Finding the perfect solar company can be a troublesome responsibility right from the point of choosing solar company till final system installation. Choosing the right installer is vital for the longevity of any solar energy systems. You are not selecting a company only for the purpose of installation but also for the lifetime care of your solar system. Since, choosing a solar installer can be the most challenging part of your solar buying process, you should always look for the most important things while finalizing a solar installer. One should study the product specification of the solar equipment and financing options with overall costing and benefits that comes with the system. Also, solar company with maximum customer reviews should be preferred over a new solar installer company.

The good part is that there is an array of solar installers out there in the market with well-trained and experienced staff and years of working experience. Ask for multiple quotes from pre-screened solar installers in the solar marketplace at zero cost and as per that find local companies which are active in your area. Below are few important tips to understand how a solar installer works smoothly:

REASONS TO CHOOSE A TRUSTED SOLAR INSTALLER

Getting a solar installation project for your home is a big step for your family. No doubt anyone would want a perfect installation job that results in a quality solar energy systems installation that will be of use for years to come. Working with a trustworthy and experienced solar installer company can guarantee you a stress-free and hassle-free solar installation experience. You should start your search by going through the installer’s previous works and customer testimonials. Double check whether the installer shows the proof of quality works completed by them in the past? Also, you should double check the solar installer’s place of business. This will help you know about the quality of work they have been into.

However, if you skip the research step, you might end up hiring an untrustworthy solar installer. This will further result in a solar installation process and system full of issues and cheap quality work.

5 Tips for Choosing a Perfect Solar Installer

  1. Choose locally owned and operated

When hiring a local solar company, you have the benefit of getting services from the company whenever needed. Find a solar company that always has a team near you. This will help you avail of any post-service in lesser time and with ease. Local companies have overall knowledge about your community and they are expert in local building. They can smoothly work with you on all aspects of installation and can offer you a customized installation design and service based on your energy needs, type and layout of your roof and your future investment goals.

Every local community has different permitting and building norms which changes frequently now and then.  If your installer company has a good relationship with the local permitting inspectors and community head, it can help you in a smooth solar installation, avoiding any potential delays caused by changes in local codes.

  1. Choose Top Customer Care

Getting genuine reviews from real people who have worked with the company will offer you great help and will avoid further horrible mistakes. Find a company that has good reviews from past customers. Reviews can confirm what kind of customer support and services a company provides. You definitely want to find a company whose employees are responsive, knowledgeable, and working with you every step of the way.

  1. Go for Quality Solar Systems & Installation Techniques

Always opt for quality solar panels. There are three types of solar panels available in the industry: amorphous, monocrystalline and polycrystalline. Amorphous panels are the lowest in price, quality and efficiency in the market as they are made by placing a thin sheet of silicone on a sheet of steel. Polycrystalline are in comparison more popular, efficient and common among customers. Lastly, Monocrystalline panels are the ones that have been the most popular choice among consumers because of superb quality, efficiency and ease in installment (they require the least amount of space on a roof or the ground).

  1. Choose the One Offering Best-in-the-Industry Warranties

Warranties are the most crucial aspect to be considered while choosing a solar system. While maximum solar panels will run for decades without any issues, it is important to have a solid warranty in case something goes wrong. A strong warranty means that your installation company will be at your service in the long term, which is important for ensuring your return on investment. Warranty policies may include performance, labor, and equipment guarantees.

  1. Licenses and insurance

The solar installers you choose should have all the required business licenses and insurance policies, which vary by state. Common business licenses needed for solar installers include electrician, home improvement, or home performance contracting licenses. The least that installers should have is general liability insurance.

  1. Investigate their Credibility

The best way to know about a company’s reputation is by checking past customer’s reviews or their completed projects. There are multiple online websites that provide ratings and reviews basis of solar installer work, which is strong enough to evaluate its reputation and credibility. Customer’s ratings and reviews can be of representational relevance to you. In case you come across a pattern of customer complaints, it is probably an indication that you should look for another installer.

Verdict

After completing all your research and following the above mentioned 7 steps to help you select a perfect solar panel installation company, you should develop a great sense as to what type of solar company is best for our project and should be hired. Always choose a solar installer who is professional in answering to your queries both during and post the installation service. This will make you feel confident about who is going to be installing solar panels on your roof or ground. With these 7 step guidelines in mind, you will be able to finalize a perfect solar company that proves to be both cost-effective and efficient with quality solar installation expertise.

