Frequently Asked Questions About Installing Solar.
Here at Raiden Electric, we realize that many people have questions about installing solar. We feel that there is a lack of information out there for the public to look at to understand what's involved with Solar. At Raiden Electric, we are here to educate just as much as we want to install Solar. So below are some questions that were hear frequently, and answers to them. If you have a question that isn't listed, use our contact form, or find us on Facebook to ask, and we will make sure that we get you answers!
Q: What does it cost to put solar on my house or business?
A: Well, there is no simple answer to this. While the price to install solar drops yearly, it can vary widely depending on the type of panels you want to install, along with what kind of equipment you want to go with them, and even how much power you want to generate. Here at Raiden Electric, we only install the highest quality components because we want your investment to last. As an average though, a typical 5000 watt roof install costs about $15,000 before the tax credit, and $10,500 after. The power generation or savings from that type of system will vary greatly depending on which direction your roof faces, and the angle of your roof.
As a company, Raiden Electric strives to install systems that generate a monthly savings of at least the amount of money you would pay back to a loan every month. That way, there is no extra money coming out of your monthly budget. This makes solar a really affordable option!
Q: What is the return on investment that I will get from installing Solar?
A: The return on your investment varies depending on what energy market you are in, and how many watts you install (i.e. if you install enough to also sell power back), but generally we try to install systems that have an ROI under 12 years for Duke Energy and Dayton Power & Light markets, and under 10 years for Butler Rural Markets. That is well below the national average.
Q: Are there any tax incentives still our there that I can take advantage of?
A: Absolutely! Currently, residential and commercial customers can take advantage of a Federal Tax credit of 30% of the total cost of a solar installation. This runs through the end of 2019. After that, you can get a 26% credit in 2020, and a 22% credit in 2021. Starting in 2022 only commercial customers can take advantage of a 10% credit going forward. This Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar makes it more affordable for homeowners and businesses by granting a dollar-for-dollar tax deduction equal to 30% of the total cost of a solar energy system. For more information, please visit the Energy.gov website here.
Q: Will the value of my home increase if I install solar?
A: Yes! Actually, it is the only home improvement project that increases the value of your home more than it costs. The average increase to your home is $20 per $1 in utility savings, or about $3.50 per watt installed. What does that mean? Well on the same average 5000 watt roof install we mentioned earlier, if the cost was $15,000 before the tax credit, your home value increase would be $17,500. This also means that if you turn around and sell your house immediately, you would immediately get your investment back, and then some. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory actually did a study on this, you can view the report here. The US Department of energy also published a document on this, which can be found here. While we can't guarantee any dollar amount, more data is being compiled all the time as more residential properties are installing solar. See below for a before an after that shows how visually stunning solar can be. It adds beauty, functionality, and character to any home.
Q: Do you deal/work with H.O.A.'s?
A: Installing solar is probably brand new for a lot of H.O.A.'s. It is usually their concern that a high level of aesthetics of the community are maintained. We are willing to work with any H.O.A. and show them different types of installation options that will not degrade the appearance of a home.
Q: Speaking of aesthetics, my only south facing roof is on the front of my home, won't it look bad?
A: Of course not! Solar panels have come a long way in the last few years, and there are even many color options to choose from. Most customers opt to install "black on black" panels to the front of their home that actually gives a very classy, and sleek appearance. See the picture below for an example.
Q: What is the impact to my roof if I install solar?
A: There are two points to discuss here. First, since solar installations last upwards of 35+ years, a lot of homeowners put new roofs on their home before installing solar panels. This ensures that your investment lasts, and you won't run into extra costs down the road when you finally need a new roof. It becomes very costly to remove and re-install solar panels. Here at Raiden Electric, we do not prefer to install solar on roofs older than 15 years. Second, we install Iron Ridge racking components, which exceed all major shingle manufacturer guidelines for continuation of roof warranties. That being said, an installer that does not take their time to ensure they have found the center of roof rafters, opens the door for long term water leaks. That is why we use a variety of methods to ensure we hit the center of roof rafters every time, to ensure your installation is of the highest quality.
Q: Where do the batteries go with my solar install?
A: Actually, with net metering, you don't need a battery at all! You would only want to install a battery if you want back-up power during an outage for a limited number of circuits, like a fridge, sump pump, or even saltwater fish tanks. Commercial customers might want to install batteries to reduce their peak demand load, which would help reduce their electrical cost even more. If you are interested in installing a battery, let us know. We are certified to install LG Chem batteries with Solar Edge, and would be happy to include that in your solar installation proposal. See below for a typical energy flow diagram of a roof-top solar install, and to see how a battery would fit into that.
Q: What is the design process?
A: It all starts with an assessment of your property. Do you have a south facing roof? Or any roof top space that is un-shaded? Or do you have a large open yard and would like a ground mounted system, which is also an option if you have a very shaded roof. Contrary to popular belief, not every property is a good candidate for a solar installation. After an initial assessment, we can draw up a solar production capability worksheet to go over with you. From there, depending on your individual requirements, like budget, and amount of power you want to produce, we can tailor a final design proposal for you.
Q: What are my financing options?
A: There are a lot of ways our customers choose to finance their solar installs if they don't want to pay cash. Firstly, we do not offer financing as a company, and do not do leasing agreements. Now, the usual options for financing are a standard bank loan, a home equity loan, and a personal 401k loan. Ohio also has 2 other financing programs, the first is PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy), which finances energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, sometimes with no out of pocket costs. More information on PACE can be found here, and here. The other program is ECO-Link for residential properties, and Re-Energize Ohio for commercial properties. Once an applicant successfully applies, they are eligible to receive up to a 3% interest rate reduction on bank loans for up to 7 years. More information for homeowners can be found here.
As a company, Raiden Electric strives to install systems that will save you at least the amount of money that you would have to pay a loan back every month. That way, there is no extra cost in your monthly budget. That makes solar extremely affordable!
Q: I'm still unsure, does solar really work?
A: Of course it does! If we didn't believe in going green, we wouldn't be sharing all of this information with you. We even have it on our own houses! Sometimes it's hard to believe something without seeing it in action. You can visit our solar page to see a live dashboard of solar in action. You can also visit our brochure page to see real bills from customers comparing what they generated with their panels vs. what they used in their home, and how much their bill ultimately was. Feel free to ask us to see more bills from customers, or check out our Facebook for solar updates! See below for a Duke Energy supplemental comparing energy usage for a home on a rolling yearly calendar. There is a drastic difference before and after solar!
Q: Why should I choose Raiden Electric to install solar on my property?
A: Firstly, since we are an electrical contractor, we don't need to sub-contract out that work when doing your solar installation. You will see the same smiling faces from the start of the installation to the very end. Second, since we are a small business, we have lower overhead than other solar installers, and can offer very competitive pricing. Thirdly, we believe in high quality, and only install superior products. We will walk away from a job rather than try to compete with someone that wants to install inferior products on your property. We also offer a 7 year workmanship warranty on our solar installs. Fourth, we really believe in green energy, and as a company we feel that everyone should have the right to control their own energy production and pricing, while also helping the environment for future generations. Lastly, we don't try to inflate production numbers just to get your business. We only use the minimum calculations on energy production and annual cost savings to give you realistic expectations of what you are installing.