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What’s the cost of solar, really?

We called on the experts at Freedom Solar Power to answer reader-submitted solar energy questions. Here’s what they have to say about costs, savings, hurricanes, home value, and more.

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a modern two story house with solar panels on the roof

Solar can be more affordable than you think, saving you thousands in the long run and sparing you from ever-increasing energy bills.

Photo provided by Freedom Solar Power

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Feeling the pain of rising electricity bills? Same. While most Raleighites know energy costs are on the rise (and fast), many don’t know that the cost of going solar is dropping. In fact, installing a system has decreased by 50% in the last 10 years.

While the math works in your favor, we know going solar is still a big decision. That’s why we called in the experts at Freedom Solar Power to answer these reader-submitted solar questions:

How much do I typically save on energy costs?

Homeowners save an average of $20,000 over a 25-year span. Most customers finance their system, similar to a car payment — so, you might, for example, pay $100 monthly on a financed solar system. Since the average Raleighite pays $208 per month on regular electricity, this means you can start saving in the first month.

How is power generated during cloudy or rainy days?

Solar panels work on cloudy days. Solar photovoltaic (PV) cells will still generate energy even when light is partially blocked or reflected by clouds.

But the amount of energy produced on those particularly overcast days is less than normal. When it comes to maximizing sun-generating energy, Southern states are great candidates for solar.

What is the return on investment like?

Solar panels increase the value of your home. A recent study by the University of Michigan found that for the hottest cities in the South, solar investments today will increase in valuation by up to 20% within 25 years due to climate change.

Will solar panels cause roof leaks?

Solar panels aren’t bad for your roof. When installed properly, multiple protections, like sealants + flashing, are taken to ensure your panels are waterproofed. (Freedom Solar also provides a 25-year workmanship warranty which ensures the panels are installed as intended and covers all of the steps to ensure no roof leaks.)

What is the cost of solar, really?

Right off the bat, you get 30% back from the federal government tax credit, dropping the average all-in cost of $30,000 to ~$20,000 — and other incentives, rebates, and exemptions drop it even more. Note that pricing can vary depending on the size + model of the panels you choose.

How do the panels fare during a hurricane and what is the cost to repair if damaged?

Contrary to what most people might think, solar panels are resistant to some of the hardest, biggest hailstones and are more durable than a typical shingle roof.

Damage due to weather is covered under your homeowners’ insurance. Because solar protects rooftops, many customers don’t see an increase to their insurance premiums at all. Your insurance policy rates would only increase because solar panels add value to the price of your home.

What happens if I’m repairing the roof or remodeling?

We can uninstall and reinstall solar PV systems regardless of make, model, or previous install company. We offer free system diagnostic inspection and will return your system to equal or better performance.

What if I decide to sell my house?

Freedom Solar will help you maximize the resale value that solar panels add to your home. Our certified solar appraisal documents include information on your system, performance, and warranty, which is fully transferable to the buyer. We can also consult with your realtor to help them explain the value of your solar installation.

Ready to go solar? See more FAQs + book your free consultation.

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