top of a jar of change with stacks of change leading up to the jar on both sides

4. Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC).

Except for cash, the most financially responsible way to finance your solar panels purchase is through a line of credit against your home’s value. Stop by Box Elder Credit Union to learn about the low-interest rates on our home equity line of credit, find out more here: http://bit.ly/SummerHELOC.

Are solar panels for you?

Ask yourself these questions before making a decision:

A.  Which way does my roof slant?

In the United States, south-facing roofs are the best recipients for solar energy.

B.  How much sunlight does my roof get each day?

Sunshine should hit your panels for a minimum of five hours a day.

sun behind a large white home with spanish style roof

C.  How large is my roof?

An average residential solar system will need roughly 500 square feet of roof space.

D.  How old is my roof?

It only makes sense to install your panels on a roof that has many years of life left.

E.  How expensive is my electricity?

The higher your local electricity rates, the more cost-effective your solar panels will be. 

F.  Are there government incentives in my state?

Check for available state credits on the database of state incentives for renewables and efficiency.

If you have decided to go solar, don’t forget to stop by one of our Box Elder Credit Union locations to ask about our financing options, or find out more about a Home Equity Line of Credit here: http://bit.ly/SummerHELOC.

 

SOURCES:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/considering-getting-solar-panels-here-are-the-right-questions-to-ask/2018/03/09/3190c71a-20c0-11e8-94da-ebf9d112159c_story.html%3FoutputType%3Damp

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/finance/save-money-putting-solar-panels-roof/

https://www.tdworld.com/commentaries/5-reasons-why-i-don-t-have-solar-panels-my-roofyet

https://www.consume rreports.org/energy-saving/real-cost-of-leasing-vs-buying-solar-panels 

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