The other day I was doing some networking with other bloggers in my industry, and I came across a post by someone who had recently had solar panels installed on their roof. In response to this poor blogger writing about how happy he was with his new system, the commenter insulted him with colorful language and said that he didn’t understand why anyone in their right mind would sign up to produce their own electricity, sell it to the electric company, and then buy it back at a higher price. My guess is that this commenter lives in a state where they use what is called a feed-in tarriff. With a feed-in tarriff, you are still buying your electricity from your utility company, but you are selling your generated power back at a higher price. Additionally, feed-in tarriffs aren’t even the only way electric companys function with solar customers (there are several different ways utility companies handle your generated power, but I’ll save those for another post). This perception of how solar works really threw me off guard, and so I decided to do a bit of digging and conduct a survey across social media for homeowners in our local area.
71% of participants in our survey said they had considered going solar, but only 20% of those actually signed a contract.
40% of participants never sought information about going solar, how solar works, or what the benefits are, even though they had thought about making the switch.
14% of participants had no idea how going solar was supposed to save them money, while another 14% said that they didn’t think that it would.
So how does going solar save you money? I’ll save the scientific lecture about how the system works for another day, and we can get right down to how all this works to save you money. But in order to do that, I’m going to need to give you a basic diagram of the system for reference.
A brief summary of how a solar system functions
**Note- electricity is funneled back to the grid when it is not being used at your home.
The piece of this diagram I want you to take note of is #4, “Net meter tracks all the power that your solar system produces”. This two-directional meter goes one way as power is generated, but not used, and another way when you are home and using power. If you install a large enough system, and generate at least as much as you use, if not more, you eliminate your electric bill entirely. Excess power that you generate CAN be sold to a utility company, but it is more valuable to you as power. Because your panels generate more power in light months such as May and June than they do in darker months like December, that excess power can be saved for a month when generation isn’t particularly strong. Since you sell your extra power for less than you pay for it, it’s best to hold onto those extra kWhs for a rainy day (literally).
I know what you’re thinking- “That all sounds great, but what about the actual cost of the system? Don’t they cost a ton of money?” While solar systems do seem expensive if you’re just looking at a price tag, you have to consider your solar system to be an investment, not a purchase. Not to mention all the great incentives there are to go solar- especially here in Massachusetts. The first incentive is something called ITC (Investment Tax Credit). This incentive covers you 30% of the cost of your system. You read that right, 30% of your system will be paid for by the federal government. The second incentive to consider is called SREC (Solar Renewable Energy Certificates). When you sign up for SREC you are offered the option to work with someone called an aggragator, who brokers your certificates. With SREC an additional meter is hooked up to your system that records all of your system’s power generation and feeds it back to your aggragator. Each time your system produces 1000 kWhs, regardless of usage, you earn a certificate, either at a fixed rate or current market value- a choice you make upon signing your contract (and based on the current projected increase in the cost of energy, these SREC payments can total into tens of thousands of dollars!) You can cash in your certificates quarterly, annually, or whatever you prefer. You may be wondering why your generation is earning you money if you end up using the power yourself, and the answer is simpe. With SREC, your power generation is added to your state’s mandated renewable energy quota. The cherry on top of all of this is that there is no up-front cost or down payment necessary when you sign a contract through Solar Consulting Inc., and we will always strive to provide you with a system that covers 100% of your usage so you can save as much money as possible.
Finally, going solar is doing more than just saving you money and increasing the value of your home. You are significantly reducing your carbon footprint, playing a responsible role for the future of our planet, and setting an example for every friend, family member, and nieghbor who visits your home.
Our custom proposals show you what kind of positive impact you’re making on our planet. Each proposal is tailor-made for you and your home. Your impact numbers may be higher or lower than depicted.
Going solar is a win for everyone involved, and the best part is that our company specializes in overcoming project hurdles by working with tree removal and roof repair companies, to make the option of solar a possibility for you- even if you’ve been denied by other companies.
We strive to provide a personalized experience with each of our customers, because we want you to be as excited about your new lifestyle as we are! We want to celebrate with you as we complete each step of the solar installation process, and with Solar Consulting Inc., you never have to worry about feeling out-of-the-loop… we even have an app that tracks your project’s process, allows you to contact your sales rep with questions or concerns, and provides the ability to moniter your system after installation is complete. (There’s also a great refilliate program that enables you to make some extra money from home, but I’ll save that for my next post!)
We are always available to answer any questions you may have about switching to solar, and would love to show you your customized proposal and walk you through exactly what we can do for you, what you can save for yourself, and how you are helping the world.