Karen Adelson - Barrett Sotheby's International Realty



Posted by Karen Adelson on 6/6/2017

Solar is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States. Each year, hundreds of thousands of homes go solar, adding thousands of new jobs and preventing massive amounts of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

It has never been a better time to go solar. However, the rapid technological advancements and the growing market of solar power companies means that you have several options to consider if you’re thinking about going green.

Types of residential solar power

The first thing to understand about solar power is that there are several different types you can get for your home. From roof-installed solar panels to off-site solar farms, you have options when it comes to powering your house cheaply and efficiently.

Leasing and purchasing PV panels

One of the most common ways that people power their home with solar power is by leasing rooftop photovoltaic (PV) panels from a solar company. There are different leasing options available from different companies, so it’s a good idea to shop around the solar providers in your area.

Leasing is a great option for those who don’t have the funds to purchase panels but still want to lower their monthly electricity bill. Companies who offer leasing often install and maintain the panels for free. The panels will be hooked up to your local energy grid. Each month, your electricity bill will be reduced by the amount that is produced by your panels. The way the solar company earns is by selling a portion of the solar produced back to the energy company and by collecting incentives from state and federal governments.  

Purchasing your panels outright has its advantages. When you purchase your own panels you can more greatly reduce or even eliminate your monthly utility bills without giving a cut back to the solar company. However, this also means you’re responsible for the care and maintenance, and insurance of the panels.

Off-site solar

Many people would love to reduce their electricity bill and help reduce carbon emissions, but they just can’t stand the look of solar panels on their roof. Fortunately, off-site solar farms are also growing in popularity. This type of solar power comes with all of the same benefits of rooftop solar except that it isn’t located on your house.

Typically a vacant spot of land is used as a solar “farm.” Community members can opt to lease or own a portion of the farm to contribute towards powering their home.

This option is particularly beneficial to those who lack roof-space, or who have a roof that doesn’t receive an optimal amount of sunlight.

Emerging technologies

As I mentioned earlier, solar power is an industry that is rapidly changing. If you’re not ready just yet to install solar panels or join a shared solar community, it’s still a good idea to look ahead at emerging technologies.

One such example is Tesla’s new solar roofs. The idea is that instead of installing panels, the roof itself comes with panels built-in. What’s more, the roofs are said to last longer than traditional roofs, and they’ll come in a variety of styles which mimic traditional shingles and comes in Tuscan, textured glass, and slate options.




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Posted by Karen Adelson on 9/18/2012

Everywhere you turn people are saying "go green". More and more people are looking for alternatives to heat and power their homes. One alternative is solar energy. There are both benefits and pitfalls to solar energy. The Benefits •Solar power is predictable. It is easy to predict how much electricity your system will produce because the amount of sunlight that hits your roof doesn't vary that much. This means it is also easy to predict how much you will save in electric bills. •Solar power will lower your electric bill. Solar power will offset the usage of conventional electricity especially in places where the price for grid power is high — like California, Hawaii and much of the northeast. •Solar power is safe and clean. Solar energy systems produce emissions-free electricity. •Installing solar panels may also help you qualify for a tax credit. For more information on energy tax credits click here. The Pitfalls •Solar power can be predictable but it is also variable. In other words, it can be predicted on a long term basis but not on a daily or even weekly basis. For example, solar panels won’t produce electricity at night. •Solar power can be a more expensive alternative in the short term. The price of solar panels continue to fall but there are many aggressive financing options. If your state has no tax incentives and electricity prices are relatively low solar would be an expensive option for you. •Some homes just don't work. The roof must be in good condition with an unobstructed southern exposure. If the house is surrounded by trees and tall buildings solar panels will probably not work. A ground-mounted system is an option only if you have sufficient space in your yard.