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Why Go Solar?

solar panels installed on roof

How much does solar cost, and how will it benefit me? When you first embark on your solar discovery journey, there are many questions you have, and very few ways to actually get all the answers you need. You will want these answers to make an informed decision on whether or not it makes sense for your particular situation, at least without speaking to a specialist in the field.
So why is that? Is solar a gimmick? Does it actually work, and are people actually saving money? In this post, I’ll explore the main reasons people adopt solar power, and the contributing factors that continue to drive adoption of rooftop solar and battery backup systems.

There are four main reasons people go solar. Let’s begin with the most obvious:

1. Financial Savings

If you own a home or business, you pay an electric bill. The electric rate from your utility company tends to go up year over year, not down. Every month, you keep the lights on by paying your electricity bill, without gaining any return on investment. Arguably, this means your return on investment is negative, because folks, we all know inflation is real!

A homeowner wouldn’t be a homeowner unless they understood the value of ownership. A mortgage may cost more than rent, but at the end of that loan term, you have another asset in your portfolio that you’ve been gaining equity in over the years.
In addition to empowering you to own your power, increase the value of the property and providing immediate financial savings, solar energy provides rate protection, meaning you’ve locked in your rate for power from the all-so-joyful sun for the next 25+ years.
Through the end of 2022, enjoy a 26% federal tax credit that serves as a dollar for dollar credit against your liability. This is a credit against your liability, and not a tax reduction nor rebate. Always confirm your eligibility of the Investment Tax Credit with your tax professional or CPA.

An average residential grid-tied solar system has a payback period of 8-12 years, with an Internal Rate of Return (IRR) at ~10-15%. Going solar is a low-risk, long-term investment. Still not sure if going solar is right for you?

Consider the following factors:

  • How long do you expect to stay in your home? If it’s more than 5 years, going solar is typically financially feasible.
  • How much energy do you use annually in kWh?
  • What’s your roof configuration and how much sunlight access is there on your property?
  • How much energy do you plan to use in the coming years?
    • Most of us have plans to increase, not lower, our electric usage over the years.
  • Where do you live?
    • Certain permitting authorities, and utility companies, are more solar-friendly than others. These “soft costs” ultimately impact your long term savings, and must be assessed correctly up-front.
  • Do you need backup power during outages?
    • If so, solar panels alone won’t do the job. You’ll have to invest in a battery backup system and couple them your solar panels, which we’ll talk about more in the next reason why people go solar.
  • Curious how much solar can save you?
    • Contact us online, and our team will produce an accurate, engineered layout through the powerful software, “Scanifly”. This model is produced by uploading over 200 high quality drone images, carefully mapping out all the roof edges and obstructions.

2. Energy Resilience & Independence

Year after year, you’d think increased electricity costs would result in utility companies making the necessary investments to improve reliability of our transmission and distribution systems. However, by one estimate, from 2015 to 2020 the number of blackouts in the United States doubled. There’s really no end in sight as to when or how we’ll devise a plan to develop a modernized grid that can handle the challenges of the 21st century.

Different people have different reasons for seeking out energy resilience. Some seek to power a life-saving medical device. Others want to make sure they can keep their loved ones safe, warm, and fed during extreme weather that breaks our power grid. A few have national security concerns that threaten the architecture of our centralized power system, and the only way to be truly self-sufficient is via adoption of a distributed solar system coupled with battery back-ups.

It’s tough for most people to analyze the costs and benefits of a solar plus battery system, because the battery back-up mainly provides qualitative benefits- so how do you put a price on peace of mind, comfort, asset protection, and security?
If you want to save money, go solar. If you want backup power for your home, build a budget around what you’re willing to invest, over how long, and understand that solar is all about savings while battery backup is all about reliability.

So how many batteries do you need, and how much will it cost?

Well, that all depends on you guessed it, a few factors- some of which include:

  • Condition and size of your property’s electric service
  • What all you want to backup in the event of a power outage
  • The distance between where the relay transfer switch and batteries are installed
  • Number of HVAC units needing a “Soft-Start”
  • Whether or not you want a smart electric panel to optimize the battery backup and extend longevity

Storms are increasing in frequency and strength, and when you couple that with the electrification of vehicles, rise of cloud-based services and technologies, bigger living structures and increased population growth, there’s no wonder the demand for backup power has never been greater.

