What you SHOULD DO before you even think about SOLAR

Ever hear the phrase “a dollar saved is a dollar earned”.  It’s been around forever for a reason.  It’s always been true.  The problem is, too many people focus on how you can earn more money and ignore the low hanging fruit of money wasted. When it comes to your house, it is no different…  Many people jump to producing energy (ie solar), meanwhile, their home is leaking money left and right, top and bottom. Any good Energy Consultant will tell you that a smart Home Owner will always start with ways to reduce the Energy Loss first.  So, what should you begin with…the low hanging fruit – the most affordable and easiest to do.

Have your attic inspected by a professional Energy Consultant, not just a contractor that sells only one thing.

The Energy Consultant should:

  • Listen to the homeowner/s with what is most important to them. Keeping the heat out in summer, keeping heat in during winter, lowering utility bills, etc.
  • Look for the presence of High-Performance Reflective Insulation in the attic.
  • Check the attics ability to ventilate.
  • Check the old R-value insulation.
  • Identify the condition of the ducts.
  • Find out when the ducts were last cleaned

So, what is wrong with solar?

That depends on you, your house, your bills, and your neighbor’s trees. Some of us should get solar and get it now! Most of us, at the time of this writing, should NOT get solar! And here are the reasons why solar will NOT pencil out for you:

  • Your electric bill is not high enough: You will end up paying more for solar than you are currently paying to the dreaded Electric Company.  This is the number one reason that homeowners end up not going solar.  And, unfortunately, it is also the number one reason that many people who purchased solar (without knowing this) ended up so unhappy.  If your electric only bill is not high enough, it’s a deal breaker, no slick solar salesperson should sell you in this instance, but they do time and time again.
  • You do not have enough roof space facing South or West. Many single story homes do not have the roof space needed to place enough panels and single story homes have twice the roof space of a two story.  If you can’t get enough panels to make a proper difference on your bill it’s a deal breaker.
  • If you or the city/county have a tree or trees that shade part of my roof and the panels can’t get enough sun, it’s a deal breaker.
  • If your roof will have to be replaced in 5 or 6 yrs. A new roof is up there with Solar, Windows, and HVAC in terms of money spent.  You sure do not want to replace it years before it needs to be, nor do you want to put panels on a roof that will need to be replaced in a few years.  The age/condition of the roof can easily be a deal breaker.
  • If you are not sure how long you will be in that house. The payback on solar is very specific and if you are not in it for the long haul, it may be a deal breaker.  10 yr old solar panels are more than halfway through their life and are producing less than when they were first installed.  Many homeowners are financing panels for over 20 yrs.  So, no one wants to buy a home with “10 yr old” solar panels on it with 10 more years of payments!  If you’re not in it for the long haul, it may be a deal breaker!  Not to mention that Lenders currently view solar as a negative and some won’t even take your business, especially if you leased a system.

Myths About Solar

“My Neighbor’s sister’s cousin’s friend gets paid for the extra electricity that they produce.”  Those of us in the energy business respectfully laugh at this one all the time.  We run into people who are certain that they “kind of” know someone that their Electric Company sends them a check every month for their “extra” electricity.  Imagine a world where the electric company pays you instead of you paying them.  Okay, now wake up.  It’s not going to happen for you.

“If I get solar, I will have no energy bill!” First of all, most people still end up with an Electric bill, which could range from small to large in addition to the payment that they have to send to the Solar Company.  Also, many people do not initially consider that solar has NO impact on your Gas or Propane bill.

“We are just using your roof.” The shifty guy who came knocking on your door told you that you do not have to buy or lease solar panels.  He just wants to “borrow/use” your roof and they will maintain the panels, you do nothing, you just pay a reduced… “blah blah blah”, double talk, double talk, and more double talk.  REALLY?  Do people really believe this?  Sadly yes they do.  Many are the elderly, but honestly, there are quite a number of people who have been taken by this cleverly worded lease.  The bottom line is, you either purchase the car or you lease the car, but no one is just going to leave it in your garage and you can drive it for some fee and they fill it with gas, change the oil, wash it and service it.

Even if your home is that rare “ideal” candidate for producing power through a Solar Electric System, you should always keep in mind that you should always reduce the energy that you are currently using by plugging the leaks before you start paying to produce energy. The key as homeowners is to ask, “what can we do to cause our Air Conditioners and Heaters to run less.”  I don’t know if you’ve checked on HVAC lately, but a completely new system could cost between $15,000 and $25,000, easily. We want to keep our AC and Heaters running efficiently for as long as possible.  When excess heat gets into the attic in the summer, our AC runs way too hard and its lifespan is shortened.

The Eagle Shield Consultants

Eagle Shield’s Energy consultants will come out and help you reduce the heat that infiltrates the house in the summer and help retain the heat that you spend money to create in the winter.  Keep the heat out better in summer, keep it in better during winter…that’s what we do.  We’re a pretty simple group.  If you are more comfortable, you won’t reach for that thermostat as often. Many have asked why we do not have traditional salespeople.  Our customers have raved about that. In the early days of our company, many years ago, we had a few people that were selling various home improvement products and it just wasn’t a good fit for our customers, or us.  We realized pretty quickly that our products do not need to be “sold”.  They pretty much sell themselves.  What we needed were people whose backgrounds and education, matched what we were doing.  What we needed were people who would listen to the homeowners’ needs, take notes, inspect the home, take notes, and make recommendations based on the best “bang for the homeowners’ buck!”  And boy did we succeed with this!  Our teams are fantastic.  We have no high pressure sales, we have no persons that were selling bathtubs yesterday. We only have consultants that really know their stuff and will be respectful and kind. From our Energy Consultants to our Installers, they get rave reviews over and over and over again.

In conclusion, we can tell you that many of our contractors are also our customers! That tells you a lot! Why do they become our customers? Because they have seen first hand that in every aspect of our work, in every department, we are very detail oriented, so over the years contractors have called upon us in large numbers to fix the energy in their homes.

Are you interested in learning more? Call us today for more information!