Correspondent Jaymes Vaughan is in southern California visiting a home with Robert Evans from American Solar Direct to look at solar panels. The homeowners explain how they will see utility expenses reduced more and more over time as the cost of electricity goes up, all the while reducing strain on energy consumption. Robert explains how a payment plan reduces the expense of solar panels, and shows how easy they are to take down if a homeowner should move. A visit to the electric meter shows it going backwards, as the solar panels provide power to the grid, earning credits that can be used for night power usage.
Nine Things to Consider In “Going Solar” for Your Home
American Solar Direct Offers Practical Tips for California Homeowners
SANTA MONICA, Calif., Jan. 11, 2012
With thousands more Californians expected to install solar on their rooftops in 2012, residential provider American Solar Direct today offered nine essential factors for homeowners to consider when seeking their energy independence.
“Producing electricity from your own rooftop is getting easier and more affordable. The trends we saw in 2011 – primarily, that home solar was truly entering the mainstream market – should continue at a strong pace this year,” said Ravi Thuraisingham, ASD’s president and chief financial officer. “Thousands of homeowners will continue to seek ways to cut electric bills and have a positive impact on the environment.”
Because of its focus on high touch, end-to-end customer service, American Solar Direct is uniquely qualified to provide California homeowners a wealth of information and insights needed to make the right choice regarding rooftop solar. Homeowners considering solar should consider the following nine key factors:
Lease versus own. An average home-solar installation can cost $25,000 or more. The easier alternative is to have a licensed contractor install the system and offer lease financing for little or no money up front. The installer owns and maintains the system, not to mention handles securing permits and managing the many other small details leading up to turning on the system. Leasing is affordable for many homeowners because they immediately see savings from lower electric bills and someone else worries about the system’s maintenance.
Net metering. When a rooftop solar system produces more energy than needed for a home, the excess is supplied to the local electric utility. Homeowners can see some of their greatest monthly cost reductions when their rooftop solar panels are providing energy back into the system.
Rebates. Since a leased solar panel system is “owned” by the installer, rebates will go to the company. This enables the installer to further reduce the overall price of the solar project, which in turn lowers the lease payment. Rebates will vary by region. It also is important to know that some rebates are currently scheduled to expire in a few years.
In-house service vs. outsourcing. Does a solar installer have all staff and services – from customer representatives, to installers, to ongoing maintenance and financing – within their company? Or, do they provide some or all of these services through third-party entities? The “continuum of care” is usually more guaranteed by an installer providing these services by their own employees.
Home values. Several current studies show that a home’s value increases when it contains the best available energy efficiency devices. Why? Because a home’s overall “operating cost” decreases as it uses less water, gas and electricity. Rooftop solar is becoming a standard feature on new homes for this reason.
What if I move? Typically, a homeowner can assign a solar lease to the purchaser (following a simple credit check of the new owner). Studies show an increase in the percentage of prospective homebuyers actively seeking residences with multiple “green” features, such as solar.
Remain energy efficient. With solar panels on the roof, it is tempting to crank up the air conditioning, keep lights on throughout the house or otherwise revert to energy wasting habits. Since some power must still come from an electric utility, being energy efficient ensures the lowest monthly costs – even as solar dramatically reduces the amount of utility-supplied power purchased on a monthly basis.
Appearance. California law prohibits homeowner associations, municipalities and other organizations from enforcing rules that prohibit a homeowner from having rooftop solar. But, you also don’t want to upset your neighbor. After determining a home has enough roof space for solar, an installer will usually create a custom design to ensure a solar panel “array” will blend into the roof as much as possible.
New technologies. The rate at which solar cells convert sunlight into electricity has increased since the first cells were made. While gains continue to be made, they are at small incremental rates. Therefore, the panels bought today should continue to be very efficient for their 20- to 30-year life. As solar becomes more popular, companies also are developing new technologies and cell designs. However, until these designs are incorporated into mass production, these more “exotic” solar panels may be too expensive for the typical homeowner.
Have more questions? An American Solar Direct customer service representative can come to your home for a full analysis and consultation.
The Price of Electricity is going up in Southern California.
I have the pleasure of visiting with all kinds of great people when I am consulting them on the benefits of going solar. I love when I meet a family and they have their Southern California Edison bills going back decades. I am a geek when it comes to raw data. This time it was one of my fellow solar consultants who just happen to have his bills for the last decade.
Some people I visit with do not think the price of electricity is going to go up, they think all the info I give them is subjective. However, you can not argue with objective data. The below represents the price per kilowatt provided by Southern California Edison over the last decade for a home in the heart of Orange County California. SCE has been billing in a tier structure for the last few years. Tiers1-5. Tier 5 is the most expensive electricity available in most of North America and is were the rate increases are the most sever. The sample home did not buy any tier 5 power from SCE over the past decade averaging 975kW per month. Imagine how higher the escalation would have been if they did
Please click the image to enlarge
I have included the data set for all you non-believers
If you want to take control of your energy use at your home, please contact me! I can help you save money and do the right thing for everyone! A fixed rate lease is the solution to future rate increases.
Solar Cost with a Fixed rate lease actually goes down over time due to inflation.
American Solar Direct has the financial structure and stability to offer a fixed rate solar lease. Thus, having a fixed rate solar lease program for your energy needs at your house will not only lock in the price you are paying for electricity, but allow you to hedge against inflation as well. There are not many solar companies out there that can offer a program like this.
The chart below represents the Consumer Price Index (CPI) over the past decade. As you can see an item that cost 180$ ten years ago now cost over $220. S0 if you can imagine a solar lease payment of 150$ that stayed fixed over the next 20 years at 150$ your lease price would actually be going down as inflation played its course.
Lock in your energy cost today!
Please contact Solar Joey to find out how the fixed rate solar lease can help you save money on your monthly energy bill while allowing you to get a solar energy system onto your home with little to no out of pocket money.
It even spins backward when the pool pump runs in the morning – new home solar customer
This 6kW American Solar Direct System is spinning the meter backwards in Mission Viejo, CA.
If you want to see your meter do this at your home please contact Solar Joey to find out how easy it is start saving with home solar. Within 30 mins Solar Joey can show you how to save money on your electricity bill.
This home solar project was one of many installs with Joey Lemonier (Solar Joey) and American Solar Direct. This home and family saved $25k plus by going solar over their term. Laguna Hills is a perfect area to go solar. The solar rebates in Orange County CA are high and moving fast. Contact Solar Joey for a an in-home analysis to help your house, the planet, and your financial future.
Laguna Hills, CA 7KW Home Solar System