In order to accurately size your battery system, our licensed site surveyors will perform a thorough load analysis, followed by recommendations made by our engineering team on some options as to how we can achieve your backup power goals.
Become energy resilient today, with a seamless backup power system from Good Faith Energy powered by batteries and the sun.

3. Going Green

The third, and perhaps most selfless reason, some people go solar is because it’s a renewable power source that doesn’t produce any carbon emissions once in operation. Solar systems are extremely durable, reliable, and long-lasting, with a warranty period of 25 years and a life span that can exceed 40 years. The world is in a dire climate crisis, and more and more people are getting tired of the broken promises and climate pledges being made by governments and large corporations, and choosing to take action themselves.

The biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions come from burning fossil fuels for the transportation and electricity production sectors, mainly coal and natural gas. Many of us are still very dependent on fossil fuels to power our vehicles, appliances, homes and businesses. And many times, these fossil fuels are deeply intertwined with geopolitical conflict, making the economics of supply and demand extremely volatile.

When we consciously make an effort to produce local, clean energy from our roofs, we’re choosing to benefit Mother Nature, our local community, and our local economy. Solar is one of the few investments you can make that truly have a triple bottom line impact, saving you money, creating local jobs and improving the environment around you.

4. Tech & Data

Early adopters- such as myself- love new technologies, especially ones that align with their lifestyle, vision and core values.
A new category of solar shopper has emerged- one curious to gain a deeper understanding of how we use, produce, store and distribute electricity. When you couple solar panels with a battery backup system and then install a smart electric panel like SPAN, you’ve reached the pinnacle of data collection and clean tech adoption.

These technologies give you real-time insights as to how much electricity you’re using and what appliances use the most, how much electricity you’re producing from your solar system, how much state-of-charge your battery has and the expected time reserve if a blackout where to happen, and whether you’re currently importing electricity, exporting electricity, or not-engaging at all with the grid.
In addition, the SPAN smart electric panel and other energy management systems are highly favored with the Tech & Data community. These systems allow you to tag your appliances as either “Must Haves”, “Nice to Haves”, or “Non-Essentials”. In the event of a power outage, your “Must Haves” will stay on until the battery gives out, your “Nice to Haves” will stay on until the battery reaches a 50% state of charge, and the “Non-Essentials” will automatically turn off. This is done to optimize the battery’s state of charge, and extend the battery’s life during a power outage. You can easily customize these tags on the fly, if conditions change, which they inevitably will during a power outage scenario.

By having deeper data insights on how your property consumes, stores, produces, and distributes power, you regain control from the electric utility monopolies and are able to live a smarter, safer, more reliable and sustainable lifestyle. The Tech & Data community understands and values that, as Good Faith Energy also takes a data-driven approach to engineering solutions.

In Summary

There are a number of reasons for why someone would want to invest in solar, backup power, or smart panel technology. Whether you’re conservative or liberal, well-off or struggling to make ends meet, old or young, or whatever the case- if you own a property that’s not fully surrounded by trees and shade, you pay an electric bill, and you expect to be there for at least the next 5 years- looking into going solar is a no-brainer.

There are a few questions to ask when shopping for solar, in order to make sure you have a positive experience and your expectations get met. As the famous saying goes- “Expectations, like dreams, are limitless”. It’s important to have realistic expectations, which should be driven by an engineered approach from whichever solar company you work with. Make sure your installer is reputable and credible, and is handling the project from start to finish. Ask about your warranties, verify the savings estimates, understand the loan terms, and read through your Installation Agreement!

Solar is a low-risk, long-term investment. Batteries are a luxury appliance, one that significantly reduce your dependence on the ever-so-fragile electric grid, and provides peace of mind, business continuity, and asset protection. Smart electric panels complete the Energy Resilience trifecta, giving you energy management capabilities including load shifting and load shedding.
It’s time to step into the 21st century with an energy makeover. Why go Solar? Because in these uncertain times, you need to regain control of your finances and security.

Fact checked by Jacob Petrosky – 4/26/2024