Thursday, September 5, 2013

Solar: Is It Right for You?

solar
Is Solar Right for You?
There are many ways to go solar these days and lots of solar programs out there from no money down to leasing and even renting solar through the electric company itself, but with all these choices you do have to shop carefully for solar and know a little about what you are getting into.

Ways to Save

Using solar is a simple concept, you use what you need and sell the unused solar electricity back to the electric company. You also get tax savings at the end of the year via a tax credit if you buy or lease. If you buy solar panels out right you get all the tax credits and savings. If you lease solar panels then the solar company that sponsors the panels takes most of the tax credits. If you rent your solar, which I do not recommend doing at all, then you don't see any savings at all.

How much will you save over time?

Of course if you can purchase solar panels outright rather than leasing them, you are going to save money right away by eliminating most of your monthly electric payment. If you chose to lease then you will still have a monthly payment plus a base rate electric bill, I have heard that these bills can be anywhere from $10 to $50 with the lease payment ranging from $150 and up depending on the amount of panels installed. Whether you buy or lease, keep in mind that you will still get an electric bill of some sort every month. The premise is however, that over time the electric companies raise rates by between 10% and 20% per year suggesting that the savings over time might be quite large.

Don't get over sold

Be careful that the solar company does not oversell you. There is a limited amount of solar electricity that you can sell back to the electric company. So don't let them sell you more solar panels than you can use; pay close attention to what you currently use and the solar output that they are suggesting. If you want to go solar and you live in a reasonably sunny state, why not start with a solar water heater? This is an affordable place to start and you may be able to pay for it outright and take a tax break too.

You may also enjoy reading Developing Sales Resistance and Getting Started Home Canning.

How I became Considering frugal

Fueled by the growing list of pollution related allergies my family suffered from each day and inspired by my 97 year old grandmother who could recycle ANYTHING before recycling was cool, back in 2011, I decided (in the spirit of the Julie/Julia Project...) to embark on a journey to see just how much one family could do to change our planet. I did not consult any other parties before I launched this idea. Thankfully my husband, daughter and son are usually my biggest supporters. Here is the catch; as I am normally very thrifty (you can note from early blog posts), I was looking for ways that I could reduce our carbon footprint and make socially responsible purchases without increasing our spending. Mmmmmm. I did succeed in changing our habits a bit and finding ways to reduce our footprint. There were lots of fun epic fails alone the way too! But the biggest change we have made over the course of the last six years, was to move from the mega city of Phoenix to Wyoming where we are about to take an even bigger step and move out on a dirt road in the country where we can expand our hobby bees and more! You can read my full bio on my About Me page.

Legal Disclaimer

While it is true that I am working on a PHD in Psychology and very smart and frugal, I am not a medical doctor, criminal, personal or accident lawyer. I do not sell insurance nor am I an accountant or mortgage advisor. While some of my posts may offer good ideas on home, health and business solutions, I am not personally responsible nor is Considering frugal for any advice, ideas, recipes or menu plans that you decide to use. This blog is intended to be helpful and fun. Any products you purchase from my Amazon store or any other retailer advertised on my blog must be returned to them. I may sometimes endorse a product that I love. This is simply my opinion, you must try all products at your own risk. While I personally do not use tracking cookies or share information, my affiliates are third parties and they may do so. Please click, travel and purchase at your own risk.

frugal advice

"...for your Father knows what you need before you ask." Matthew 6:8