Solar power is quickly becoming the go-to energy choice for homeowners across the country who want to help the planet (and save a few dollars). As with any popular trend, some people approach this energy source from the wrong angle, costing them time and money along the way. Here are the most common mistakes people make when switching to solar energy and how to avoid them.
Waiting To Get Solar Panels
We understand better than most that solar power is not the cheapest as far as up-front investments go. However, people who put off buying solar panels but intend to do so “at some point” are only shooting themselves in the foot. The reason for this is that solar energy is popular now. With popularity comes competitive pricing and, in the case of solar, rebates.
The longer you wait to get solar panels, the fewer savings you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy. Different areas offer different incentives, so consider what you could get back if you invest in solar panels.
Thinking Their Roof Is Incompatible
A common misconception about solar panels is that you can only install them on roofs that face a certain direction. While roof angle is a factor in solar energy production, it does not drastically increase or reduce the energy your panels will create.
Additionally, solar panel installation works with various roof types. Metal, asphalt shingles, and tile roofs are all compatible with solar panels. Tile roofing will incur additional installation costs since the technicians will have to remove a few roof tiles to prevent breakage, but the savings will add up quickly to offset the extra cost.
Finally, don’t worry if your roof is completely flat. Many tar and gravel roofs have no angle at all, but technicians can provide extra hardware that sets up your panels at an optimal 30-degree angle.
Getting Only One Quote
It doesn’t make sense not to shop around for the best deal. Different solar companies in your area will likely offer different packages at varying price points, so don’t just go with the first company you meet. If a price seems too high or too low, there’s probably a reason. Too high, and the company is trying to get extra money out of you (so stay away); too low, and they’re likely not offering the best technology.
For each quote, ask the company to break down every aspect of the price. Solar power is a substantial investment, so make sure you (and they) understand what you’re paying for before making the purchase.
Ignoring Rebates and Incentives
The US Department of Energy approves solar power, and with that approval comes incentives to install panels. Local, state, and federal programs could take up to 30 percent off your final bill, so ignoring these options is just leaving money on the table. However, remember that not all locations or situations are eligible for the same benefits.
Avoiding Solar Because of the Up-Front Cost
The initial cost that solar power requires puts off a lot of people, but that’s because it’s easy to forget why this energy option is so appealing: it’s an investment. Along with your quote for installation, ask the solar companies to estimate how long it will take for your solar panels to save you that amount of money.
In many cases, households with solar panels make back their initial investment within 10 years. If you have no plans to move out of your house, your solar panels could make money in just over a decade. The average electric bill in the US is around $120.00—once you pay off the panels, imagine saving over $100.00 every month!
Underestimating Current Energy Usage
When the time comes to get your quote, solar companies will ask what your current energy usage is to provide you with the best setup for your needs. Many homeowners underestimate this number, thinking it will result in a lower quote. It will, but it also means you’ll get solar panels that don’t meet your energy needs.
It costs less money to get the panels you need all at once than trying to add more panels to your roof after a few years. Provide solar companies with an accurate picture of your energy usage to ensure you get the panels you need.
Thinking That One Size Fits All
The chances are that your roof does not look like your neighbor’s roof. If you know someone else with solar panels and have an idea of what they paid, don’t expect your total to look the same. Depending on your roofing materials, angle, energy usage, and nearby tree cover, you could see a quote that’s more, less, or the same.
What matters most is that your solar panel provider cares about your specific situation. This ensures that you’ll get what you need to address your energy requirements.
Buying Cheap Solar Panels
Short-term savings result in a lack of long-term savings, and in the world of solar panels, long-term savings are much more important. Cheap solar panels will end up costing more as time goes on, as they require frequent check-ups and repairs.
Be wary of companies that quote a price much lower than the competition—ask yourself how this benefits them. They likely make their money from technicians constantly going out for repairs.
Expecting Too Much Too Soon
It’s understandable: when a family pays as much as they do for solar panels, there’s a hope of a fast return on the investment. This will only lead to disappointment. Solar energy will save you money but over time. Solar can save you tens of thousands of dollars over 20 years, but those savings are incremental, and you should not expect them quickly. Manage your expectations and focus on the big picture.
Now that you understand some common mistakes people make when switching to solar energy, you should consider requesting a quote from reputable solar panel companies in Albuquerque. There’s a lot of money to save and a lot of energy to create in an earth-conscious way.