|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.
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