"I didn't know the first thing about solar power for homes. But now I know how I can get affordable solar!"
Residential solar systems can be expensive. But there are several options that homeowners can choose from to meet their solar power goals and get affordable solar.
The three basic approaches for implementing home solar power systems are...
Please note, in this article solar power for homes is referring specifically to solar electricity. If you are interested in other ways to use solar energy for homes, please take a look at our page that describes the different types of solar energy homeowners can take advantage of.
The first approach to consider is homeowner financed solar electricity. This is the typical approach most homeowners take.
In this approach, the homeowner will purchase or finance the solar power panels and balance of system components themselves. The homeowner will own the system and will be responsible for the installation and maintenance of it. Most homeowners will use a solar contractor to handle the installation, but some will do the work themselves.
The main advantage with this approach is that after a certain period of time, known as the payback period, the savings realized by the homeowner will match the initial purchase and installation costs of the system and the homeowner will then be generating free solar power!
Not only will the homeowner be generating their own electricity, but in many locales, homeowners can take advantage of net-metering. With net-metering, a homeowner is essentially selling any excess electricity they generate to the local utility.
The main disadvantage with this approach is the high up-front costs that the homeowner needs to handle. However, there are solar energy incentives such as solar energy tax credits, solar power rebates, and solar energy grants that the homeowner can use to reduce these costs.
The second approach to consider is solar power rentals.
In this approach, a residential solar energy company will install and maintain a solar power system in your home. The energy generated by the system will be used by the homeowner, who agrees to pay a flat fee for up to 25 years. The solar energy company owns the solar electricity system and pays for the installation, operation and maintenance of the system.
This approach has several advantages for homeowners...
The main disadvantages with this approach are that it is not available everywhere and where it is available, you may have to wait up to a year before the system can be installed.
Many utility companies are generating or getting some portion of their electricity from green energy sources such as concentrating solar power plants, wind farms, and hydroelectric plants. Through green pricing programs, homeowners can directly support the continued development and expansion of these green energy sources.
It isn't possible to have the green energy directly routed to your individual home. However, by participating in a green pricing program, the electricity that is being pushed into the grid on your behalf is coming from clean, renewable energy sources instead of the traditional dirty sources such as oil and coal.
This will continue to drive the demand for renewable energy, including solar power. As the demand increases, it will continue to drive down the price for the clean electricity as well as for the materials and products used for solar electricity systems.
There are three basic approaches to getting solar electricity for homes...
Which approach is right for you?