What You Should Know Before Going Solar

From saving money on your electricity bill to taking advantage of tax credits, there are a number of advantages to using solar energy. However, there are several considerations to make before investing in solar.

Here’s what you should know before going solar.

The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

From now until 2022, the ITC can help you cover the cost of new solar panels. The ITC is a 30 percent tax credit. Before you buy new panels, make sure that you qualify for the credit.

Solar Loans Are Available

If covering the cost of new panels seems too expensive, you do not have to pay for everything upfront. There are a number of solar loans you can use to pay for these upfront costs. In many cases, your monthly loan payment will be smaller than a typical energy bill. Many jurisdictions offer these loans with below-market interest rates so that they can encourage more homeowners to install solar systems.

Storing Power Is Difficult

One of the biggest drawbacks of solar energy is figuring out how to supply power at night. When the sun goes down, your system will not be able to produce any power. This means that you will need to buy power from the grid at night. Many off-grid homes use batteries to store excess power from the daytime to power their homes at night.

Your Home Could Operate Off the Grid

Depending on where you live and the trees shading your home, you may be able to power your home entirely with solar energy. In other words, you wouldn’t need to supplement power with energy from the grid.

Some municipalities also buy back any excess power your home produces, so you could earn money from having solar panels.

Even on cloudy days, the indirect sunlight will still produce 10 to 20 percent of the power you would normally generate on sunny days.