Powering a property with a renewable energy source like solar panels has plenty of benefits. We’re sure that you’ve read a lot about how they decrease the carbon footprint, shrink the electricity bill, increase the appealing of a home, elevate the ARV, and even help you with taxes.
Nonetheless, if you’re considering acquiring them (maybe for a flip or a rental property), it’s crucial to analyze the situation first. Even though they come with many advantages, not every property (and every case) is worth the investment. Plus, some things need to be taken into account before installing them.
For that reason, here you’ll find five questions you have to ask yourself before going solar!
1. Is there a good place to install solar panels?
The first step after you decide you dive into renewable energy is location. You need to make sure there’s room in the property to install solar panels. They are often placed on the roof, which is convenient because you don’t need to take out space from the yard to put them. However, the downside is that the roof should be strong enough to support them. Older homes might need a bit of work here – from a minor repair to a complete replacement, depending on the case.
Thus, you should thoroughly inspect the place, do the math, and see what’s more cost-effective. Is it worthy of fixing or changing the roof to install them? Do you have a big yard to put them instead? Would all this affect your budget and your ARV positively or negatively?
Lastly, make sure that no matter where you put them, you get the optimal positioning. In the northern hemisphere, solar panels should face south since they’ll receive the most direct light throughout the day.
2. Which solar panel is best for my needs?
Renewable energy is an industry in constant motion. So, there’s not just one type of solar panel. Once you decide to purchase them, there are two aspects to consider. The first is the type of technology that best fits your needs, and the second is its performance.
There are two major categories of solar panels. The photovoltaics ones are also known as solar electric since they use solar cells to convert sunlight into electricity directly. They’re also the most common ones. On the other hand, solar thermal panels use mirrors to concentrate sunlight and are typically used to heat water. Although they’re more efficient, they are more reliant on the sun. Photovoltaics are more versatile and last longer.
After choosing the type of panel you want, take a moment to compare their performance, durability, and warranty.
3. Do I need a permit?
Don’t forget to consult city codes before installing solar panels. Every area has different rules about this subject, and you want to make sure you abide by them. If you need a permit, don’t forget that it might take some time, so make sure to do your research beforehand to avoid delays.
4. What’s the entire cost?
Solar panels are the kind of investment that shows its relevance in the long run. Unless you’re selling the place and adding value, it’s not likely that you see any immediate benefit of it. On the contrary, the costs are far more evident.
The initial up-front cost of the panels can be pretty expensive, and you also need to check out the interest rate over time. Furthermore, you’ll have to pay for the installation process (which requires a qualified professional) and the repairs, if necessary. Permits could also cost you some money; and lastly, there are maintenance costs, as well.
Yes, it sounds a bit discouraging, but you must evaluate everything before purchasing them. Otherwise, what sounded like a great idea to add value to a property and lower the bills ends up being your downfall.
5. Are there any tax incentives to install solar panels?
Since going green is something that governments and organizations encourage, you might find financial benefits to ask or apply for. Make sure to search for tax credits and breaks either from the federal government or the states. These opportunities have the potential to cut your expenses short considerably, making it feasible to switch to solar panels.
You can start your research at the DSIRE, a database of state incentives and policies that support renewable energy in the United States.
Besides their popularity, solar panels aren’t for everyone; and they’re not for every place either. Their purchase requires research and analysis to understand if they’re a suitable alternative for you and your property. If so, you’ll reduce your bills and your environmental impact in the long term and elevate your ARV.
According to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, a study found that solar panels are viewed as upgrades, just like a renovated kitchen or a finished basement. Moreover, homebuyers across the country have been willing to pay an extra $15,000 for a home with an average-sized solar array. Additionally, there is evidence homes with solar panels sell faster than those without.
Disclaimer: The blog articles are intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing in the content is designed to be legal or financial advice.