If you are considering “going solar” for 2018, be aware that shopping for a solar power system can at first seem a daunting task. Consumers face a bewildering array of solar energy options in terms of the various models, manufacturers, installers and methods of financing.  The answers to several  key questions should guide solar shoppers to ensure they make the best decisions possible.

As with any big ticket purchase, shopping for a solar panel installation takes a lot of research and consideration, including a thorough review of the companies in your area. A recent report by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recommended that consumers compare as many solar options as possible to avoid paying inflated prices and to stay abreast of the technology changes taking place within the solar industry.

You should  start by requesting free quotes from vetted installers local to you.  Going with a Brooklyn-based company like Venture Home Solar ensures that you get local expertise and service.  In the 2 + years since its founding, Venture has installed over a thousand solar systems in New York City, and is now expanding its service footprint to include Nassau County. Established in 2015, the company now employs over a 110 dedicated New Yorkers, who are committed to changing the way the greatest city in the world consumes energy.

Venture Home Solar can assist you in determining whether your home or business is a viable site for a solar installation and give you information to help you compare all your equipment options.  There are multiple variables to consider when seeking out the best solar panels on the market.  The number one key question for solar shoppers will likely be “Will a solar installation save me money?” but key questions should guide solar shoppers who need some other answers first.  For example:

How much do you pay now for electricity?

Your current electricity bill is the largest factor in determining how much you’ll save by installing solar. You pay your utility company for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity you use, and your rate varies significantly depending on where you live. In some parts of the country, you can pay as little as 8 cents per kWh; in others, you’ll pay 20 cents or more.  You can see how NY compares with other states around the area and nation.  Our rates are high.

When you go solar, you effectively install a power plant on your roof to replace the power plant where your utility gets its electricity. That means homeowners with high electricity rates from their utility are the ones who save the most when they switch to home solar power.  Like those of us who live in New York.

Will Solar Work on My House?

And, before you pay to put that power plant on top of your roof, you need to have your home and lot evaluated.  Part of what we at Venture Solar do best is to provide you with a thorough analysis of your site and help you determine your solar energy potential.  Basically, a solar power system is designed considering two important factors – the amount of space that you have available for installing solar panels and the amount of electricity you consume annually. Other factors, like shading analysis and the efficiency of the solar panels and inverters you purchase also come into play.  The slope of your roof and whether your or your neighbors have trees that might interfere with your PV (photovoltaic) panel efficiency are also factors we look for.  The bottom line is that we work with you to analyze your daily energy use over the prior year and to thoroughly evaluate your home or business to determine your solar energy potential.

How much does a solar panel system cost?

Installation prices will vary significantly depending on the solar company you choose and the equipment you install. While cheap solar panels might feel like the easiest way to save some upfront cash, your total 20-year savings will often be higher if you invest in high-quality equipment at the onset. We will spend time with you to review all of your equipment options and find the right combination of price and quality for your home.

What tax incentives exist to help reduce my costs of installation?

Venture Home Solar can help you reduce your net cost through state and federal rebates.  New York is a leader in solar energy and has a number of incentives to help offset initial installation costs.  Another option in New York and elsewhere is utilizing a PPA.  A PPA is a power purchase agreement, or an electricity power contract between two parties, one which generates electricity (your power company) and one which is looking to purchase electricity (you).  A PPA is sometimes referred to as “third party ownership” because the solar installation company pays to put the panels on your roof at no cost to you, and you then buy the electricity they provide for cheaper than you would have paid Con Ed.  We can help you figure out if this option, or a different one, is best for your financing needs.

Learn more about “going solar” in New York by contacting one of our solar experts at Venture Home Solar. Call us today at  800-203-4158 to find out more about investing in solar energy and to let us help you determine your solar energy potential!  We are the local experts who know the “ins and outs” of our state policies here in New York, including the tax incentives and rebates that can make a solar installation on your home or business even more cost effective. Key questions should guide solar shoppers – all of which get answered when you call Venture Home Solar today (800-203-4158) to get started!