Homeowners objections to solar. Are they valid?

Solar is not new news, but it’s certainly the buzz. Homeowners everywhere hear about solar on the news, in publications, on the radio, billboards, seminars, and an abundance of home advertisements. But what is the real deal with solar? Is it a wise investment? Is it the best time to go solar? It may be hard to determine for most people. Many homeowners have voiced objections to solar. Nevertheless, we think now is the best time. Here are the most common objections to solar, and valid reasons to consider why they aren’t objections at all:

1: I can’t afford to get solar.

The number one objection to going solar is not being able to afford the start-up cost. In actuality the cost of solar has come down 60-70% in less than five years, and is expected to continue decreasing as market demand and competition increase. With an increased consumption of silicone in many industries, particularly the solar industry, the cost of silicone has also gone down as the mining of this material has become more efficient.

Contrary to belief, there is an abundance of solar rebates still available for solar customers. A solar purchase customer is eligible to receive a federal tax credit equal to 30% of their system cost. For some states there are even generous state and utility rebates available. For lease customers, these rebate savings are passed down to you through a low monthly lease. Competition, something a lot of businesses don’t like to talk about, has actually helped our business at Sky High Energy, but most importantly has helped you the homeowner. Competition has stabilized the labor market and has allowed us to provide homeowners with the highest quality level of customer service, professional installation, and solar electric system at the best possible cost in the market.

2: What if I move from the home I have installed solar on?

For lease customers, this is a question that comes about regularly. The average American home changes ownership every 11.9 years according to Chicago Title and Trust Co.’s annual study. Fortunately, most homeowners typically see a return on investment with solar in about 8-12 years.

Moving sooner than 12 years? Not to worry. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, a solar home will sell twice as fast as a home without solar panels – even in depressed markets. A new study released in April 2011 by the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory found that solar boosts the resale value of both new and old homes. On average a home solar electric system added about $5.50 per watt to a home’s resale value. (A 6 kilowatt system can add around $30,000 to a home’s value) For lease customers, almost all solar lease options are transferable to new owners. If you or someone who is purchasing your home is qualified to purchase the house, in most cases you/they have already been approved for the lease of the solar electric system.

3: What if I don’t have enough roof space?

On average most homes have enough roof space to accommodate a solar energy system that can cover up to 80% of a home’s energy use. As most companies should, Sky High Energy performs a quality inspection of your roof prior to each installation to ensure the fit of a solar electric system and verify the integrity of your roof prior to installation. If you think your roof is too small or would prefer to have your solar panels placed elsewhere, roof top solar is not your only option. Sky High Energy is experienced in designing and building custom solar structures ranging from patio covering to ground mounted solar arrays.

4: How long will it take me to save money since solar rebates are assumed to be gone?

First off, you may have been misinformed. Fortunately, there is an abundance of solar rebates on the federal and state level, as well as rebates from your utility company for most states. The federal rebate for a solar electric system is 30%. State rebates vary based upon location, but most customers can expect to see a tax credit from their state. The utility incentives you can receive from your electrical company also vary by state, and can be further understood by visiting www.dsireusa.org

5: What if I have little to no tax liability?

For some time now it has been believed that homeowners with little to no tax liability won’t benefit financially as much as homeowners with liability. Fortunately this is not the case. Customers with little to no tax liability can still benefit from the monthly low cost and savings of our several lease programs, including Pre-Paid lease options that offer qualified homeowners the same benefits as a purchase. If you have some, but very little tax liability, the federal rebate can be spread over several years up until 2016, allowing customers to still receive the full 30% over time.

Now that we have addressed the most common objections for homeowners to go solar, and hopefully offered insight into why they shouldn’t be objections, we encourage you, as a homeowner to consider the solar for your home. In choosing an installer, we encourage you to ask questions, understand your investment, and choose a solar provider that guarantees quality service, best price, and professional installations. Our hope is that you find Sky High Energy to be your first

Is a Solar Lease Right for Me?

Have you heard or thought about the validity of a Power Purchase Agreement or Solar Lease? This informative quarterly report by SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association) offers some great insights into ever expanding residential solar markets and the continued successes of Power Purchase Agreements as a means to reduce electricity costs and reduce your environmental footprint.

Third-party ownership has taken the residential solar space by storm, particularly in the last year and a half. The promise of lower energy bills with little to no upfront payment has spurred tens of thousands of homeowners to install solar systems through a PPA or lease agreement. In Q2 2012, the average price of a residential system was $32,453, down from $37,144 a year ago, despite a slight uptick in average system size from 5.8 k W to 5.9 kW. Even with costs coming down, purchasing a system outright is not a financially viable or appealing option for many homeowners. For homeowners looking to lower their energy costs or reduce their environmental footprint, the option to avoid upfront payment and have a contract with a company to monitor and repair the array is appealing.

