Solar is a Great Deal…Right?

As temperatures start to rise this summer in San Diego, so will your electric bill. Invariably the phone will ring, ads will play on the radio, and your mail will be littered with the same message. Go Solar. But is solar a great deal?

Many solar contractors will push the $0 down solar lease that allows you to go solar for nothing out of pocket, but replaces your electric bill with a slightly (20%) lower solar payment. This is great, except when you go to sell your house and have to transfer ownership of the lease. Many home seller’s are reporting this as a deterrent when selling their homes and has either stopped or slowed the sale process, or cost them $10k-$30k in equity to buy out the lease.

However, buying your solar system will add value to your home and will make your property easier to sell down the line versus a leased solar system.

Here are 3 tips to Buying Solar in San Diego:

1. Buying is always better than leasing. You get to keep your federal tax credit (which expires 12/31/2016) and with today’s prices in solar can break even in 3-5 years on your investment.
2. H.E.R.O. (Home Energy Renovation Opportunity) is a good vehicle for financing. San Diego Metro Credit Union also offers great loans with competitive interest rates if you are seeking financing.
3. Talk to 3 solar contractors who have been established in business, have the proper licensing/bonding/worker’s comp, and check out on Yelp/Angie’s List/ and BBB. I recommend talking to a local contractor, a National Chain (Sun Run/Solar City) and a referral from someone in the neighborhood who is happy. This will give you a spectrum of pricing to work with.

Going solar can be a complex and strenuous procedure with getting bids, salesman in your home, following up with emails and phone calls, reference checking. It can become a 20-30 hour process from start to finish.

Compare Solar Bids:

1. If you are just starting out research solar, simply input your address and energy usage into and you will receive 3-5 bids emailed directly to you from pre-screened, best in class solar contractors with the lowest pricing.
2. If you are ready to move forward with a solar bid, you can price check that bid at BeatMySolarBid and the same network of solar contractors compete to offer you a better value or price.
3. If you have any questions surrounding solar, this is a great resource for FAQ and Solar 101.

I have put together a comprehensive list of contractor questions for your consultation. If you email me, I will reply with the pdf.

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