Solar energy is a hot topic at the moment, and the year 2021 is an excellent time to go solar. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), solar power installations in the United States between 2021 and 2025 will be 42% more than the last five years.
These figures indicate an evident trajectory growth for solar energy. Instead of relying on utility companies to produce electricity for them, many homeowners switch to solar power to save electricity costs.
Even when renewable energy faced extreme challenges and the coal industry took a massive nosedive, the solar industry thrived. This growth is noteworthy because it indicates exciting trends in the solar energy industry, particularly for those planning to build a solar-powered home.
Since solar energy is the future, you will be making the right decision in powering your home with solar, as it can help you bring down bills. But first, you have to plan your move to maximize the benefits that solar brings to the table.
 Determine your home’s energy requirements. At this point, you can look into how energy efficient your home is. You’re going to make time to figure out your household’s total electric usage to help you decide if you need a home solar system.
You can do an energy audit. The goal is to ensure that you’re using energy responsibly and not wasting it. Start by looking at the appliances you use. It would be best to use energy-saving appliances in your air conditioning and lighting systems.
 Examine your home’s solar potential. This step is essential because not all residences are capable of solar energy. Perhaps solar sites are lacking in your area, or the solar project in your community does not generate enough power for every home.
Professional solar installers can help you gauge your home’s solar potential. They’ll look at things like the need to replace your roof, the position of trees around your home, and guidelines of the homeowners’ association regarding solar power installations in the hood.
 Explore your options. The options that will enable you to use solar energy are aplenty. Here are a few good ones:
- Solar leases: You can lease a solar system if you can’t afford to purchase a whole solar power system.
- Shared solar: You and other people in the community share solar energy over virtual net metering.
- Third-party power purchase agreement: This is when a solar energy service provider places solar equipment on your home.
- Solar program: Participating in one entitles you to get discounts on your solar energy usage.
 Determine your solar energy system’s financing. Solar energy systems are desirable because of their environmental, financial, and community benefits. There are two separate financing paths when you switch to solar: buying and leasing.
A solar system can either be purchased through a loan or with cash. You can also enter a power purchase agreement (PPA) wherein you get a new electricity rate instead of the one the utility gives you if renting is more appealing.
The purchase option makes the most financial sense for customers because it is the prerequisite to qualify for a tax credit worth 30% of the cost it will entail to go solar.
Here are some telling numbers:
- An average household consumes 887 kWh and spends around US$115 monthly, according to estimates of the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
- A 2-square-meter solar panel can generate up to 42.5 kWh of AC energy per month.
- A 20-panel solar system with a total of 8kWp (kilowatts peak) can produce a total of 900kWh output per month to sustain the average monthly demand of 887 kWh per household.
- A household could save approximately US$1,380 yearly by using solar panels to cover the average electricity consumption per month.
Key Takeaways. Choosing to go solar lets you save on electrical costs. If you are worried about solar panels being expensive, you must understand that the charge only seems high at first. Breaking down the price with a trained solar professional can help you make sense of its math and facts.