Are you considering making the change to solar power? You’ve come to the right place. At Jolt Solar, we help homeowners make the switch to renewable energy at affordable rates, saving them money every single month for years on end. But getting solar panels isn’t like walking into the store, putting them in your cart, and checking out. Every solar panel system is custom-tailored to its home, so it’s important to ask a few questions before you make the switch.
At Jolt Solar, we provide free consultations where we will examine your home, determine its viability for solar panels, and give you a plan for moving forward. In these consultations, we will ask most of these questions and more. With that being said, it’s still prudent to think about them on your own, to ensure that you set yourself up with the future in mind.
Here are some questions to ask if you’re considering making the switch to a solar energy system.
How Much Power Do I Use Every Month?
Obviously, no single home consumes the exact same amount of power every month, and that’s one of the frustrations about power bills — unless you’re paying really close attention to your energy usage, the bill can fluctuate greatly. One month it might be surprisingly cheap, only to offset that the next month with an abnormally high charge. One great benefit of solar power is that you can replace your utility bill with a solar payment. Because solar energy covers most or all of your power usage, you’ll be paying a flat rate to pay off your system each month, rather than a variable monthly fee to the utility company.
And that’s why it’s useful to examine your average monthly power usage, as well as your annual trends. Solar energy systems are custom-tailored for each home, and it is possible to have a system that’s too large or too small for your needs. If you overcompensate with a massive system and only end up using a fraction of its power, you’re paying more money than is necessary, which can partially deflate the point of switching in the first place. Meanwhile, if you underestimate your usage and cut corners, you might be paying a decent amount of your utility bill each month in addition to the solar power. It’s a delicate balance and you don’t want to go too far in either direction.
When you consult with our team at Jolt Solar, we will ask for a year’s worth of energy bills. While we can work with a general ballpark, the specifics help us help you best. The actual bills let us design a system that’s perfect for your needs — just enough to give you everything you need, while reducing the risk of underutilization.
Will My Energy Needs Change in the Future?
It pays to cast an eye toward the future when you’re considering solar energy. It’s useful having a history of your energy usage, but it’s also prudent to look ahead, because things change. If your energy usage is likely to increase in the future, consider setting up your solar panel system to accommodate for those changes. Here are some things to think about:
- Will My Family Get Bigger or Smaller? Do you have little tykes running amuck through their childhood, or do you live with rowdy, restless teenagers who are eager to get out on their own? Are you nursing an elderly relative? Are you a happy couple right now but you plan on having children later? These questions all matter. The bigger your family gets, the more energy usage you’ll want to prepare for. Likewise, if your family will be shrinking in the coming years, we might subtract a little bit from your average energy usage to calculate future trends.
- Will I Be Driving an Electric Vehicle? For all we know, maybe we’ll all have self-driving electric hovercars 20 years from now. There’s only so much you can predict with certainty, but ignoring the possibility that we evolve into a Jetsons-esque sci-fi utopia anytime soon, you should ask yourself if an electric car is in the cards. Electric vehicles are fantastic, but they do draw upon your home’s power to charge. In the interest of saving money, solar-generated electricity is way cheaper than gasoline, so you should definitely think about it.
- Will I Be Making Lifestyle Changes? Some homeowners get a smaller system with the intention of running the AC less, to conserve energy and save money. Conversely, some folks pump it harder to live more comfortably because the solar energy system offers more freedom. Consider what kind of lifestyle changes you’re likely to make. This includes average vs ideal thermostat temperatures, working from home, and so on.
How Much Have My Utility Prices Inflated Over the Years?
One of the most compelling benefits of solar energy is that it effectively replaces your power bill. Under the right system, you’ll use little to no energy from the grid, which means your only monthly payment will be your solar payment. Since this is just paying off a long-term expense, the rate is fixed and will never change over the course of 20+ years.
If you want some motivation for making the switch, see if you can’t dig up a history of your utility payments over the years. You may notice that they’ve inflated a bit. Inflation is a constant in our society; almost everything inflates in price, from cheeseburgers to gas prices. Utility bills are no different, and in 20 years, you could be paying a lot more in power bills than what you’re paying right now.
Inflation can’t be predicted to the penny, but look at past trends and prediction models for the future, and ask yourself how much money you’d be saving each month under a Jolt Solar plan.
If you need even more motivation, ask yourself this related question: “where has my power been coming from until now?” Spoiler: the answer is “dirty fossil fuels that are poisoning people near and far” in almost every part of the country, so that’s all the more reason to cut up that bill.
Will I Be Selling My Home Soon?
Admittedly, solar power isn’t a perfect investment for everyone. In theory, every homeowner should have it, but certain circumstances may make it a more questionable investment. One of these circumstances is relocation. If you have plans on moving within the next five years, you’ll definitely want to sit down and evaluate whether or not it’s a prudent investment.
Even so, don’t write anything off the table until you’ve spoken to our team of solar energy professionals. At Jolt, our mission is to make solar affordable and accessible to as many people as possible, and it’s not impossible for solar to yield positive returns, even if you’re not sticking around for a decade. It depends greatly on how much value solar adds to your home, and what happens to the solar loan you’re paying off.
In most cases, homeowners pay off the remaining balance of their solar bill when they relocate — this is often made possible by the additional value that the solar system adds to their home, often reaching thousands of dollars more than comparable non-solar homes. However, it’s also possible to transfer the loan to the new homeowners. They will have to qualify for it, but if they do, it’s a fairly easy transition. Either of these are viable options for solar power if you don’t plan on sticking around for the long haul.
Who Should I Order Solar Panels From?
Finally, if you’ve settled on the idea that you definitely want solar energy for your home, it’s important to make sure you’re working with the right people. There are many solar companies out there, and you’re going to want one who stands by honesty, integrity, and quality. Look no further! At Jolt Solar, our company was founded by experienced solar professionals who have seen it done wrong and knew we could do better. We’re streamlined to help homeowners like you get started with solar in a way that’s easier, more affordable than ever, and low-stress with no high-pressure sales tactics. We provide solar systems for homeowners in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, and Utah, with more states to come in the following year.
You might hear naysayers try to tell you that solar energy systems are complicated, expensive, and confusing. We’re here to dispel that myth. Solar power has never been easier or more ubiquitous than it is now, and we’re here to help everyone we can to step into the future of renewable energy. Contact us today to get started!