Solar Energy is Not “All or Nothing”
When you first begin researching a solar PV array to provide clean, renewable energy for your home, you may dream of completely getting rid of your electric bills or even having your electric provider pay you. This is a process called net metering and the money will go as a credit toward your future electric bills.
While this is a worthwhile eventual goal, you may find that a solar system that provides that quantity of power to your home is either out of your price range or simply not possible because of solar sightlines to your home. For instance, maybe you don’t have enough real estate on your roof facing south, east, or west or maybe your neighbors have a lot of trees that block the solar path to your roof. Your solar installer will be limited as to where he can place your solar array, which means you’ll need to use a smaller system.
The average-sized solar PV system is approximately 4 or 5 kW and typically saves homeowners an average of 30 to 40 percent on their electric bills, depending on a number of factors. (You can get your free solar savings report from EcoOutfitters to get more specific estimates for your home.) This still adds up to hundreds of dollars a year in savings.
If your only obstacle to having the solar array of your dreams is cost, you can set the money you’re saving aside and use it to invest in a larger system. One of the great things about solar panels is they can be added on gradually. You don’t have to cover your entire roof in photovoltaic panels all at once. You can buy what you can afford right now and add to your system as time goes on.
Give It Time
If you’ve ever moved into a new home, you understand the process. After closing on a house and moving, you probably don’t have the money to re-decorate and furnish every room at the same time. You may start with fresh paint in the living room, and maybe new carpeting, and go from there. A solar array is similar — even a small array will improve your quality of life. But, unlike a new sofa, your solar investment will save you money!
But Don’t Wait Too Long
We’d urge you to start your solar energy investment today. No one knows how long the generous Federal solar incentives will remain in place. It’s true the price of solar panels may continue to drop, but you can’t go wrong by investing now. The price of electricity is only going to go up, and you’ll start saving money immediately and continue saving over the life of your solar installation (about 35 years).