Solar energy conveys positive environmental impacts, contributes to our energy requirements, and provides more jobs as compared to the coal or oil & gas sectors in the United States. The change to renewable energy is a vital part of the global effort to minimize emissions of carbon dioxide and other earth-warming gases and lower down climate change by reducing our dependency on fossil fuels. But critics argue that this growth is only possible with the financial support and aid of the government. Now, the question arises, how much tax breaks and subsidies does renewable actually need? To boost the continuous expansion of solar energy systems, governments and other organizations offer solar tax benefits and financial incentives to make solar energy easily accessible for homeowners.

As a result of this support, homeowners can nowadays lower down the net cost of solar panel system installment ranging anywhere between 26 to 50 percent. This solar investment cost reduction has done wonders to get America’s solar industry off the ground. This makes investing in renewable energy as the first and the foremost crucial reason for lowering down earth-depleting emissions.

The adoption of government policies has helped kick-start renewable power battle among the energy industry and environmental groups. The battle comprises of state and federal policies; tax credits, low-carbon fuel standards, depreciation allowances, energy efficiency credits, and so on.

What is Federal Solar Tax Credit?

The federal residential solar energy credit is a type of tax credit that can be claimed by an individual or business on federal income taxes for a percentage of the cost involved in the installment of any solar Photovoltaic (PV) system. There is no such minimum or maximum amount limit that can be claimed. Here, the question arises, when is a residential or commercial owner eligible to claim the federal solar tax credit? The answer is you can be eligible for tax credit if you meet below mentioned criteria:

  • In order to claim tax credit, the installed solar system must be placed in service during the tax year and generate electricity for a home located in the United States.
  • A solar PV system has to be installed before December 31, 2019 in order to claim a 30% credit. The credit limit will decrease to 26% for systems installed in 2020 and to 22% for systems installed in 2021. Further, the tax credit expires starting in 2022 unless Congress renews it.
  • For tax claim, the solar PV system has to be installed between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2021.
  • The solar PV system need to be located at your primary or secondary residence in the United States, or for an off-site community solar project, if the electricity generated is credited against, and does not exceeds your home’s electricity consumption.
  • You are the owner of the installed solar PV system, which means you have bought it with cash or through financing.
  • The solar system that has been installed is either new or being used for the first time. The tax credit can only be claimed basis the “original installation” criteria of the solar system.

What are the expenses included in the claim?

Below are the expenses that are included in the claim:

  • Solar PV panel system or PV cells which are used to power an attic fan
  • Contractor labor costing for assembly, onsite preparation, or overall installation, including permitting fees, inspection costs, and total developer fees
  • Balance-of-system equipment including – wiring, inverters, and mounting equipment costing

Through several studies there is little doubt left that the solar investment tax credit benefits has done wonders to get America’s solar industry off the ground. But few experts argue that this subsidy is not the most effective way to curb greenhouse gas emissions and fight climatic change; arguably the vital reason for investing in renewable energy in the first go!

What are subsidies?

Since the Revenue Act of 1916, the United States has used tax incentives and other such policies to speed up domestic fossil fuel production. Till mid-2000s, oil and natural gas producers had benefited to the maximum. This changed when the government finally realized and decided to start minimizing greenhouse gas emissions. Since that time, a much larger share of aid has gone to improvising energy efficiency and encouraging renewable energy.

Verily depending on how you describe them, the list of subsidies can be quite long. For example, a list of renewable energy support programs available for California residents and businesses inculcates 212 items, which includes federal and state-run programs with policies varying from state to state.

For fossil fuels, subsidies designed include tax exemptions and deductions, depletion allowances and increased depreciation allowances on equipment for energy supply or system. The government also offers admittance to resources. The Department of Energy funds both research and development and the loan programs.

Reasons for the declined requirement of renewable industry subsidies

There are multiple reported studies of renewable power that has resulted in the decreasing cost of solar generation and concluded that these resources are nowadays cost-competitive with conventional electricity sources. One such study and research is done by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), an inter-governmental organization that performs research and analysis to facilitate the growth of renewable power. In today’s era renewable sources are the lowest-cost source of power generation.  As the costing for solar technologies continues to be falling, the requirement for renewable industry subsidies will lower down further in more countries.

Renewable Subsidies Crosses over $100 billion Mark

Solar energy, which is one of the most utilized renewable energy resources, has been receiving various subsidies through the tax code since 1979; most of which have been established and in usage from the last decade. Since 2018, these subsidies have risen to more than $100 billion. This subsidy amount is far in excess as compared to the federal assistance received by other electricity sources such as the Department of Energy, the Department of the Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

What is Solar Energy?

