Some eco-friendly upgrades cost nothing and take only a moment to implement; others, such as the installation of rooftop solar, require planning and an upfront financial commitment for long-term savings. Beyond saving you energy, a solar system should always save you money in the long run. As distributed solar options expand and evolve, so, too, do the costs and financial implications of purchasing a system.
How Will I Pay for My System?
After your initial investment, you should expect to eventually break-even before saving outright thanks to incremental energy savings. Prior to installation, a reputable company should generate a payback scenario based on your energy usage and system capacity.
Net metering policies—programs that compensate solar “prosumers” for the electricity they feed back into the grid—also help offset upfront costs over time. Review your state’s current net metering laws.
When deciding how to pay for your system, consider the following:
- There are solar financing options. From solar loans to solar leases, you have options when it comes to financing your new system. Certain states subsidize solar energy loans, granting you access to below-market interest rates.
- You may be eligible for solar incentives. Both solar panels and solar roofs are eligible for the 26% federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). While the ITC is applicable to both materials and labor, certain structural components necessary for both traditional and solar roofs are exempt. Depending on where you live, solar rebates and further tax incentives may be applicable to your solar project at the state level.
- Adding solar panels or a solar roof increases the value of your home or building. Adding solar technology to your property will always increase its value. When a solar system is owned outright or under certain financing mechanisms, solar panels or shingles are appraised as an asset. Beyond the steep energy savings, the aesthetic upgrade of a premium solar roof adds considerable value.
- Adding solar panels or a solar roof should not affect your homeowner’s insurance. Most standard house insurance policies cover solar energy systems. Once the system is part of your home, it will be protected. If your policy does not offer this coverage, or if you have a relatively low coverage limit, you may choose to pay an additional premium to protect your solar investment.
- If you’re building a new home, you can wrap your solar investment into your mortgage. This is true for both solar panels and solar roofs.
Ready to invest in a solar system? With the ITC set to expire in 2024, now is the time. Despite its one-time extension as a result of a hard-fought legislative battle, the ITC will phase out annually until its termination. In the hopes of encouraging drastic and immediate efforts to decarbonize our economy, many of today’s most compelling financial incentives have set expiration dates looming on the horizon.
If you’re considering a roof replacement or are constructing a new home or building, keep in mind that with SunStyle, you’re investing in solar and getting a brand new, high quality roof for less than the cost of a new traditional roof plus solar panels.