If you are considering a residential solar power system in Northern California, there are a few useful tips you should know before you get started. Doing a little research and getting informed before you buy can help you save money and ensure that you get the solar power system that makes the most sense for your home.
Use these tips to help you get started with solar in California:
- Assess your solar capacity. Northern California has some of the best solar exposure in the United States, making it an excellent place to invest in this type of alternative energy. However, that does not mean that your specific property has great solar potential. Your roof may be shaded by buildings, trees, or other obstacles that block the sun. The first step in determining whether solar is right for your home is finding out just how much power you can generate and whether it will be enough to justify the expense and meet the electricity needs of your family.
- Estimate your potential savings. Many homeowners do not realize that investing in solar can actually save money. After you calculate the amount of electricity you can generate with solar, you can estimate your utility savings over time and determine how long it will take to see a return on your investment. Every home is different, so it's important to work with a qualified provider that gives you a customized estimate.
- Calculate tax credits and other incentives. Utility savings are not the only way to reduce energy costs. The federal government and the state of California both provide generous tax credits that can help reduce the initial cost of your solar power system. Federal tax credits are available for up to 30% of the cost of your system, and theCalifornia Solar Initiative also provides several programs that can help you save. The DSIRE website also lists state and local incentives for which you may be eligible.
- Secure solar financing. Unless you are fortunate enough to have cash on hand to purchase your solar power system outright, you might need to secure a solar loan or lease. Explore all of your options carefully; a solar lease may be tempting because of the initial low monthly payments, but a solar loan is typically less expensive for the entire term.
- Select a qualified installer. Your solar installer should help you select the right solar power system for your home, including a detailed estimate and assistance with obtaining solar incentives. Many solar providers also offer financing solutions, so make sure the one you select has the type of financing you desire.
What other questions do you have a solar power systems in Northern California?