People get solar panels for two reasons. First, they want to help the environment by reducing their carbon footprint and their greenhouse gas emissions. Second, they want to save money on their electricity costs.
In this article, we will explore the top tips and strategies on how to use your solar system to save the most money. Strategies include
- Using grants and tax incentives for your purchase
- Maximizing the use of your system
- Installing the right system
- Exploring net metering options
Using Grants and Incentives
You probably know that there is a huge federal tax incentive connected to installing a solar system. Currently, you can get up to 26% of the cost of the solar system back as an income tax credit. The credit will carry forward if you cannot use all of it in one year.
To take advantage of this incentive, you need to purchase your solar system instead of leasing it.
Maximizing the Use of Your System
Install your solar panels where they will get the most sun exposure. Run high-energy appliances at the times of day when the solar panels are producing the most energy. Get a battery to store energy for use when the sun is not shining.
Installing the Right System
Bigger is not always better. Installing a solar system that can handle 100% of your power needs, 100% of the time, including enough storage space to bank power for nights and bad weather days, is fairly unrealistic for most homeowners. You could do it, but the costs will exceed your savings.
You want to choose a high-efficiency system that gives you the best power return per dollar. You also want to compare energy generation with your actual energy usage, to determine how big of a system will really benefit you.
Explore Net Metering Options
Of course, if you have the space for plenty of panels and the money to buy a bigger system, net metering can help you recoup your costs.
Net metering lets you send power to the power grid. The power company either pays you for that power directly or converts it to credits for you to use when you need power. Net metering means your solar system is working for you whenever it is generating power.
The problem is that net metering is not available in all areas. Do not assume that it will be available; instead, contact your electricity provider to verify availability in your area.