Soaring utility prices and year-round sun make home solar panels a cheaper, smarter choice for a lower electricity bill in Colorado.
Why pay more for dirty power when you can save thousands with clean solar energy?
In a state closer to the sun that just about any other, choosing solar energy seems like a no-brainer. Especially since Coloradans loves to boast about our 300 days of sunshine a year! What better way to embrace renewable energy than to tap into one of the most abundant resources available to us? Choosing solar energy can not only help the planet by moving away from a reliance on fossil fuels, but it can also be a great way to save you money on your electric bill for years to come. This is no “too good to be true” scenario either; RGS Energy has nearly 40 years of experience backing us. If you are new to the world of solar energy, start with the basics to better understand what makes solar power the resource of the future.
A solar power system is more or less exactly what it sounds like; it is any system made to take in sunlight and convert it to useable electric power. When we talk specifically about residential solar energy options, the most common is a solar panel system. Each panel that you see on roofs or in backyards is comprised of a series of photovoltaic cells, also called PV cells or solar cells. There are usually 60 PV cells within each solar panel, and they spend the daylight hours absorbing as much sunlight as they can hold. A set of solar panels joined together makes up a solar array, and for a residence, a solar array is usually somewhere between 10 and 20 panels. As the solar array absorbs sunlight, the PV cells collect that energy and it travels to the solar inverter, where the collected power is converted to the type of electrical current your home can use to power lights, appliances, and everything else you plug in. Residential solar power systems also connect to the existing utility meter for the home, so if it produces excess energy, it can actually create power that your electric company can credit you for.
Most solar panel systems are warrantied for 20 to 25 years, and the average lifespan just keeps growing. This means you can enjoy decades of energy production with little effort on your part. Simply get a solar array installed by a professional solar energy company and sit back while your system generates power! But what about days that it is not sunny? Even here in sunny Colorado, we do get some cloudy and snowy days, and one of the questions we hear most often is how a solar system works on days the sun is blocked by clouds. Not to worry! Even on cloudy, rainy, or snowy days, your solar array will still be working. It may not be eye-blindingly bright, but some sunlight does still filter through the clouds. If you don’t have a solar battery included in your solar power system, you may occasionally draw some energy from the local electric company, so your home will not be without power. However, brighter days can help make up for any deficit caused by cloudy days—a process called net metering. This means you may see little or no difference on your energy bill, even with a few cloudy days during a given month.
We understand that you have plenty of questions about solar energy and how you can best make use of it in your lives. RGS Energy has been in the solar power business for nearly 40 years, so we have the experience and the expertise to guide you through the entire process. If you are interested in learning more about bringing solar power to your life, explore this page to learn more about solar energy systems in Colorado, or contact the RGS team!
More often than not, when solar energy is discussed in news articles or other public forums, the oft-touted benefit they focus on is how solar energy can help the environment. And yes, that is absolutely a wonderful benefit, but the truth is, it will be hard to see a widespread difference until more people make the switch away from our reliance on fossil fuels. That does not mean you should wait to make the switch—just the opposite! However, we do understand wanting to see more tangible benefits before you have a solar power system installed. This is how choosing solar power provides additional advantages over existing options:
We know that money is a major factor in every household’s decision to go solar. One of the biggest ongoing myths is that a solar panel system is too costly for the average household to afford. That just is not true! Back when RGS Energy first started in the late 1970s and solar energy technology was still new, a solar array might have been too costly for most households to afford, but as the technology has improved, the cost has become much more reasonable for the average American household. In the early days, a solar array used to cost upwards of $100 a watt. Today, that number has dropped to only about $5 per watt, and generally pays for a larger solar array than those early solar panel systems. Not bad for 40 years! Plus, other energy efficiency advancements generally mean your home can be fully operational with fewer solar panels. Just ask one of our Energy Brokers for tips on improving the efficiency of your home to see that benefit. Ultimately, a properly installed solar panel system can replace your energy bill each month. Even after those savings have paid for the cost of a solar array, you can enjoy years of solar energy in place of your current utilities bill. Decades of savings sounds pretty good, right?
