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Going solar: Fact or fiction?

By August 24, 2016 No Comments

This article was featured on ksl.

When it comes to solar energy, there seem to be plenty of discussions and opinions about this topic. Surprisingly it’s one of the social hot buttons that can spark a heated debate just as quickly as whether you are team “Blue” or team “Red.” Most of the time, these debates seem to come from limited, skewed, or flat-out wrong information about solar energy and how it affects the average homeowner.

Kelly Curtis, Director of Operations at Solaroo Energy, joined us a few months ago to talk about some of the myths surrounding the solar world and we asked him back today to cover a few more misconceptions that are out there.

Mr. Curtis starts out by saying, “There has never been a better time to make the switch to solar. There is new technology and the price for this new technology has been at an all-time low, which is why we want to educate the consumer as much as we can, so those who may be on the fence about whether or not to go solar will have an easier time seeing through all the solar clutter.”

Fact or fiction: Your solar panels don’t work during inclement weather

FICTION: It is true that you aren’t going to get as much production out of your solar system when there is high cloud content in the sky, but that doesn’t mean that your solar panels aren’t working at all.

“Really there is a great give and take to the way solar is set up,” says Mr. Curtis. “The best part about being grid-tied is that on days that are sunnier and you are producing more energy than you are using, the remaining energy goes into the grid and you receive a credit. On days that are cloudy or snowy and your system isn’t producing as much, you use the credits you’ve saved up, which keeps your bill the same low rate you’ll be paying on sunnier days. It all evens out.”

Fact of fiction: You can start saving money day one with your new solar system

FACT: With the Federal and State tax credits, as well as the financing options, the monthly payment ends up being less than the electric payment.

Mr. Curtis adds, “The good part is, it’s only for 12-20 years while you pay off your solar system, depending on which financing option you choose. And even better news, each year the electric company raises the rate by around 5 percent, which means that in some cases, some solar customers will actually be saving money each month on their monthly payment.”

For example, if you are paying around $150 a month in electricity and you finance a solar system for around $140 a month, you are already saving $10 a month on your payment and that payment will never increase, whereas your electric bill will continue to rise. The additional savings, once your system is paid off starts to add up into the tens of thousands over the lifetime of your system. “It’s pretty exciting,” Mr. Curtis continues.

Fact or fiction: Solar panels can jeopardize my roof

FICTION: In theory, sure, they can jeopardize a roof. However, solar companies are required to employ engineers to verify the structural integrity of each individual home, taking into consideration snow load and wind conditions.

Mr. Curtis says, “Not all homes pass the inspection of our engineers. If we feel like a home isn’t ready for a solar system, we will never take that risk by installing anyway. This is where we would refer those customers to a roofing company and hopefully we will see them later down the road.”

Additionally, most solar companies have a warranty for the install. “Industry standard is between 3-10 years,” adds Mr. Curtis. “We have a warranty of 25 years, so do your homework when looking into a solar company and make sure you know what their warranties cover and for how long.”

Fact or fiction: The federal tax credits were extended past this year

FACT: One of the best incentives for going to solar is that the government offers a tax rebate for the purchase of your solar system.

“Some companies, like ours, offer a financing option that allows you to apply the credit directly to your loan, acting as same-as-cash, so you end up seeing the benefits to this rebate immediately,” says Mr. Curtis.

For a time, the government offered this credit through December 2015, however, they have extended this warranty for five additional years, so making the switch to solar now makes a lot of sense.

For more information on going solar or for clarity on any of these topics, contact us at 801-826-4888.