Buying Solar Panels For Home Use: What You Need To Know


What to Know About Buying Solar Panels

When it comes to buying solar panels for your home, you want to be sure you have all the facts so you can make the best decision when you make your purchase. Ownership of your solar energy system means that you will enjoy all the long-term financial benefits as well as the abundant energy each solar panel produces.

solar panels on a home

Why Buy Solar Panels For Your Home?

Unlike traditional energy costs that fluctuate due to changes in fuel prices (oil, natural gas, coal, etc.), your future energy costs with solar panel system are predictable and already paid for. Investing in solar for your home is a way to future-proof your home’s energy.

Overall, it makes sense to have solar installed on your home from an economic and environmental standpoint. Additionally, with federal incentives, local incentives and statewide rebate programs contributing toward your switch to solar, the switch to solar is more affordable than ever. If you’ve been considering a switch to solar energy, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s go over some of the most important factors when it comes to considering buying solar panels.

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Estimating Your Solar Panel Needs

If you want to lower your electric bill, the amount of solar panels will be determined by exactly how much you want to lower it. If you just want half your electricity use to be reduced, your solar panel system will probably be smaller.

If you want to cover all your electric needs, you’ll probably need a larger solar panel system, which means of course, more solar panels. However, if you have limited roof space you could instead use higher efficiency solar panels. This would mean fewer solar panels, but greater generation rates.

At the end of the day, the size of your solar panel system depends entirely on your energy needs and the wattage of power you need your solar panels to produce.

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Average Cost of Buying Solar Panels

With advancements in technology, government incentives such as tax credits, and a growing competitive market, buying your solar system is quite affordable and an efficient way to power your household and the appliances within it. Some states even offer cash rebates after the purchase of a solar panel system.

When considering the cost to go solar, of course the size of your home solar system, the amount of panels, any added battery storage and your state’s solar incentives all factor into the costs. The important part is that you are in total control of your energy usage.

Maybe the coolest part about going solar: there is an end date for payments. The electric company can’t say the same about their traditional residential electricity bills.

Here are some of the factors involved in determining the cost of buying solar panels for your home.

cost of solar panels factorsRoof Size and Type

Solar panel efficiency is measured by more than the number of panels — regardless of your roof size. Of course, the bigger your roof is the more potential sun your roof gets. This is also a factor in how many solar panels you will be able to get installed. If your roof is smaller, solar professional will also be able to tell you if the type of solar panel you’re having installed produces at a high enough level that can make up for a smaller number of panels.

Roof Orientation

The optimal direction for your roof to face is towards the south. Although your solar panels can capture sunlight from any angle, the southern direction is best for solar power generation. If most of the space on your roof is facing towards the south, that means you may need fewer solar panels to generate the amount of electricity that you would like to produce. If it doesn’t face south, there’s still options that could work for you and your home.

Shade Coverage

Although most people have a tree or two in their yard, when it comes to solar panels, less shade is best. Because solar panels need direct sunlight to generate electricity, too much shade can lower your solar panel’s efficiency. This will keep them from producing power from your home, and may potentially lower your savings.

Read more about the cost of solar panels.

How To Buy Solar Panels

There are several things to know about buying solar panels. If you’re wondering the best way to buy solar panels, let’s get into what you’re going to need to know.

How Many Solar Panels Will I Need?

rooftop solar panelsThis is one of the first questions people ask about solar. The answer? It’s difficult to determine how many solar panels your home is going to need. The number of solar panels you will need depends on many different factors that are unique to your home and your situation. It’s important to understand all of these factors before you decide on your solar system investment.

Some of these factors include:

One of the biggest regrets homeowners have after their install is that they wish they would have installed more solar panels when they had the chance. They see the amount of power produced, and they want even more — especially if it means they can connect to a home battery like the Tesla Powerwall to store excess power or sell it by way of net metering.

Make sure to check with a professional to find the exact amount your home will need for maximum benefits and follow their recommended guideline.

You may also want to consider investing in a solar energy battery for your solar power systems, which will store any excess energy your panels will produce. This will allow your home to run on renewable energy even at night.

If you decide at some point after your install that you want more panels as part of your solar PV system, it will be complicated and expensive, while adding additional solar panels to the original quote can be surprisingly cheap.

Read more about how many solar panels you will need.

Is Solar A Good Investment?

Switching to solar is a great investment for your home’s energy costs, but did you know there are even more reasons why solar is a great long-term investment? Let’s go over just a few of the reasons having solar panels installed to your home is a bright idea.

