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If you are tired of high utility bills and intrigued by the rise of clean energy, you may be considering a solar panel installation for your home. Converting your home to solar power can have enormous benefits for you, for your family and for the planet, but it is important to consider all the facts before you move forward.
The price of solar panels has fallen sharply in recent years, making this type of installation more affordable than ever, but solar energy is not the right choice for every homeowner. Here are some key things to consider if you are thinking about going solar.
1. Your current electricity rate
The price of power is an importunate consideration for homeowners considering a solar panel installation. The higher the going rate for electrify, the more feasible this kind of conversion will be.
2. How much power your household uses
If your home is highly efficient and the energy usage of your household is modest, you may not save much money by converting your property to solar. You will want to review your energy bills, including your usage, before doing the initial calculations.
3. Local rules and limitations
Depending on where you live, you may not be allowed to install solar panels on your roof. Some homeowners associations prohibit these types of conversions, and a number of municipalities place limits on this type of work. Before you move forward, make sure your home is eligible for a solar panel installation project.
4. The age of your roof
If your roof is nearing the end of its useful life, adding solar panels now is probably not a good idea. It is better to wait until the new roof is in place to install those solar panels, so you will not have to do any extra work.
5. The structural integrity of your roof
Solar panels have always been heavy, and while modern panels are lighter than their older counterparts, their weight is still significant. It is important to assess the structural integrity and weight-bearing capacity of your roof before agreeing to a solar installation.
6. The slope of your roof
Placement is critical for an effective solar panel installation, and the slope and direction of your roof matters. You will want to have an expert look at the property to determine if a solar installation will be worth the time, trouble and cost.
7. How much money you have to spend
Speaking of cost, you will want to look at your budget carefully before considering a solar panel installation. Prices have come down quite a bit, but installing solar panels on your roof is still a major home improvement project. Calculating the payback period will be critical if you want to get the most out of your solar conversion.
8. Whether you plan to move
How long you plan to stay in your home is another important consideration. If you do not plan to stay in your home for the long term, you may never recoup the initial cost of the installation.
9. The impact on resale value
You should not assume that a solar panel installation will always improve the resale value of your home. In some places it could do just the opposite. It is important to do your homework and research the relative resale value of solar power, especially if you have plans to sell.
10. Your commitment to a greener future
Money is not the only consideration when it comes to solar power. If your overriding goal is a greener future, it might make sense to move forward with the conversion even if the payback period is long or the impact on future home value is limited.
So are solar panels worth it?
Solar energy has never been more popular, or more affordable, and that is good news for the millions of homeowners currently considering this type of conversion. If you are thinking about taking your own home solar, the 10 tips listed above can help you determine if your property is a good candidate. In our recent post, you can also find out how much you can actually save with solar panels.
If you are curious about how long you can use a solar installation, see our article about the recycling of solar panels.