WHY GO SOLAR?
Making the decision to “Go Solar” may seem – and, without a good background, is – daunting to many people. What are the factors to consider, their importance, and their risk levels? For many of our customers that decided to “Go Solar,” the following were their major decision factors and concerns and how Aviara Solar helps address them:
Are you interested in lowering your monthly bills, having predictable bills, hedging against increasing electric rates, saving money in the long run, helping the environment, increasing the value of your home, planning on consuming more electricity (e.g. purchasing an electric vehicle), or all of these? Aviara Solar starts with understanding your goals to ensure that our recommendations and solutions help you achieve them.
Ideally, you should be planning on living in, or keeping your home for at least as many years as it will take to recoup your investment in the solar system from the savings realized. After you recoup your investment, you can view your subsequent savings as “income” or “profit.” Even if you are planning to live in your home for a shorter period or need to relocate, you may be able to recoup the cost based on the potential increase in home value based on your solar system (since the new homeowner will be paying a reduced electric bill). Aviara Solar will help you analyze your current situation and plans to determine if and how best you should “Go Solar.”
Current Consumption & Payments
Generally, the higher your consumption or electric bills, the more it makes sense to “Go Solar.” You should also consider “Going Solar” if your consumption may increase (e.g. addition to your family or if you are considering installing a swimming pool or purchasing an electric vehicle) and/or expect your rates to rise in the future. Keep in mind that there is no magic “threshold” that your current monthly electric bill has to be above or below to automatically determine if you should “Go Solar” or not. Aviara Solar will help you analyze your current and future consumption, electric rates, and Net-Metering rules to determine if and how “Going Solar” will benefit you.
Rate Plans & Consumption Patterns
Some customers found that just by learning about and switching to another rate plan (e.g. from tiered to time-of-use) and changing their energy use patterns (e.g. doing laundry during evenings or weekends), they could save enough money to not even consider Going Solar – and that is OK. We, at Aviara Solar, want to do what is right for you and we will help you look at “Going Solar” as part of an overall energy plan, including consumption monitoring, efficiency, and conservation, while maintaining or improving your lifestyle.
Roof Space & Orientation
To generate the most electricity from solar, you should have sufficient usable roof space that faces southward – preferably south and/or southwest. If that is not the case, Aviara Solar can provide options such as reverse-tilt mounting, or high efficiency panels to maximize energy production from the available roof space and orientation. If no such roof space is available, mounting panels on your garage, carport, awning, or the ground could be other options that Aviara Solar will help you to consider.
For quickest payback and to take most advantage of available incentive programs, it is best to own your solar system – either cash or financed. If you finance, then your payback period will increase due to the interest payment, but you will have a very low upfront payment. In either case, owning your solar system allows you to take advantage of the rebates and tax credits and places no encumbrances when selling your home. As an alternative to owning your system, you could lease it. Compared to purchasing, your benefits will be less and there will be some conditions, but leasing may allow you to enjoy the benefits at possibly no effective cost to you. Aviara Solar provides many financing and leasing options to meet your needs and provide you with the best return.
Incentives and Rebates
Most, if not all utility and/or government incentives decrease over time or as they are claimed. So, if you are considering “Going Solar,” the earlier you decide, the more you can benefit from the higher incentive levels.
The benefits of “Going Solar” is directly proportional to the amount of energy generated by the system. The longer it is in production, the more energy it will generate. So, if you are considering “Going Solar,” the earlier you decide, the more days your system will be generating electricity and contributing to your savings. Aviara Solar will inform you of the currently available incentives, their current levels, and their planned reductions so you can make an informed decision.
Electric Main Panel
Going Solar will require that your electric main panel can handle the extra load from the solar system and the additional breakers . If it cannot, then the electric main panel will need to be upgraded.
Shading from adjacent buildings, chimneys, roofs, trees, and other obstructions will prevent sunlight from reaching the solar panels. Many times, the shading is temporary within a day (e.g. shading from a tree during morning hours) or within a year (shading from an obstruction during the winter months). The shading may be permanent (e.g. building) or removable (e.g. trimming a tree). Depending on your situation, Aviara Solar will design the best solution to maximize the energy output, recommend ways to remove or reduce shading, or even suggest that Going Solar is not viable.
WARRANTIES & GUARANTEES
The quality of a company’s warranties and guarantees signifies the company’s confidence, willingness, and ability to stand behind its work.
The details of the Warranties and Guarantees are very important – the terms, the support process, inclusion of replacement parts and labor, and other specifics should be known up front and be included in the total system offering and price considerations.
The guarantees and warranties a company offers is relatively less important than a company’s ability to honor them until the end of their terms; after all, what good is the “best” warranty if the company is not there to honor it? Warranties and Guarantees from a stable reputable company will provide you peace of mind and, from a financial perspective, allow for determining the “carrying cost” of the system. This “carrying cost” should ideally be zero. The higher this “carrying cost,” the longer the payback period becomes since each repair bill will eat away at the savings generated by your solar system.
Aviara Solar’s Warranties and Guarantees are one of the best of in the industry and from a growing and reputable company. Additionally, our competitive prices results in shorter payback periods and reducing your risk reliance on company longevity.
Once satisfied that Going Solar is the right choice, most our customer’s next biggest consideration was choosing the installer. These are the traits most often sought: integrity, reputation, quality, price, choice, warranty, in-house expertise, support, and relationship. We, at Aviara Solar, have built our business from the customer’s viewpoint and needs. We are not interested in “selling” you a solar system – we want to provide you with a solution that meets your goals and needs.
In addition to considerations, our customers, naturally, had “what if” questions and concerns about Going Solar.