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January 7, 2017

4 Reasons Why You Should Have Solar Panels On Your Roof

In response to an old but interesting article on Transmission and Distribution World, here are 4 reasons why you should have solar panels on your roof.

1. Grid Parity
For the best solar energy companies, grid parity has been reached and even exceeded. For example, electricity rates in North Carolina are on average 10.9¢/kWh  which is actually 8% below the national average. At Humium Energy a 5 kW solar system will cost you around $10000, but kWh for kWh how does that compare with the average utility rate considering that there are about 5 peak sun hours per day and most of North Carolina has sunshine for about half of the days in a year? Lets run some quick numbers:
equation
Power produced by solar systems designed and installed by Humium Energy (8.8¢/kWh) is actually less expensive than grid power.

2. Better Deals
While it is true that changes are happening in the solar energy industry, one should keep in mind that it is the job of the company to package a great investment for the homeowner. For the best solar companies, regulation changes are a design problem for the solar company and not the homeowner. Any company that simply passes costs and uncertainty along to the customer is not doing enough of their homework. At Humium, we pride ourselves on the firmness of our products as investments for our customers. As we say, when done correctly energy is an investment.

3. The Power of Ownership
Some utility companies are now offering solar systems for lease to homeowners, but depreciation is precisely the reason why leasing a solar system is a bad idea. Most lease agreements for solar systems require agreement periods of 20 years as the writer complains, but this is not even main problem. The fundamental issue with solar leasing is that while the system production declines, you the customer will pay the exact same rate. It is for this reason that few people see wisdom in renting their car rather than owning it.  You will have to pay the utility company to be connected to the grid plus for whatever little bit of power that you system could not produce and you will also have to then pay the solar company your “lease rate”. On top of all of this, because you do not own the system you do not qualify for any tax incentives. Essentially, leasing a solar system creates yet another utility company for the home owner to deal with. It is for this reason that at Humium we highly encourage those interested in solar to own their solar system.

4. Payment Options Available
Though the price for solar energy has reduced significantly the optimum balance has yet to be reached. Nevertheless solar energy is already less expensive than conventional electricity. This may seem to some to not be the case because of the sticker price of purchasing a solar system, however even a monthly utility bill is $50 adds up to $15000 over 25 years which more than purchases a solar system capable of offsetting that electricity demand. When you do not own a solar system for your home you are throwing money away. There are many people that do not have the money to purchase a system with cash, however there are many options available to allow them to still buy one and invest in their home while saving money.

 

January 4, 2017

The Roof

 

old-rooves

If your roof looks something like this, you probably should have it replaced. While for the vast majority of people the roof on their home or business is in much better condition than this, it may still be a good idea to think about your roof before going solar. The roof is important to the solar system because it hosts the array. Systems are installed with the utmost care and attention but the installation process alone may seriously damage a roof that is in poor condition.

The lifetime of the average asphalt shingle roof is about 30 years which approximately matches the warrantied lifetime of a solar system. A general indication of the age of a roof is time elapsed after installation, however a roof with a significant amount of shading has a longer lifetime due to lower UV exposure. The best way to figure out whether or not you should replace your roof before installing a solar system is to simply have an expert assess the condition. This can involve anything from a formal visit by a company to allowing a friend licensed in roofing to look at your roof. A benefit of replacing your roof before installing your solar system is that it can then be included into the overall cost of the project and thus qualify for the federal and state tax incentives that are available as long as the roof has some energy saving qualities to it. Most of the time roof replacement will not be absolutely required but the roofer’s assessment provides assurance.

Once the system is installed, the array behaves like a shield protecting your roof from the elements such as UV rays, hail, or debris. In the summer, the shade that the array provides helps reduce the temperature of your home!