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Most New Mexicans know that solar is a better energy alternative for our environment, can save you money by eliminating the need for rising and unpredictable utility bills, and creates energy independence, so the question many have is – Why hasn’t everyone gone solar? The answer is pretty simple; homeowners don’t realize just how easy it is to go solar these days and many still don’t know they have an option where their energy comes from!
No Out of Pocket Costs
Perhaps one of the biggest achievements in home solar came with the recent financial backing of local lenders. Because solar is trusted by banks, it is now possible to get instant local financing for 100% of the system costs. This means you can simply replace your unpredictable electric bill with a monthly solar payment that never increases. Most of the time, your solar payment + new electric bill is less than your old electric bill without solar, saving you money starting from day one, and even more over time!
A few guidelines though: to get a good rate, your credit score should be 720 or better, and your current electric bill will need to be an average of at least $65/month or more to make the monthly payments pencil out.
No Batteries Required
A common misconception is that installing solar requires room for batteries to be stored in your home. While you can certainly have batteries installed for emergency outages, it’s not necessary and most homeowners choose not to have them at this time. Here’s how solar works with the utility grid: The utility company applies “net metering”, a system in which your solar panels are connected to the utilities power grid and surplus power is transferred onto the grid, allowing customers to offset the cost of power drawn from the utility at night. Think of the utility company as one big battery, where your extra solar power is used by your neighborhood and you receive an energy credit for it. At night, when the solar isn’t producing, you cash in on these energy credits resulting in a net-zero usage and, therefore, no electric bill!
Not a DIY Project
While many of us have probably had some interaction with solar panels at one point in our lives, whether from small solar garden lights, fountains, or even larger solar panels used for camping and RV’s, installing solar panels on your home requires specialized skills, engineering, and permitting to be done efficiently and safely. Working with a solar panel installation company like SunPower by Positive Energy Solar ensures that your solar system is sized properly for your needs, is able to connect to the grid safely, has been properly permitted, and comes with the added benefit and value of a power, product, and workmanship warranty for the life of the system. A reputable solar company will truly provide a turn-key installation handling everything and continue to stand by their work well into the future.
How to get started
The first step is to contact a solar company for a free consultation. They’ll take a look at your electric bill to determine what size system you’ll need, talk to you about your goals, and look at your property to check for solar feasibility. You’ll be presented with a proposal showing how much your system will cost (including a generous 30% federal tax credit), what financing options are available (if you choose to finance), how much power your system will produce in the first year and over time, and the type of equipment and warranty coverage you can expect.
Written for GAHH by Christopher Fortson with Sunpower by Positive Energy Solar