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Are Solar Panels Worth It in the Long Run?

Saturday, October 30th, 2021

Electricity rates are rising, and property owners are looking for ways to reduce their utility bills. Keeping the thermostat set higher in the summer and lower in the winter will reduce energy usage, but you are sacrificing comfort.

Switching to solar power seems to make sense but is it worth it in the long run? Whether or not solar panels save you money depends on a few factors that include installation costs, available tax credits, and your current electrical rates.

Need expert advice? The consultants and contracts from Homeowner Funding have broken down the factors you should consider below.

Does It Make Sense to Switch to Solar Power? 

For some homeowners switching to solar power is a cost-effective way to lower energy costs, but it may not apply to everyone. Here are five steps you can take to see if it is the best option for you.

1. Look Over Your Past Energy Bills 

Electricity rates vary by location and provider. Residents in another state may be paying lower or higher rights. Your electrical plan also factors into your bill. Homeowners with fixed rates tend to pay less than those on a variable plan.

Review your past electrical statements. Are your bills uncomfortably high? Do they stay in the same high range throughout the year? If you answered yes to one or both of these questions, installing solar panels is probably worth it.

2. Find Out if You Get Enough Sunlight 

Solar panels are useless without sunlight. The panels need sunlight to produce and store energy. If you live in an area with frequent rainfall and plenty of cloudy days, solar panels may not help increase your energy savings.

Other states like California, Florida, and Texas boast plenty of sunshine throughout the year. On average, one hour of sunlight produces 1,000 watts of electricity. Think about the amount of electricity you use on an average day before switching over to solar power.

You also want to look at how your home is oriented towards the sun and the amount of shade your roof receives. Depending on the condition of your home, you may need roof funding to make necessary repairs.

3. Estimate Solar Panel Installation Costs 

Solar panel installation costs can be overwhelming. Even installing something as simple as replacement windows can be expensive enough to require window funding; solar panels are significantly more complex. While the upfront costs usually range between $15,000 to $20,000, the solar system also requires little maintenance and most last for at least 20 years before you need to think about replacing the panels.

Overall, solar panels last longer than a traditional HVAC system, and you rarely need to call for repairs.

Don’t be afraid to comparison shop. Solar panel installation companies do not charge the same price. Getting as many quotes as possible will ensure you are getting the best price for your money.

4. Ask About Incentives 

Climate change and energy efficiency are part of a global conversation. That’s why the United States federal government is offering incentives in the form of tax credits to qualifying homeowners who are willing to make energy-saving renovations, making it easier than ever to get insulation financing and solar power installation assistance.

Currently, the federal government allows residential taxpayers to deduct 26% of their solar panel installation costs up to December 21, 2022. The tax credit drops to 22% in 2023 and expires in 2024.

States can also offer financial incentives to property owners switching to solar power. Fees may be waived for installation permits, or you may see a reduction in your property taxes. Some states allow homeowners to sell their unused solar power back to traditional electric companies. Some manufacturers also offer rebates on their solar products.

5. Watch Current and Future Trade Policies 

The United States trade policies affect solar panel costs. Trade tariffs can increase the price of foreign-made products. In 2018, the United States government imposed a 30% tariff on solar panels not manufactured in the U.S, raising purchasing and installation costs. The tariff is set to expire in 2022, but it is something to watch.

Your best option is to work with American-made products if you are concerned about solar panels being worth it in the long run. You want to start saving money as soon as you decide to forego traditional electricity.

Homeowner Funding Can Help You Make the Right Choice

Overall, only you can decide if it’s really worth it, in the long run, to switch to solar power. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get help. Homeowner Funding exists to help people make the best possible decisions for their needs. From renewable energy technologies to vinyl siding financing options, we strive to provide homeowners with all the tools they need to build the house of their dreams.

Have questions about solar power, or think you’re ready to make the switch? Contact Homeowner Funding today to learn more about our services.

