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Is it Worth Powering My House with Solar?

advantages of solar energy

As the best solar company San Diego has to offer, we say yes.

Perhaps you're toying with the possibility of hiring a San Diego solar company to install solar panels on your property. But your biggest question has yet to be answered: are solar panels worth it?

Before you can come to an answer to that question, it's important to know all the facts. At Baker Electric Home Energy we offer a variety of financing options to help making the switch to solar as easy and convenient as possible for our customers. If you decide to purchase the system, you can pay for it all up front or monthly with a finance option. A small down payment may be required for purchase agreements. If you decide to lease the equipment for 20 years, you'll pay little-to-nothing upfront and enjoy a fixed monthly payment on the equipment for the entire lease period.

How much sunlight your roof receives may determine which brand of panel you would have to choose. Not all panels are created equal. Some panels are more efficient than others, and if your house receives little sunlight or has a small area of quality roof-space, you'll want to have a more efficient panel. The more efficient panels are typically more expensive than the alternatives, but will easily pay for themselves over the course of a few years by creating more electricity. At Baker Electric Solar we carry three brands of panel: SunPower, LG, and Hyundai. All three are quality panels from reputable companies and offer our customers spending flexibility.

Now that you're armed with all that info, it's a good time to call us and speak with one of our knowledgeable Solar Energy Consultants. They can review your home and past energy use to design a system that will offset your electric bill, almost entirely if that's your goal. I wish there was a simple formula I could offer my readers that are interested in solar that would allow them to calculate their potential cost on their own, but there simply are too many factors. The amount of energy required (current energy use or what you want to use at home) to be generated from the solar system will dictate the square footage of the system and the brand of panels used. While these numbers aren't all encompassing and you may spend more or less, you can assume that a solar panel system will cost you $20,000-$30,000 for an average energy-using home.

Consider this Example

A particular solar energy system you're looking at would reduce your electric bill by $200 per month and you decide to purchase, not lease, the panels at a price of $25,000. You need to take out a loan in order to afford the installation. If you use the $200 savings as your monthly loan payment, you calculate that at the current interest rate of the loan, you can pay off the loan in 12 years. At that rate, is the investment worth it? Let's find out.

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Feasibility

System longevity: If solar panel installations only lasted a decade, the investment would not be economical. However, warranties on the panels often last 20 years or more. At Baker Electric Solar we also offer a 25-year workmanship warranty. An advantage of leasing the system is that if anything damages the panels (tree, hail, lightning) the leasing company will replace the panels at no cost to you. If you decide to purchase the panels, many home insurance companies offer protection for the panels, ensuring your investment is there for the long-haul.

Rebates and tax credits: If you qualify for cash back incentives from the California Solar Initiative, the upfront investment could be much smaller than you're anticipating. The federal government also offers tax credits totaling 30 percent of the investment, now through 2016. These incentives substantially reduce your investment cost.

Length of time in your current home: Making use of home solar energy is most beneficial if you plan to stay at your current residence for many years to come. However, if you end up selling in the future and have leased, or even better, paid-off, the solar the installation, it's a nice incentive to perspective buyers since the electric bill in the home will be a fixed rate (lease payment) or a few dollars a month (paid-off system).

Regardless of how much you pay for a solar energy system for your home or how you pay for it, making the switch to solar is an investment worth considering for you and your family, as well as for the environment.

To learn more about how to power a house with solar energy, please contact Baker Electric Solar, a San Diego solar company with over 75 years of electrical experience.

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