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Energy News

Considering Solar? Know the Facts

Many factors affect true cost and actual energy savings

Increasing interest in alternative energy sources is being fueled by decreasing costs for rooftop solar systems, the availability of financial incentives and the proliferation of companies offering solar panel installation services.

However, as attractive and popular as rooftop solar may appear, it is important for consumers to fully understand its true costs, the operational reality of this form of energy and actual energy savings. To determine whether rooftop solar is right for their particular situation, homeowners should do their due diligence.

Is Rooftop Solar Right for You?

Solar panel companies have one objective: to sell their products and services. For that reason, it’s important to have a knowledgeable and trusted expert who isn’t a salesperson help you determine the best options for your home. While rooftop solar certainly works for many people, it’s not the answer for all.

To help determine whether rooftop solar is right for you, have a trusted expert consider the following:

  • Overall energy efficiency of the home or building.
  • Age and pitch of the roof.
  • Orientation of the sun in relation to the home or building.
  • Tree coverage near the home or building.
  • Weather patterns for the region.

You also need to weigh many financial considerations before installing rooftop solar:

  • Is there a large, upfront payment required, or are fees spread out over time?
  • Will the homeowner own the panels, or will they be leased?
  • Are there any hidden costs? For example, does the roof need to be replaced before installing the panels?
  • Are there ongoing maintenance fees?
  • Are there rebates or other financial incentives available?
  • Are the estimated energy savings worth the investment?
  • Is it more cost-effective to invest in other energy-saving measures?

When assessing solar options, it is an excellent time to examine other potential energy efficiency improvements for your home. For example, it may make sense to insulate the attic while also installing solar panels.

Your electric cooperative recognizes that consumer interest in green energy sources and renewables is at an all-time high, and we stand ready to help our members determine their best options.