Surprise! Did you ever expect to read these words from us? As much as we wish that every person could have a home solar system, the reality is that it is just not viable or possible for some. There are a few factors that can change someone’s eligibility, and several that can affect how practical it is. Here at Blue Raven Solar, we understand those restrictions and situations and we know that sometimes, we are stuck with our circumstances for some time. We want you to get the best possible service, support, and energy for your life, even if that means not going solar at this time and waiting for a better situation that can run on a clean source.
These positions are not permanent for most people, so if there is a chance that in a couple of years, you will be able to join the movement and go solar, Blue Raven Solar will be here to guide you every step of the way. If you know the restrictions, you can avoid them as you move forward in your life. If you are not sure if solar panels are going to work for your home and/or current position, here are some things to consider. No matter your decision, Blue Raven Solar is always ready and happy to help.
Own Your Solar and Your Home
We love promoting personal energy independence at Blue Raven Solar. That is one of the main reasons we encourage getting a home solar system (besides all the other benefits). Not needing to rely on imported, nonrenewable resources for energy is a great step in the direction of energy independence for the whole nation! First, we want to give you the ability to own your energy resources, so we strongly recommend buying, not leasing your solar panels. Leasing requires contracts that are decades long, require you to buy all the power the panels produce, include guaranteed price escalators, and prevent you from having the autonomy over your electricity. So, buying your solar panels is the best way to go. Just like being the owner of your panels, you need to be the owner of the home you are in in order to install the panels. If you are renting your home, solar panels are not really your decision, because the property does not belong to you. If your home has multiple units (family or otherwise), solar may not be your decision. When we make our appointments, we make sure that we are talking with the owner of the single-family home, and if that is not possible, we cannot make the appointment.
Perhaps in the future, if you own your home or another property, you can check back with us then. We will still be happy to bring you all the assistance you need. Maybe the timing will work out for you to join the solar movement and the change that will help save the earth.
If you do own your home, but you are planning on moving soon, it is probably not a great idea to invest in a solar system at that address, because you will not be able to reap any of the benefits that the panels can bring, even though you have just spent a pretty good chunk of money. The next people that live in your house would likely appreciate it, but it is probably best if you just wait until you are at your next purchased home so you can enjoy the perks.
Consistent Light and Capability
Most homes are built in areas with sunlight, because as humans, we tend to like the sunlight and the warmth. Some states have so much access to light that if everyone had access to solar, they could reduce some heavy carbon footprints and reduce emissions equal to planting thousands of trees! However, lots of homes already have a fair number of trees around them, especially on the east coast of the United States. Trees can be thick and lush, and while they are beautiful and shady, they can cover the open-air space that the panels would need to get enough light to create energy. One or two trees casting a shadow for a couple of hours every day is not a problem, but several large trees that cover the majority of a roof could pose an issue, especially if they are quite thick and leafy.
Another issue with the capability of the home can be the roof quality and size. If the roof is too old and perhaps not sturdy enough, it will not be able to hold the weight of the home solar system and it could cause you damage and more costs, especially if you are in an area that gets heavy snow, which means more weight on the roof. We are trying to avoid those extras! If the roof is too small, there will not be enough space to place the panels and it would not be efficient for your home or your wallet. Ground installations are an option for some, but they do not usually do well in cities or suburban areas because of the lack of space—they do better on farmland and places with acreage to spare.
If you are worried about snow or bad weather, you can rest assured that these are manageable, and panels can still function at high levels with a little bit of maintenance! Snow removal is possible and quite simple with the right tools, though many people simply wait for the snow to melt off. The panels create a bit of heat, and coupled with the direct sunlight, it does not take too long, and it is still efficient. It will also clean your panels because dirt and dust bind to the snow and melt away with it! Additionally, solar panels are more efficient in the colder weather because of the way that the electrons need to move. Atoms vibrate faster with heat, so when the electrons are extracted, they have a more difficult time getting through. When it is cold, the opposite happens, and energy is produced more quickly.
Darker, rainy days with heavy clouds can have an effect, but only slightly, because the photovoltaic panels that Blue Raven Solar (and the majority of residential solar) uses can charge with direct and indirect sunlight, so the light that bounces off the clouds will do just fine. In fact, the rain is a pretty good way to clean the panels of dust and debris, so you don’t have to clean them off yourself, and it keeps them highly efficient and receptive. So, in short, if bad weather is something you’re not sure about, you don’t need to factor it in or worry too much.
Just in case it has not crossed your mind yet, solar is a large investment that requires some patience before you see a return. The upfront installation costs are high, and the pay back generally takes a few years. With that said, Blue Raven Solar has ways to finance solar systems that might work for you, with an option of having the first 18 months free of charge! This is an option that lots of our customers take advantage of and benefit from, and we also have other ways to finance solar systems, so you can find something that works for you and your budget.
Something else to consider is that in order to qualify for a loan to finance your system, you will need a credit score of at least 650, and to receive the federal tax credit (26%!) that pushes many people to go solar, you need to be making at least $40,000 taxable dollars a year (combined income).
We understand that most people go solar purely because of the potential savings, with the idea of helping the environment at the back of their minds and at the bottom of their priorities list. If that was your thought process, no need to feel guilt of any sort! We call that doing the right thing for the wrong reason. We believe strongly in this, and we literally have billboards about it. It is a completely reasonable justification for getting a solar system. There is not anything wrong with wanting to save money, and the fact that it happens to help the earth is just another great perk.
More Specifics to Consider
Some states have specific laws about qualifying for solar, so make sure you know those restrictions so that you can go into solar informed about your decision. California, for example, has been requiring solar panels for newly built single and multi-family homes under four stories since 2020, so there are most likely different criteria for getting those panels installed than what we described. All the states that Blue Raven Solar services have similar requirements, and if you have questions about those, you can contact someone on our Support team, and they would be happy to help you! When it comes to the regulations closer to home, we can help with the requirements and permits—we have an entire department dedicated to permitting and making sure your panels and your installation process are up to state, county, and city code along with HOA parameters.
Solar Decisions with Blue Raven
The reality of going solar is something that is not possible for some people, and that is okay. Lots of people are in situations that they cannot necessarily control, or situations that, to get out of, would be impractical and cost more money than anyone wants to spend. You know your position best, and we are simply here to give you the best information and services that we can with the situation you are in, so if this is not possible for you, do not worry! We will not push you to make a decision that does not make sense for you. If you are still not sure if your property can work with solar, you can request a free consultation. They will go over every question you have, survey your property, and let you know the next steps in the process, but there is no commitment necessary for the consult.
Solar might not be right for you right now, but we do not want you to forget that Blue Raven Solar is here for any questions or concerns you might have, and we will be here if/when your circumstances are different and more open to the option! Blue Raven Solar is committed to giving you the best services, and we are available to help you anytime you need.