Does solar make sense for you? The truth is solar makes sense for many homeowners, but they never really investigated it.
Solar can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the array. Solar works in every state of the country, because every state has plenty of sunshine.
Did you know the colder it is, the more efficient a solar panel is? Here is an overview of what you need to know. Please note: This covers general rules when considering solar. Your situation may have special circumstances and challenges and may require additional considerations.
You Need Sunshine!
The first consideration, when thinking about putting in solar, is whether or not you have a roof or a plot of land that gets enough sunshine. If the area you are considering doesn’t have trees or buildings casting shadows between 9 AM and 3 PM, chances are you may have some options. The more hours of sun, the more solar makes sense.
If the area has trees that will grow in the next ten years that will block part of the solar array, you will have to make a choice: Remove the trees, keep them trimmed, or not put in solar. The same consideration should apply to areas where new building construction is expected.
If sunshine is or will be an issue, you can stop here. There is no need to read further.
Define Your Goals
The next step is to have a clear understanding of what you are trying to accomplish with solar. For example, some people want a little bit of solar to say they are doing their part to help the “Green Movement.” Others want to make enough electricity to run a water pump on their farm or have a battery backup in case the power goes out. Most people want to offset all of their electrical, so they don’t have to pay the electric company for it. One neat thing about solar is that it is modular in design, meaning you can start with just a few panels, and add on in the future as you desire.
Do You Have Enough Surface Area?
Once you have determined you have excellent sun exposure and know what you want to accomplish with solar, the next requirement is ensuring you have enough surface area to install solar panels. How many and how much space? That depends on how much electricity you need to generate. A family of four normally uses a lot more power than a family of two. The higher your electric bill, the more panels you need and the larger surface area your array will require. In general, if you have an area facing south with lots of sun, you have the ideal setup for solar!
Following are some other items to consider before going solar:
You must own the home to install solar.
Are you going to live in your home for the next eight to ten years? If yes, you will see a return on your investment. When you sell your home you will receive more for your solar home then you would if you didn’t go solar so start saving today. With Michigan Solar Solutions Pearl Certification, the value of your solar array can legally be added to your home without any comparable sales in your area.
Does your roof need to be replaced in the next ten years?
If yes, we recommend you replace your roof before installing solar. Solar panels come with a 25-year warranty and should last 40 years. Be smart and replace your roof first!
How is your credit?
Most homeowners who go solar trade their electric bill in for a solar purchase plan, with payments often costing less than their current and future monthly electric bill, although your credit score may impact your ability to obtain financing. We recommend having a credit score at least in the mid 600's.
What does your neighborhood allow?
If you live in an area with strict codes, such as with Neighborhood Associations, check to ensure solar arrays are permitted. Some will allow for roof mounted solar, but not ground mounted. Do your homework! Allow our trained staff to help you through it.
What is the Next Step?
Contact us for help to further analyze your specific situation. With a copy of your electric bill, we can calculate your average monthly usage. We will check your home over our satellite programs to see how much power we can generate from your roof or property and assess shading conditions. Next comes an analysis and proposal; with a comprehensive solution, your investment and your annual return on investment. In the last decade, we have learned how to make this easy on you!