During a natural disaster or simple power outage, the loss of electricity can last for long periods of time. You might go without hot water, a cold refrigerator/freezer, and simply lighting after the sun goes down. But, if you have solar panels, you can avoid many of the problems. The trick is affording them in the first place.
There are ways you can get solar panels for free, or at least much cheaper than their current retail price. But you’ll need to do a bit of homework.
Some houses cannot support solar panels.
If your house is covered in shade either from buildings, tall shade trees, or something else, you won’t find any use for solar panels until the shade is removed. Also, solar panels work best on south-facing roof tops. If at least a section of your roof doesn’t face south, you might not be a good candidate for solar panels.
Some regions don’t benefit from solar power over the standard grid.
Based on the weather in your region, your roofs ordinal orientation, and the angle of your roof, you can get a good idea of how much power you can expect to generate from solar panels. Your local power company can help you determine this.
Receive a tax credit.
If you purchase your own solar panel system and have it installed, you can receive a federal investment tax credit worth nearly 30% of the cost of your system. So if you’re paying around $15000 for your solar panel system, you would theoretically be getting $4500 in tax credit.
Use a power purchase agreement.
You can get solar panels for free by going through a power purchase agreement (PPA). Basically all the equipment is purchased by a third party and installed. You, as the homeowner, only pay for the electricity you use that is generated from the solar panels.
It all depends on where you live.
Once you start doing your homework, you’ll find out if solar is a smart addition to your home. If you’re doing it just to save money on electricity, consider what you’re paying currently. If your home is near a hydro-electric dam, it might be cheaper to stick with what you’ve got. Call your power company to find out.
Don’t leave just yet! You can’t miss these other easy home improvement projects from How to Build It:
6 Small Projects That Will Transform Your Home
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