Solar Panels Increase Home Value

That’s right, buying your solar panels increases your home value should you ever decide to sell your house. In some states, your rooftop solar installation is exempt from property taxes, which means even further opportunity to realize more return on your investment.

Read more about how solar panels increase your home’s value.

Solar Rebates and Tax Incentives

When you take steps to make your home more energy efficient, you can claim the federal solar tax credit. The current federal tax credit is 26% the cost of the entire system.

Keep in mind that the 26% tax credit applies as long as the home solar system is installed by December 31, 2022. Starting in 2023, the value of the tax credit will step down to 22%. After 2023, the tax credit for residential solar ends.

Depending on where you live, there’s often a state-level tax credits or rebates as well.

The true cost of going solar depends highly on any financial solar incentives that are available to you. As your solar company, ADT Solar will take into account any available incentives to help you cover the cost of solar panels and solar installation.

Other Financial Incentives

In addition to incentives, if your state participates in net metering, you’ll have more chances to increase your initial investment of your solar installation. Each day your panels produce more energy you can use, you’ll be able to sell that excess energy back to your utility company.

Another little-known way to pay off the initial investment of your solar installation is through the ADT Solar Referral App. You can earn money just by telling other homeowners you know about your experience of going solar.

Incentives like these can help greatly reduce the overall price of your solar panel system, which means that you’ll be going solar in no time. ADT Solar takes into account these incentives when we calculate the final costs.

Buying vs. Leasing Solar Panels

Should you lease or buy your solar panels? There are advantages to each and it’s a smart idea to consider the pros and cons for your particular situation. Here we’re going to break it down in simple terms.

There are three ways to purchase solar panels: cash, solar loans and solar leasing/PPA.

The benefits of buying your home solar system include greater long-term savings, especially since your system could pay for itself in typically three to seven years. However, the upfront costs are the highest.

The benefits of financing your solar panels include zero down in some cases, but a monthly payment. The savings after around 20 years is less than with a cash purchase, but still significant. The best part is that your payments will end at some point, and your electric bill will be greatly reduced or eliminated. The trade-off is well worth it.

The benefits of solar leasing or solar purchase agreements (PPA) is that it will be less expensive to install upfront, and someone else will be responsible for maintaining your solar system. However, your monthly payment will be relatively high compared to other options and you will have no long-term benefits.

solar buying vs. leasing

Where to Buy Solar Panels

Where to buy solar panels depends on your needs. Are you looking for small scale systems that are DIY? If so, wholesale retailers and websites like Amazon sell kits for smaller scale projects. However, these will not be able to power your entire home. Typically these are used for a few items at a time as a backup source.

If you’re looking for large-scale solar power system installations, then you’ll want to go with a national installer. Make sure to choose a company with a great reputation and warranties. Here are a few pointers.

What to Look for In a Solar Installation Company

  1. Expertise: Your solar installer should have expertise in the solar industry and a bonus company would have experience in roofing. A company with expertise will have been open for more than a few years and have thousands of installations under their belt. Many companies subcontract their installation employees. Companies who have in house installers are much more reliable and experienced.
  2. Credentials: A reputable solar installation company will have all of the necessary licenses, insurance policies and credentials needed for all areas they operate in. They should be listed on their website and easy to find. A company with all credentials will meet all of the state standards and is certified as a legitimate business.
  3. Track Record and experience: The solar industry is growing and not many companies have decades of solar under their belt. Though, finding a company with a background in solar and years of experience is necessary. They should be able to discuss and show different installations and systems previously installed. They should have hundreds of reviews on their website and social media accounts.
  4. Reputation: Reading solar company reviews is a great place to start. Keep an eye out for companies that respond to their customer reviews and respond in a professional and timely manner. Companies who care about their customers will be helpful and thankful to their customers. Solar companies that have won solar awards and been named in the top of their industry are great companies to look into.
  5. WarrantiesWarranties are a very important factor when considering solar installation companies. Many solar companies do not have reliable warranties. When buying an expensive system, it is important to know about the warranties and what the company will do for you if something goes wrong.
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ADT Solar, Trusted Solar Company

ADT Solar has a proven history and reputation for providing quality, affordable solar service. In fact, we ranked #2 for 2020 Solar Power World’s Top Residential Solar Installer in the United States. We are proud to offer some of the best warranties you can find in the solar industry and only use products that offer the same.

Free Solar Panel Quote For Homeowners

If you’re ready to take the next step, or even if you’re considering what it would take to get you there, contact us to discover all your options. We install solar and roofs across the United States. Contact us today to see if we service your area and get free solar quotes for your particular needs.

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