DESIGN AT HOME BLOG
INTERIOR DESIGN | DIY | TIPS | LIFESTYLE
(14 min read)
If you are like me, you may have wondered if it is worth the investment to install solar panels on your home or office building. I recently had them installed and it prompted me to share the process with you! Shontay Butler from Butler Holmes Design sat down with me for this open and informative discussion about the benefits of investing in Solar panels.
PLUS I'm giving away a FREE Google Nest Learning Thermostat to one lucky person! Keep reading for the deets!
Benefits of Going Solar
Challenges of Going Solar
Getting Permit Approval from HOA
If you live in a home that is monitored by the Home Owner's Association, then you'll likely need to get approval from them before installation. Since this is considered an addition to the home, it will alter the existing roof. Plus, depending on the type of Solar System you get, you may need to install an additional Battery to charge the solar panels. In this case, you would have to consider zoning setbacks, which your installer can verify on your behalf.
Switching Power Distribution with our Co-Op
If you are like me and live in a community where power is distributed by a Co-Op, then you'll have to contact your Co-Op electric provider directly to ensure they come out and switch your electricity from their grid to your solar panels. This could take days or weeks. In our case, we will provide our own energy, but we feed our usage back to our Co-Op basically letting them know, we are providing our own power and aren't using any of theirs. At the end of the month, I should expect to get a bill from the Co-Op indicating that I owe $0, because I'm not using any of the power from their grid.
Subject to Credit Approval
If you are financing the equipment, you are subject to credit approval. For some, this won't be problem, but is something to be aware of if you aren't paying out-right for the purchase of your solar panels. Unfortunately, I am unaware of the minimal credit score you need to approve. That would be up to the solar energy company you choose to partner with.
As I mentioned previously, installing solar panels is considered an addition or renovation to your home, so some construction will happen. In our case, it was minimal. Just drilling into the roof and cutting around a few shingles to ensure the rods are properly secured. If you have to install a battery, additional construction may or may not be required. It took at least 4 hours to install our panels and is lots of noise during construction. You'll want to be sure to schedule install on a day that you're you’re not sleeping in or intending to be on lots of business calls. Furthermore, it would be wise to be home as much as possible during the install, just to ensure there are no issues with your property while installation is happening. And of course, so there is a homeowner your guys can speak to in the event of an issue or emergency.
Q: What are the cost to purchase and install solar panels?
A: The cost will vary based on the number of panels you need to produce enough energy for your home or office. In general, they average between $20k-$30k for a 10kw panel system.
Q: When will I break even on the purchase?
A: Let’s say the panel system cost $20k and you financed it. My awesome solar experts handed me a $1,000 check the day they installed, plus with the 26% tax credit, I can get an additional $5,200. If I apply that $6,200 back on my panels, I’m looking at a difference of $13,800. Now, I’m not paying an electric company because my panels are producing energy, that bill will be replaced by the bill to pay off the equipment instead. The equipment bill could be only $50/mo, but I’m going to still pay my usual $150/mo that I would have paid on my electric bill. By doing this I can expect to see it break even in 7-8 years. Even shorter if I double up payments to pay the equipment off sooner.
Keep in mind though that the panels already average an increase of $10k - $15k in home value once installed. So a $15k home value + a $5,200 tax credit, you’ve already broke even and earned a little back. Plus, you’ll be reaping the benefits of free or greatly reduced electricity for possibly the rest of your life. I see it as keeping $1,800/yr in my pocket that I can redirect to invest in Index Funds, Growth Stock Mutual Funds or 401k. So I consider it a wise investment.
Q: How much power does a solar system produce?
A: A 10kw solar system can produce between 11,000 – 15,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. My household uses roughly 1,100/mo (13,200/yr). So we got a 10kw system installed because it will produce enough power to cover the average amount of energy my household uses. Even during the Texas winter storm in February, we used LESS energy because we have thermal windows and a gas burning fireplace and stove. Win win!
YOU'LL ALSO LOVE
Veronica Sanders, an award-winning interior designer creating spaces that's authentically you.
What The Design At Home Blog Is About
"To bridge the gap between design and the general public."
This blog is our way for consumers to learn more about our design process, how to work with an interior designer, and the interior design profession as it pertains to the consumer.
Grab a glass of wine and pull up a chair for some juicy insider tips that many designers would rather be on the hush about.
If you feel so inclined, take a moment to read our blog posts, share with a friend and even comment if you like. This blog is for you!