That is not the only financial benefit, either. These days, concern for our ongoing environmental well-being has compelled lawmakers, activists, philanthropists, and so many other organizations to offer additional financial incentives to help more people make the switch to solar energy. There are an abundance of tax breaks, grants, loans, and other financial incentives available to help you make the move toward a solar energy system. Between the savings you will see on your monthly energy bill and the number of other financial benefits available, you can see some pretty major savings. Think of it this way: solar panel installation is akin to buying a home; without solar, you will continue to rely on your local utility company, which is comparable to perpetually renting a home. Of course, the costs for purchasing a solar array are not nearly as high as the cost of a home, but the concept is the same. Get more personalized quote information from the RGS Energy team to see what your ongoing financial benefit could be.
Of course, the other major benefit to choosing solar energy is the difference you can make for our environment. Our reliance on fossil fuels as a society is problematic for a couple of reasons. First, it is a finite resource, so one day they will no longer be an option. Second, and more importantly, is the byproduct of using fossil fuels: namely, the amount of pollution they produce. Fossil fuels is a blanket term that encompasses things like petroleum, coal, and natural gas. The combustion of any of these can produce greenhouse gases, other air pollutants, and runoff that ends up in the earth and water as well as the air. This is where solar energy can make an immense difference. A solar panel system does not produce any byproducts as it converts the sun’s rays to usable energy, so this provides a twofold benefit: you will not be adding any additional harmful elements to the environment, and you will be cutting back on your fossil fuel use. The more people make the switch to clean, renewable energy sources, the less damaging pollutants will be pumped into the atmosphere. Add in the financial benefits, and the question of solar power vs fossil fuels becomes a no-brainer. See how you can benefit; start by contacting the RGS Energy team to learn more!
As you can see from the above information, choosing to install a solar panel system for your home can have plenty of benefits. In the interest of making the most of your solar array, we suggest a few additional steps before you schedule your installation. These suggestions are not necessary, but they can help you see more of a financial benefit over the life of your solar array—and, more generally, will make life a bit easier. Prepare for your solar panel installation with the following tips.
One of the most important factors to the actual solar installation process is where your solar array will go. It is important that your solar power system is installed by a professional solar company, because we can help you determine the best placement so your solar panels can soak up the most rays possible on a day-to-day basis. When this happens, your RGS Energy representative can also help you determine whether or not your existing roof is strong enough to support the number of solar panels your home needs. This is also the best time to get a roof inspection, especially if your roof is older or has been victim of one of Colorado’s common hail storms. It is better to get your roof checked out—and repaired, if necessary—before your solar panels are installed so you do not have to worry about them being taken down and reinstalled if you need roofing work done. If you have any questions about this process, the RGS team can guide you through everything step by step.
Colorado winters can get pretty brisk. Do you notice that you regularly need to crank the heat in order to get your home to a comfortable temperature during our colder winter months? This could be a sign that your HVAC system needs some help or that your insulation may need replacing. Before your solar panel installation team arrives to hook up your home, it can be beneficial to take the time to improve your home’s efficiency. Possible home efficiency improvements include:
These are just the start, and of course, are just suggestions. A solar panel system will work just as well even if you do not make these upgrades. However, the more efficient your home is, the less energy your solar array needs to produce to power your home. In the long run, a few efficiency upgrades generally means you will see greater financial benefits over time. Learn more about improving your home’s efficiency here:
The other key element to getting the most from your solar panel system is to ensure you are financially prepared. Generally, there are two options to pay for a solar array: pay for it upfront, or take out a solar loan. At RGS Energy, we want to help as many households as possible make the switch to solar, so we are happy to work with you and customize a payment plan based around your needs. The more financially prepared you are, the more you will be able to enjoy the financial benefits that come along with switching to solar.
