Believe it or not, the average American household pays more than $1,200 per year on electricity alone. That’s at least $100 a month!
You have other expenses to cover and the more you can lower your energy bills, the better off you’ll be. Unfortunately, cutting your electric bill can be tough, but installing solar panels on your property can help you save serious money every year.
Before you can schedule an installation appointment, you need to decide if a large or small solar system is right for your needs. Here are a few things to think about before making your decision.
Decide Between Rooftop or Ground-Mounted Installations
Before you can decide on the right system for your home, think about where you want the solar panels to go. Most homes can use either a rooftop system or a ground-level solar panel system to generate plenty of energy. However, the best fit for your property largely depends on how much space you have.
For homes with small yards, roof-mounted solar panels will likely be the best choice. Even installing one or two panels can help make your home more eco-friendly. Most of the time the panels are installed on a discrete area of the roof so they aren’t as noticeable. The panels themselves have black frames and racking which lends to a sleek aesthetic.
Another benefit of roof-mounted solar panel systems is that they add to the longevity of your existing roof. They provide weather protection to your roof’s shingles which means less wear and tear. Not only do you save money on your energy bill, but you will also save on a premature home renovation as well!
The cost of installation will vary depending on which type of system you want and how many panels you choose to install.
Understand Your Goals
A small solar system will generate less electricity than a larger residential solar panel arrangement. This means you’ll need to think about what you want your panels to do before you make your choice.
If you want the solar system to create enough energy to power your home and send leftover energy back into the grid so you can earn credit from the electric company on a consistent basis, you’ll need a larger system. Even small systems will send power back to the grid and accumulate credits at times, such as a sunny summer day when no one is home. The bigger the system the more power would be ultimately be made and therefore sent back to the grid.
However, if your goal is to reduce your electric bill and decrease your carbon footprint by even just a small amount, a small solar system will do the trick.
If you’re not sure which option is right for your home, ask your solar contractor. They’ll be able to go over the options and find the right fit for your needs.
Know Your Budget
In most cases, a smaller solar system will cost less than one with more panels. Before you choose a system, think about how much you’re willing to pay out-of-pocket.
If you have savings, are you willing to use them to purchase a system? How much of your savings can you afford to spend on the installation? Absolute Environmental Solutions offers zero down financing, keeping your out of pocket spending to a minimum.
Once you have a number in mind, look into solar tax credits which could dramatically reduce the cost of your residential solar system.
If the installation costs are still higher than you expected, you may be able to finance the installation with a home improvement loan. Just make sure you’re able to make the monthly payments before you commit to a system.
Check for Neighborhood Restrictions
If you live in an area without a homeowners association, you’re likely able to install panels anywhere on your property without issue. However, if you live in a neighborhood with an active HOA, you’ll need to find out if there are any restrictions in place.
Unfortunately, HOAs can dictate whether you can install panels on your property. If they’re not and you choose to install them anyway, the HOA can fine you and ask that you remove the panels for good.
Unfortunately, HOAs can sometimes dictate the location of solar systems when it comes to the front yard or front portion of a roof. However, unless you live in a condo or the HOA technically owns the land and the roof itself, they can’t completely bar an install. Many times a condo contractor can work with you to make sure their aesthetic restrictions are accommodated.
Save yourself the trouble and learn about any restrictions before scheduling a consultation with an installation expert. This will save you time and money down the road.
Focus on Quality Rather Than Quantity
Though all solar panels convert the sun’s energy to electricity that your home can use, they’re not all made to the same high standards. You get what you pay for and lower quality panels will typically cost you less up-front, but you’ll end up having to replace them more often.
More expensive panels are typically higher quality and will last for decades without getting damaged by the elements.
It’s always best to invest in fewer high-quality panels than it is to buy more low-grade panels. Many panels come with a warranty which will cover the cost in the event the panels need to be replaced.
It should come as no surprise that solar system installation companies charge different rates. This means you’ll need to shop around to find the best team for your home.
Schedule consultations with each contractor you’re interested in. Get a written estimate for the full installation, including the cost of the panels, batteries, labor, and any other incidental fees you could expect. You’ll also want to get details on warranties for the solar system.
Once you have several estimates, compare them. Don’t be afraid to compare their reputations, too. Remember, different companies do different work.
If one contractor’s reviews all mention the same pain points, you can expect similar issues to pop up if you work with them. However, if most of their previous clients seem happy with their services, you’ll likely have the same experience.
Ultimately, choose a contractor that offers you the best quality service at a price you can afford.
Ready to Install a Large or Small Solar System?
Installing even a small solar system on your property can dramatically reduce your energy bills each month. The longer you have it, the more money you’ll save and, over time, those savings will far outweigh the cost of the system.
If you’re ready to explore your options and find out which system is right for your home, don’t wait. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and get a free quote on installation.