Your Startup Guide for Solar Energy at Home
Powering your home with solar panels is a smart investment that can pay off in many ways. Lower energy bills, less dependence on outside energy resources and a positive impact on Wisconsin’s clean energy future are just a few. If you’re ready to reach for the sun, consider these simple steps.
Evaluate your home’s energy use
Solar works even better if your home is already energy efficient. Look at your current energy use and see if there are opportunities to improve. From low-cost upgrades like LED bulbs and a smart thermostat, to bigger changes like new insulation and heating equipment, each improvement helps reduce the amount of energy your solar panels need to produce.
Make sure your home is suitable for solar panels
Solar panels work in all climates, but in some cases, tree coverage or the age of your roof may cause issues. This is something you can discuss with potential solar installers when you’re obtaining bids.
It’s also a good idea to assess your home’s solar potential. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory developed a tool called PVWatts that you can use to estimate the energy production and cost of a solar PV system for your home, and even compare solar’s cost to that of utility bills.
Get bids and find a qualified solar contractor
FOCUS ON ENERGY® can help you find qualified solar Trade Ally contractors in your area to assess your home and provide bids on your solar project. Trade Ally contractors can help you determine the best type of system for your home and help you complete incentive applications.
Understand available incentives, tax credits and financing options
Be sure to look into available financing options. You may be able to cover a large portion of your project costs through Focus on Energy incentives and the current 26% federal tax credits. Ready to get started on your solar project? Find a Trade Ally contractor today or learn more about Focus on Energy’s solar incentives and resources.
To learn more, check out our episode of Focus Friday Five about solar planning for your home!