Solar Smart Living is the only local Engineering, Procurement, and Construct (EPC) solar integration company that offers a wide spectrum of expertise and sustainable energy products to match. We will examine your home or commercial business energy use and obtain all necessary documentation prior to the start of your project.
Engineering and technical resources matter most when it comes to solar power systems. At Solar Smart Living, we have the engineering and technical resources available to support you on all your sustainable projects.
Evaluate your home or business’ energy needs.
Explore your location’s options for going solar.
Examine your roofs ability to support solar panels.
Obtain permits and review other necessary documentation.
Solar panels are built to work in all climates, but in some cases, rooftops may not be suitable for solar systems due to age or tree cover. If there are trees near your home that create excessive shade on your roof, rooftop panels may not be the most ideal option. The size, shape, and slope of your roof are also important factors to consider. Typically, solar panels perform best on south-facing roofs with a slope between 15 and 40 degrees, though other roofs may be suitable too. You should also consider the age of your roof and how long until it will need replacement.
If a solar professional determines that your roof is not suitable for solar, or you don’t own your home, you can still benefit from solar energy. Community solar Programs allow multiple people to benefit from a single, shared solar array that are installed offsite on a utility location. The energy produced by your share will help to reduce what you pay for energy at your home or apartment.
Those interested in community solar can take advantage of a tool from awardee EnergySage. The company’s Community Solar Marketplace aggregates the many available options in one place and standardizes project information, allowing interested consumers to easily locate and compare multiple community solar projects in their area.
Consumers have different financial options to select from when deciding to go solar. In general, a purchased solar system can be installed at a lower total cost than system installed using a solar loan, lease, or power purchase agreement (PPA). If you prefer to buy your solar energy system, solar loans can lower the up-front costs of the system. In most cases, monthly loan payments are smaller than a typical energy bill, which will help you save money from the start. Solar loans function the same way as home improvement loans, and some jurisdictions will offer subsidized solar energy loans with below-market interest rates, making solar even more affordable. New homeowners can add solar as part of their mortgage with loans available through the Federal Housing Administration and Fannie Mae, which allow borrowers to include financing for home improvements in the home’s purchase price.
Buying a solar energy system makes you eligible for the Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, which is a 26% percent federal tax credit on your system that is available through 2022. Be sure to talk with your tax professional for more info. Tax credits are a credit against your tax liability. They are not rebates.
Solar leases and PPAs allow consumers to host solar energy systems that are owned by solar companies and purchase back the electricity generated. Consumers enter into agreements that allow them to have lower electricity bills without monthly loan payments. In many cases, that means putting no money down to go solar. Solar leases entail fixed monthly payments that are calculated using the estimated amount of electricity the system will produce. Many Operating Leases can help businesses keep energy costs down and maximize their tax benefits, all the while, working toward ownership of the solar system.
With a solar PPA, consumers agree to purchase the power generated by the system at a set price per kilowatt-hour of electricity produced. With both of these options, though, you are not entitled to tax benefits directly since you don’t own the solar energy system.
Consult one of our commercial energy advisors if you would like to get more information.
The Clean Energy States Alliance released a guide to help homeowners understand their options, explaining the advantages and disadvantages of each. Feel free to contact us for more information.