Those of you who may have thought or investigated residential roof top solar and decided that the time was not right for a variety of reasons some of which are cost, appearance, reliability of the system and complexity of the process.
In many ways roof top solar is a hedge against future electricity prices as you can view the one time cost of the system as prepaying for 25+ years of electricity.
Is this a good investment?
Let’s take a look at what has happened to electric rate in California, residential rates have increase by 4% for the 5 year period 2010 to 2014 and various studies all point in the same direction that rate will only continue to increase in the future. Meanwhile the cost of roof top solar has declined to $7 per watt in 2010 to $3 a watt in today’s market, a decrease of over 57%!! Payback in now in the 6 to 8 year range and the 30% Federal residential energy credit remains in place through 2019.
You can also take advantage of current low interest rates if you choose to finance some or all of your system. Some financing, such as home equity loans, may be tax deductible.
For the above reasons, cost should no longer be a major roadblock.
It should be noted, however, that prices may increase substantially should the current Suniva trade complaint be successful which may roll back the cost per watt to 2015 levels.
In the early days of roof top solar there were limited choices in solar panels, most of which have polished aluminum frames and racking systems which quite frankly were not very attractive. Today there are a wide variety of solar panels and racking available from the polished aluminum to all black systems which are much more aesthetically pleasing.
In addition, technological advances in solar panel production have increase the wattage outputs of the panels so you will need less of them on your roof than in the past.
Roof top system have two “active” critical components, the solar panels and either a micro-inverter or optimizer/inverter.
See our blog: Residential solar fact vs. fiction for discussion of the differences
Solar panels have become much more reliable with most manufacturers warranting the minimum levels of production for the panels for their rate 25 year life.
The current generation of micro-inverter and optimizer systems offer individual real time monitoring of not only the system but also the output each individual panel. This results in much faster identification of problems, a good share of which can be fixed remotely without customer involvement.
Lastly, the sales and installation process has been a major deterrent to purchasing roof top solar as it too often relied on high pressure tactics from salespeople who were more interested in their commission than what was best for the homeowner.
Once you signed on the bottom line, you were at the mercy of the installer to schedule inspection at their convenience, not yours.
A lot has changed including a number on web site who offer an online bidding service to potential customers which hand customers off to a local installer.
See our Blog: Don’t get caught up in a solar quote bidding war!
At OneClickSolar we offer a complete end to end service where we remain responsible for the entirety of the project. You are in control of the process from selection of the system that is right for you, placement on your roof, and scheduling the installation at a date and time that is based on your schedule not that of the installer.