Top 8 Renovation Projects

Monday, June 28th, 2021

Houses of all ages require a lot of upkeep. Home renovations and remodeling projects come up all the time, and many of them can be huge undertakings for homeowners. Some features get old and give you no choice but to replace them, while others might go out of style and become outdated. There are plenty of reasons to get home renovations and a wide range of projects that homeowners need to tackle. If you don’t know what home renovation to do next, there are plenty to choose from. 

Here are eight of the most popular home renovation projects. 

Kitchen Remodel 

Kitchen remodels of all sizes are extremely popular, and you’ve probably seen many of them if you’ve ever looked through a remodeling magazine. Most of us spend a huge amount of time in our kitchens, and they go through a lot of wear and tear over the years. Even minor changes in your kitchen can make a huge difference. Maybe you’re just getting new countertops or want to have your cabinets repainted. If it’s been decades since the last time your kitchen has been updated, you might be looking at a major renovation instead. For expensive kitchen remodels, you might even be eligible for grants for kitchen renovations. 

Exterior Update

Renovations inside of the home are likely the first to come to mind when you think about home improvement projects, but exterior renovations are also popular. New siding, roofs, and porch renovations can add a huge amount of value to your home. While these projects can transform the look of your house, they’re also often necessary improvements that you can’t ignore. Your home’s siding and roofing help protect it from the elements, and they only last so long. Eventually, every homeowner will need to invest in exterior renovations. 

Home Additions 

If you’re like many who need more space at home, you might be considering getting a new addition installed. Some popular ideas for home additions are adding in an extra bathroom, extending existing rooms, and adding entire extra stories. Additionally, getting a sunroom adds value to your home and can give you the extra space that you need. Home additions can be projects to complete, but are worth it when you have a new space that’s just right for your home. 

Bathroom Remodel

As with kitchen remodels, a bathroom remodel can be anything from minor cosmetic changes to completely gutting the room and starting from scratch. Bathrooms also get a lot of wear, including exposure to water and humidity on a regular basis. Having a beautiful bathroom is something many homeowners dream of, which makes bathroom remodeling projects extremely common. However, these projects are also often expensive, but bathroom remodeling financing can help make them manageable. 

Basement Transformation 

Getting a finished basement is similar to investing in a home addition but might be easier for some homeowners. Unlike needing to add on a whole extra room, you already have this space available. Depending on the current state of your basement, you might only need mainly cosmetic changes to give you a finished basement. Of course, plenty of homes, especially older ones, require more work. Your basement might be sitting completely unused, so even if you need some major work done, you’ll be able to use the space you already have.

Landscaping Revamp

If you’re looking to get more use out of your yard, getting some landscaping work done can help. Maybe you need some major work on your lawn, want to get an impressive garden, or have a fence installed for more privacy in your yard. Creating a water feature in your yard can also help create the perfect outdoor getaway. Depending on the work your yard needs, many landscaping projects might be something you can do on your own with some hard work and the right tools. 

New Windows and Doors

If you live in an older home, getting new windows and doors installed is probably at the top of your to-do list. Old windows and doors can be extremely drafty, causing you to waste energy to heat and cool your home. Not only will new windows and doors help you save money in the long run, but they will also improve the look of your home both inside and outside. 

Adding New Insulation

Insulation is another popular home renovation that can help you save money on your energy bill. While the initial cost may be expensive, this is something you’ll benefit from for years to come that can eventually help you save money. Like many other home improvement projects, this might be a small task, or you might want to invest in getting all new insulation throughout your home. Insulation won’t affect the look of your home at all, but it’s well worth it if you live somewhere with harsh temperatures. 

Find Out How to Finance Your Next Renovation Project 

Sometimes, home renovations are as simple as getting new interior paint. While there are many small, easy projects you can do yourself, there are also a lot that require professional help and can get costly. At Homeowner Funding, we can help you get financing for some of the most popular home improvement projects. 

Apply for Homeowner Funding today to learn more about how we can help.