As seen in Figure 2-3, the relative market share of third-party-owned residential systems has grown immensely in established markets. In Massachusetts, which has a burgeoning residential sector, installers that offer third-party financing far outnumber those who only offer cash sales. It is expected that the market share of third-party systems in Massachusetts will soon reach the levels seen in the other three states presented: Arizona, California, and Colorado. In the other major residential markets of New Jersey and Hawaii, where data is not available regarding third-party ownership, conversations with prominent solar providers suggest that levels of third-party penetration are similar to those seen in California and Colorado (70%-80%).

The success of third-party residential solar providers has attracted more than $600 million in new investments in recent months. Leading financial institutions have raised company-specific funds for solar providers to either offer to become installation partners or to use to install systems under their own name. This influx of cash into the residential space signifies the growing acceptance of solar leases as a secure investment and a unique way to reduce tax liability for the project owners, which in this case are the investors. It is expected that third-party installations will quickly claim even more market share in the coming quarters.

Information taken from: Solar Energy Industries Association. U.S. Solar Market Insight Report 2012 Q2 [blog post]. Retrieved from: Link

Sky High Energy has played an important role in helping many customers take advantage of Sky High Energy’s Power Purchase Agreement (or Solar Lease). We would like to remind all of our readers that not only do we have the ability to provide great savings on your power bills to our customers in viable markets such as Massachusetts, but our strategic pricing and quality products have given us the ability to deliver those same savings to our customers across our AZ, Massachusetts, Missouri and New Jersey, markets. If you or anyone you know would like to get more information about Sky High Energy’s Power Purchas

Choosing the Right Solar Company

There are many reasons why more people are choosing to switch to solar energy. Solar energy from a solar electric system provides homeowners with a clean and sustainable energy source, allowing them financial freedom from energy companies and monthly savings on their energy bill. Before making one of the smartest investments in a home, a homeowner can make, there a number of things that are important to consider ensuring you receive the maximum benefit from your solar electric system.

Employ a company that has a strong understanding of the local market, make sure they are willing to answer all of your questions and educate you about every step of the process. Allow them to help you fully understand the rebates and incentives available to you depending on your location of residence. A thoroughly professional and accountable firm will be happy to provide answers to your questions and be eager for you to see their quality work. Ask them for a list of referrals, or previous customers, you may contact to ensure you are receiving the quality service and solar electric system you deserve.

When choosing a Solar Installation company you should employ a company that will manage the entire supply line, this means a single company is in charge of everything from system design to installation. This will ensure you are protected as a consumer and know whom you can hold accountable for a professional, high quality solar installation. A company like this will be able to provide you with number of financing options that cater to your specific need as well as have the ability to purchase panels in larger quantity and pass the savings along to you.

Your Solar Installation Company Should:

  • Be Registered, Licensed and Insured
  • Provide a Comprehensive Site Evaluation
  • Employ Certified Professional Installers
  • Provide You With Multiple Financing Options
  • Be Willing to Showcase Previous Installations
  • Operate with Professionalism
  • Guarantee Your Solar Production
  • Provide 20-25 Year Warranty

Customer satisfaction is of utmost importance to us at Sky High Energy and that is why we have gone through specific steps to ensure we are:
We would be happy to answer any other questions you may have, and would be delighted to hear from you about your solar experience. If you we can help you in anyway please do not hesitate to contact us at 800-791-0458.

Future of Solar In Arizona

As the elections are now wrapping up Sky High Energy has kept a close eye on the elected officials in all of our locations. The growing solar market in Arizona has seen it’s share of turbulent times, but rest assured that our newly elected officials still have solar in their mind.

Arizona’s Corporation Commission’s newly appointed representatives are comprised of 3 republican representatives including Susan Bitersmith, Gary Pierce, and Brenda Burns. Arizona’s “solar team” which included incumbents Paul Newman and Sandra Kennedy and hopeful Marcia Busching fell short of a winning vote, but has had a lasting impact on the importance of solar regulations with utility companies.

Susan Bittersmith Gary Pierce Brenda Burns Photos Courtesy of the individual’s respective website.

Those who perceive this as a slowing to solar progression in Arizona must keep in mind that the newly elected official’s goals are inline with reducing upfront cost of solar for customers by way of promoting economic demand to drive installation and manufacturing costs down, rather than through government subsidies for solar rebate programs. They hope to accomplish this through competitive solar markets across the valley to reduce dependency on these subsidies.

Right now is still a great time to go solar with Sky High Energy. We have lease and financing options allowing homeowners to generate clean, reliable energy while saving monthly on their power bill and hedging against future rate increases.

For more information on how you can save with solar, contact Sky High Energy at 1 (800) 791-0458.