What are those driving reasons that attract people to solar energy in Florida? Many customers say that they feel it’s environmentally friendly, a significant savings in the long run on their utilities and it provides future electrical security. The economic savings alone is an overwhelming reason why people are interested in going solar and why they eventually get on board. The factors on savings differ slightly depending on the amount of direct sunshine that hits the roof of the home. The more continual sunlight that is able to hit the solar panels for the most extended period of time, the more savings the homeowner will actually receive.
We sat down with a residential solar power expert, Paul Henchy of Solar Advantage to ask him questions that many of us have about switching to solar panels in Florida. Here are the main details that you need to know.
The Costs And Savings Associated With Solar Energy
One way to look at solar energy for your home is that it is an investment in having control over your own electrical needs. If you compare it to renting versus homeownership, the similarity of switching from monthly electrical bills to owning your own solar system is identical. The premise is that once you have paid off the home mortgage you are now living rent-free. The same things hold true for solar, once you have paid off the equipment that produces energy for your home, you can now enjoy all your electrical needs cost-free. This typically takes 6-7 years conservatively to achieve but offers you free electricity for 40 or more years afterward.
So, how do you get started if you don’t have $15 – $25,000 to purchase a system outright? There are specific solar finance companies that are set up to offer solar loans. These third-party lenders understand the unique attributes of solar, so they propose no money down, long-term loans with low-interest rates for the interested homeowner. A professional solar company can size your solar system to match the size of your home. Utilizing a scientific process in determining how many panels your house should require, so each home is custom fit based on specific criteria. The average cost per kilowatt is just a bit over 10¢ per kilowatt. This makes the overall cost of the equipment comparable to what you are currently paying for electricity, which can range anywhere from 10 – 15¢ per kilowatt depending on your local utility company.
The typical solar home in Florida might produce 17,000 kilowatts annually and the excess production of electricity can be sold back to the utility company. This overflow of power ends up going back into the grid and the homeowner receives a credit balance which is called net metering.
So, Why Go Solar In Florida?
The question really comes down to, why rent electricity when you can make your own? Historically the Florida utility companies have increased their bills by just under 4%. It makes sense that by investing in solar in your home, you are in essence building an asset within your home. Taking into consideration that your home has enough roof space to accommodate the number of panels needed to eliminate any kilowatt charge, the homeowner would only be left with a meter connection fee from their local utility company and that would average between $9-$15 per month.
6 Major Reasons To Go Solar:
- You lock in your electricity rate like a home mortgage, every year you lock it in so it NEVER goes up.
- There is no out-of-pocket costs, deposits or fees until your entire system is installed and it begins to replace your current utility bill.
- Ownership of your electrical power which allows you to build equity.
- Tax advantages by receiving an annual renewable energy tax credit of 30%.
- Increased property value for homes with solar systems installed and guaranteed to be fully operational for 30 years.
- Great for the environment with no pollution output.
An Easy Process From Discovery To Installation
In Paul’s experience, just over half of every interested homeowner looking into solar ends up investing in a system. It truly is an easy process that most people are not aware of. Since it requires no upfront costs, most of the process is determining qualification for the solar loan and evaluating the house for the engineering report that outlines the exact system needed to sustain the utility needs for the size of the home.
- Intake information from the customer
- Pre-qualify customer for a solar loan
- Customer provides proof of ownership
- Photograph home including complete roofline
- Create an engineering design report based on the structure of the home which includes the exact number of solar panels needed to offset the home’s monthly utility needs.
- The solar company produces all permits (building and electrical) and receives confirmation of the engineering design report for all the equipment
- 4-6 weeks scheduled installation from this point in the process
- Utility company comes out to inspect the installation and issues the Permission To Operate
- Utility company installs the solar meter to the home
If you go solar with a good, experienced and qualified company that performs professional installations, the customer will be more than happy with the final outcome.
Some of the questions a homeowner should ask a solar company before signing on:
- How long has the company been in business?
- Do they use outside contractors or do they do their own installations with their own crew?
- Does the company have its NABCEP Certification?
- What kind of online reviews does the company have? You can check out – Solarreviews.com
- Does the system have a standard warranty? Or an extended warranty?
Solar Advantage provides homeowners the opportunity to save money and develop energy security with the installation of their solar systems. Their reputation is impeccable and they are always available to provide you with the information you need to make the best decision. So, understand that if you have a home in direct Florida sunshine, you will have no regrets going solar.
Here is the contact information to get in touch with Solar Advantage for any questions you may have or to request a free consultation.