The Answer May Surprise You

Do I Qualify For Solar?

Everyone is talking "solar" and why not? It's renewable. It's clean. It's cool to say you've gone solar. But it's more than buzzwords and bragging rights. Okay, who are we kidding...bragging about no more blackouts "just because," or you've saved so much money by going solar that you're going to buy a rocketship and fly to the moon* is pretty darn cool.

* Actual amount saved varies, and it probably won't be enough to buy a rocketship. BUT... if you really do save that much then save us a couple seats because it sounds AWESOME!

  • Is it going to cost a fortune?

    Nope! Rest assured you can hold onto your hard-earned savings. Homeowners with good credit can often finance the purchase of solar panels with no down payment. If that’s not you, but you still want to go solar then we have several other options you can go solar without breaking the bank. We’re here to save you money. After all, a big benefit to going solar is the potential savings!

  • What kind of solar payment plan do I qualify for?

    That depends…and depending on where you go you’ll have options:

    • Purchase. This means you buy your solar panels outright and see immediate savings on your monthly utility bill. You’ll also qualify for a hefty federal tax credit — and maybe even state and local incentives. Did we mention ALL of which are yours to keep?
    • Loan. With this option, you pay for your solar panels over time. Many loans are calculated to present long-term savings. If your credit is fair to excellent, you’ll likely qualify for a loan.2 With this option, you also get to keep the federal tax credit and any other incentives in your area. See… no breaking into the piggy bank!
    • Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). With a PPA, your solar provider owns the panels on your roof. There are no installation fees or other upfront costs, you pay your solar provider a low rate for the electricity your solar panels produce. Basically, you buy your electricity from your solar provider at a lower rate instead of buying it from your utility at a higher rate. You’re probably going to see immediate energy savings as you use less power from your utility and more from your solar panels! If your credit is good or excellent, this could be an option for you.2
    • Lease. Similar to a PPA, the solar provider owns the panels on your roof and you get a solar energy system for no upfront cost. Again, you’ll make a low monthly payment to your solar provider – this one is a fixed amount based on the expected yearly production of your solar panels – and shift much of your energy use from your utility to your solar panels. Credit requirements are similar to a Solar PPA.2

    In most cases, you’ll get your pick of the options described above (remember, not all options are available in all areas). Rates for financing will depend on your credit.

  • Is my house good for solar?

    Sure. Probably. See, more than likely, your home qualifies! In case you didn’t know, the sun shines — ALL OVER! That means there is a good chance you get enough sun on your roof. However, weather conditions and other factors will ultimately determine if your home is right for solar, so you’ll want an expert evaluation. And guess what? We can provide an initial assessment without ever stepping foot on your property. Even then, before we begin any work we’ll have someone come out and check things out from top to bottom, inside and out.

  • How do you know my home is good for solar?

    Have you checked out Google’s Project Sunroof? It’s a great place to start to assess suitability. But when it comes down to it, the on-site solar survey is the most accurate way to determine how many solar panels you’ll need to support your home’s current and future energy use, and if it’s safe to install them on your roof. Here are things we look at:

    • Roof size, pitch, and direction. We want to make sure your roof has enough surface space to hold the right number of solar panels to meet your current and future energy needs. So we need to make sure the roof pitch and direction capture enough sun hours. Ideally, you’ll have a south-facing roof at a 30 degree tilt, but they’re still highly productive on east or west facing roofs3 as well as on different pitch degrees. You might need some additional solar panels to capture enough sunlight.
    • Roof obstructions. Pipes, your chimney, and anything else installed on your roof will impact if or where solar panels can be placed. Don’t move anything… we can usually work around typical obstructions.
    • Sun exposure. The ideal sun exposure hours are between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. year-round.4 If you’re not sure how much sun your roof gets, our surveyor will be able to help. If your roof has shading due to trees blocking the sun around the home, you may want to consider trimming them to allow more sun exposure on your roof.
    • Roof materials, stability and strength. We bet you didn’t know that solar panels can actually extend the life of your roof. That’s right! This is because they shield your roof from the elements and the sun’s UV rays! Removing solar panels to replace your roof can be expensive though, so be sure there is plenty of life left on your roof before you have anything installed. The surveyor will review the roof’s construction and the quality of its materials. The most common roof material – asphalt shingle – is ideal for solar installation.4 It’s possible to put solar panels on almost any type of roof, but some solar companies don’t install on flat roofs or roofs with tile or tar and gravel. If your roof has either of these materials, you’re not out of luck. There is specific racking equipment that make it possible to install on those type of roofs. And guess what? A1 Solar Solutions can install on almost any surface!
    • Electrical wiring. The surveyor will need to verify that a safe, code compliant system can be installed on the home. Our surveyor will also check your attic, rooftop and electrical panel for electrical clearances, damaged wiring and any electrical upgrades that may be necessary. In most instances we will install a new panel or help you get one – permits and inspections, too.
    • Climate. Solar panels produce less electricity in overcast climates. But how much you save on solar depends more on local electricity rates. Did you know rainy day capitol of the US – Seattle – ranked as one of the top 25 cities that benefit from solar!5 Don’t discount the benefits you could get from solar just because you live in a cloudy city. You might still be a good candidate for solar panels.
    • Local regulations. If you live in a housing community with a homeowners association (HOA), make sure your HOA rules (CCRs) allow rooftop solar panels. Many do allow solar installs and, in some cases, HOA actually coordinates solar installations. If you are renting a home, you can discuss solar options with your landlord, but whomever owns the property is responsible for any contracts while we handle permitting, installation, and inspections.
REFERENCES 
1. https://www.solar-estimate.org/
2. http://blog.credit.com/2015/07/can-you-get-a-loan-for-solar-panels-120774/
3. https://www.energysage.com/solar/101/solar-panel-installation/
4. https://www.solarpowerauthority.com/tell-roof-right-solar-panels/
5. https://news.energysage.com/top-10-cities-for-solar-they-arent-the-sunniest/