Solar energy comprises of renewable energy source ‘Sunlight’ which is transformed into usable energy by solar panels. The amount of solar energy available on Earth is present in excess as per the world’s current and anticipated energy needs. If appropriately harnessed, this highly dispersed source has the potential to meet all future energy requirements. In the 21st century solar energy is expected to become increasingly favorable as a renewable energy source because of its limitless supply and its non-polluting aspect. There are two main categories of solar energy: Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels directly convert solar energy into an accessible form of energy using a PV cell made up of semiconductor material. Solar energy has become the most important form in overall green energy sources because of its advantages among which its accessibility is the most vital one. The times are changing, so is the need for energy sources and solar power!

Below is a detailed explanation of the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy:

Advantages of Solar Energy

1. Renewable Source of Energy

Among all the major benefits of solar panels, the most important one is that solar energy is a fully renewable energy source. It can be generated in any part of the world and is accessible every day. One cannot run out of solar energy, unlike any of the other sources of energy. Solar energy will be accessible to the people as long as they have the sun.

2. Reduces Electricity Bills

Since solar energy helps fulfill some of your energy needs with the electricity your solar system generates, your energy bills will drop. How much energy bill you save will depend on the size of the solar system and your electricity or heat usage. If your business uses commercial solar panels, it can have huge benefits because the larger the system is, larger it can cover chunks of your energy bills. Moreover, it will not only save you electricity bill, but will also fetch you payments for the surplus energy that you export back to the grid (in case you generate more electricity than you use).

3. Diversified Applications

Solar energy can be used for varied purposes. You can generate electricity or heat both. Solar energy can be widely used to generate electricity in such areas which do not have access to energy grid

4. Low Maintenance Costs

Installation of solar energy systems generally doesn’t need a lot of maintenance. You only need to keep them clean, and cleaning them a couple of times per year will ease your job. If in doubt, you can always opt for specialized cleaning companies.

Also, as there are no moving parts involved in the solar system, there is no wear and tear. The inverter is the part of the system that needs to be replaced within 5-10 years of usage as it is continuously working to transform solar energy into electricity and heat. Apart from the inverter which is used, the cables attached also needs maintenance to ensure that solar power system works at maximum efficiency. So, after spending initially on the solar system, you have to spend very little on further maintenance and repair.

5. Technology Development

All sorts of technology in the solar power industry are constantly accelerating and improvements will reach to its peak in the future. Several scientific developments can lead to hike in the effectiveness of solar panels and double, or triple the electrical input of the solar power systems.

Disadvantages of Solar Energy

1. Costing

The initial cost of getting installed a solar system is high. This includes paying for solar panels, inverter, batteries, wiring, and the total installation. Nevertheless, solar technologies are constantly developing, so it is assured that prices will go down in the coming future.

2. Weather-Dependent

Although solar energy can still be extracted during cloudy and rainy days, the maximum efficiency of the solar system drops in such conditions. Solar panels are totally dependent on sunlight to effectively gather solar energy; therefore, a few cloudy and rainy days can have an effect on the output of the energy system. You should also take into consideration that solar energy cannot be collected during the night.

3. Solar Energy Storage is Expensive

If solar energy is not to be used right away, it can be stored in large batteries. These batteries, used in off-the-grid solar systems can be charged during the day time so that the energy is used during the night. This is a good idea to use solar energy all the day long but it is also quite expensive.

In most cases, it is best to use solar energy during the day time and retrieve energy from the grid during the night (you can only do this if your system is connected to the grid). This works because your energy demand is usually higher during the day and you can meet most of it with solar energy.

4. Uses a Lot of Space

The more electricity you want to generate, the more solar panels you will need; as you want to gather maximum sunlight. Solar PV panels require a lot of space and some roofs are not big enough to fit the number of solar panels that you would like to install as per your need.

An alternative to this issue is to install some of the panels in your yard that has access to sunlight. If you don’t have the space for all the panels that you need, you can also opt for installing fewer to meet at least some of your energy needs!

5. Leads to Pollution

Although pollution generated by solar energy systems is far less as compared to other sources of energy; still solar energy can be associated with pollution. Transportation and installation process of solar systems have been associated with the emission of greenhouse gases.

There are also some toxic materials and hazardous products used during the manufacturing process of solar photovoltaic systems, which can indirectly harm the environment.

North Carolina Tax Incentives

The Federal Solar Tax Incentives have been a major support for many families across North Carolina . The federal investment tax credit provides a 26% Federal tax credit based upon the total costs of our solar system. After 2020, the Federal tax credit will decrease to 22% in 2021 and then all the way down to 10%.

Do not miss the opportunity to use the bigger tax credit before is gone!

South Carolina Tax Incentives

Solar Energy Systems qualify for up to 25% in South Carolina tax credits.

Federal Tax Credits

The federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for2020. The 26% credit can be taken from the total installed cost and is one of the top solar savings.

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