As heard on WTOP, meteorologist Wyatt Everhart, advisor for Solar Energy World, answers some of the most pressing questions about shifting to solar power in the four-part interview series below:
Q1: Why would you say so many homeowners are beginning to take a fresh look at switching to solar power now, here in the DMV and beyond? And what should everyone be looking for in terms of finding a reputable installer?
When it comes to energy, and the rate hikes we’ve been seeing across all utilities up and down the East Coast and certainly around DC, the question is quickly becoming, not, “can I afford to go solar?” but rather, “can I afford to stay with the utility?!” I mean, one of the biggest utilities here has a 17%+ effective rate hike starting in October, so that $300 electric bill is about to be $350 – many times month after month, it just adds up to thousands out the door!
This is why we say, if you own your home and you pay an electric bill, we really want to help you at least look into going solar – and going solar the right way – with a reputable local company – like us – Solar Energy World. You know, we’ve been around nearly 15 years at this point, installed well over 20,000 homes in Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia and the other surrounding states – and it’s that experience and that expertise that allows us to really help find the right program for you specifically – and the solar option that’s going to save you the most money on energy over time – and maybe best of all, with clean energy from the sun.
Q2: There is no shortage of homeowners who say they are not happy with the soaring cost of electricity across the DMV, especially when you consider the rate-hikes we’ve seen from our utilities over the past 2 years. However, they still wonder if switching to solar would really be cost effective ad create a significant savings. What do you say to them?
The utility rate hikes we’ve been seeing across the DC region the last 2 years, and especially this year are the most significant homeowners have ever seen, and it really includes all of them – PEPCO, BGE, SMECO, Dominion, they’re all moving higher, and aggressively.
But the good news is, the incentives available now for you to shift to solar for your home, are also the strongest they’ve ever been. The Federal Tax Credit for a full 30% back on any solar investment, which is not capped and can mean more than $10,000 back to you at Tax Time on an average system. Also – with Solar Energy World – you can 100% finance one of these systems, and literally pay nothing until the system is engineered, installed by us (not a sub-contractor), and powered up against the utility.
We call financed solar “a smarter way to spend the same money each month,” because in the short term, you’re really just reallocating your electric payment from the utility to your solar, but in a matter of years, you will actually have free power from a system you own outright. Obviously, your utility electric bill is never paid off – keeps going up – and never ends – *unless you decide to shift to solar power for your home.
Q3: You say every property is unique when it comes to potential energy from the sun, and each available solar program has its own set of paybacks. So, what advice do you have for homeowners when it comes to getting a properly designed system and a specific program that’s going to be a good fit?
You have to understand we are at a unique moment in history when it comes to energy – and specifically the electricity we all need to operate our homes.
And what we are seeing these days when we run the numbers, in case after case, is that, if your home or property has good access to the sun, the smarter choice is going to be to make a shift to solar.
And this is true, for homeowners really across the spectrum. Whether it’s someone who wants to capture an immediate savings of more than 20% off their utility rate with our unique lease to own program or a cash investor who wants to see a strong annual ROI and payback on the system.
But the one thing you have to watch out for, more than any other home improvement probably, is the quality of the installation. I say it all the time, “Don’t get burned going solar!” This is – electrical. This is – your roof. So, a proven, local company that takes the engineering and construction process seriously and guarantees the power production from that system in writing – is the key.
Q4: Why do say now is really the ideal time to be looking into generating your own electricity, and what should someone look for in order to have confidence when it comes to selecting a reputable installer for their solar project, whether rooftop or ground array?
You really only have two choices. Continue to buy that power from your utility, month after month, and at their ever-escalating prices or look at generating your own power.
While it may be too late to avoid the next rate hike from the utility, it’s most definitely not too late to grab some real savings by going solar.
And when it’s done right, just like we have done it at Solar Energy World for literally 10’s of Thousands of homeowners across the area since 2009, Number #1 Solar works, and #2 it will save you *significant money vs utility! I mean, we see it all the time in our 5 Star reviews online, our installed solar clients now have electric bills for as little as $10 a month! Thomas Edison would be proud, and that could be you as well, once you have solar *from a reputable installer!
And you know, Solar Energy World was also just ranked #10 in the USA by Solar Power World Magazine! And so, we are really honored to be ranked up there now with the very large West Coast solar installers, yet also have our heritage right here – and still headquartered in the DMV.
About Solar Energy World:
Solar Energy World has become a regional leader in solar panel system design and installation, serving residential and commercial property owners in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida and Washington D.C. since 2009. Due to our company’s excellent reputation our installations continue to grow every year, making us the fastest-growing, independently-owned solar installation company in the region.