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Thinking of Buying Solar? – Investigate These Subjects First

Rooftop solar panels are extremely desirable to homeowners in Albuquerque, NM, with the city’s huge number of sunny days over rainy days. Lower prices and recent financing options  have encouraged many to have solar panels installed to generate their own electricity. Before installing rooftop solar panels on your home, here are 7 basic factors to consider:

Trees Reduce Solar Production and Savings

Rooftops that are mostly shaded do not make the best candidates for solar panels. Some homeowners may decide to cut down trees to integrate the solar panels, however, it is wise to consider that sometimes the shade provided by the trees produces a cooling effect that can counterbalance the benefits of solar energy. Panel installation can also be done to avoid shaded areas when there is partial sunlight, or additional panels installed to compensate for the production loss.

Home Energy Efficiency

Adding solar panels to a house that has old or inefficient insulation, windows or air ducts is ineffectual. It is usually less expensive to repair and upgrade these features than to install solar panels. An energy efficient house will need fewer solar panels to operate.

Roof In Bad Shape – It May Increase Solar Ownership Costs

If you have an older roof, it is best to replace the shingles before installation. When a roof is being replaced, any existing solar panels must be removed prior, adding $2000 or more to the new roof price. Sometimes, waiting to install solar panels, or starting  with new shingles is advisable. There is no issue with installing panels on new roofs, as the technician can position the system, without causing damage.

Be Sure to Obtain Multiple Estimates

This is always a good idea when hiring for any type of home improvement job. The differences between companies can vary by the thousands, depending on system size and warranties. Estimates will give a good indication of the installation company and  help them to understand your particular household needs. 

Homeowner Association Rules

Some HOA’s may have restrictions regarding the visual appearance of solar installations, but they are not able to forbid them entirely.

Lease or Buy – Determine Which One is Better

For homeowners who can’t afford the start up cost, leases have gained in popularity. One benefit of lease programs is that the homeowner doesn’t have to perform any maintenance. The downside is that the monthly payments reduce the overall savings. Leases that increase over time can also be a deterrent. Businesses that sell, instead of leasing oftentimes provide loans, with low or no money down, to compete with the lease programs. Getting multiple offers only helps the buyers to get the best possible deal.  

Federal Tax Credits Are Expiring – Get The Dates Before Your Buy

Last but not least is the federal investment tax credit for solar energy. This is a credit that homeowners can apply to their federal income tax filing to obtain maximum savings.

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