Not only will your RGS Energy Broker help you weigh all the options and develop the right payment plan for your financial situation, but we can also help you find solar incentives to help offset the cost of your solar array. We have been one of the best solar panel companies out there for years because we treat each solar array installation holistically. We want to create the right size of solar array based on your family’s needs, help you create the best financial plan possible, and find all the solar incentives you are eligible for to help make the process as seamless as possible. Get answers to your questions and start developing your plan to go solar. Contact the RGS Energy team!
Solar energy technology has been around for longer than most people anticipate. In fact, early solar energy technology has been around since the late 1800s, and commercially available solar panels became available in the mid-1950s. That means that solar panels have enjoyed plenty of time for the technology to be improved upon and the costs to drop. Unfortunately, it also means there has been plenty of time for false information to circulate. Here are a few of the most common solar myths and questions we hear, as well as the answers.
This is, fortunately, not true. While there is less sunlight to absorb, solar panels can still work during inclement weather and on overcast days. Solar panels are generally installed at an angle so snow will slide off rather than obscure the photovoltaic cells, so your solar cells will continue to absorb the rays that filter through the clouds. Generally, your solar panels will generate more energy on sunny days to help offset the lower production of cloudy days, so you will not see much of an impact.
Maybe they did at one point, but not anymore! Solar panel companies know that their products will be sitting outside through all kinds of weather, so they are made to withstand everything from high winds to regular snow storms. If you are concerned that a Colorado hail storm will damage your solar array, keep two things in mind: solar panels are built to last, and most come with a warranty or maintenance plan to help for damage that may happen.
If this was a true concern, it would make more sense to install solar panels elsewhere. No, installing solar panels on your roof will not irrevocably damage it—as long as they are installed by a certified professional, of course. Our technicians are constantly staying up to date on best practices and keeping their certifications up to date, so while we will need to drill some holes into your roof to install your solar array, we know how to install them to protect both your roof and the solar panel system.
We do not understand how this particular myth became a concern, as there are no moving parts or loudly whirring fans included in a solar power system. Solar panel systems are pretty darn close to silent. You may notice a slight buzzing sound from the inverter, but it is a noise comparable to your heater kicking on; it’s barely noticeable.
This may have been true when solar arrays were still a new technology, but now that solar panel systems have become more widespread, having a system installed is more likely to increase the value of your home, not decrease it. A study from the Department of Energy shows that home buyers are willing to pay, on average, $15,000 more for a home with a solar photovoltaic system than a comparably home without one.
We have touched on this already, but this is another instance in which previous assumptions have simply carried over. The modern solar array generally costs less per month than the average household utility bill. Once the savings have paid for the the expense of the system, you can expect to continue to enjoy years of savings. The average solar panel system lifespan is around 25 years, but that number is growing every day and many systems long outlast the expected lifespan. Add in the available incentives and rebates on solar panels, and the overall expense can seem pretty paltry in comparison to the savings.
This is only the start, as well. RGS Energy has been around long enough that we have heard all the crazy myths and misinformation. Let us set the record straight! Contact us today to learn more about residential solar panel systems.
RGS Energy got its start in 1978 as Real Goods, a sustainable living store in Northern California that sold some of the first retail solar panels in the United States.
The Real Goods Store still sells sustainable living products, but now – as RGS Energy – we bring clean energy solutions straight to your home with expert solar panel installations that reduce the cost of your electricity. We serve much of Colorado, from Boulder through Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Greeley and Grand Junction as well as Denver.
Pay less for energy from America’s #1 Solar Company™.
Generally, when making any major purchase, there are two primary factors taken into consideration. First, does the thing being purchased meet your list of wants and needs? And, second, does it fit your budget? When you work with the RGS Energy team, we make sure each solar panel installation is customized to your home’s and family’s needs. Part of this process is, as you may imagine, a discussion about budget and how to finance solar panels. We recognize that a solar panel system planned according to your needs will help you enjoy better long term benefits, and that includes creating a financial plan best suited to your needs. When you choose to go solar with RGS Energy, we will work with you to find the right payment option. Compare the benefits of a solar loan versus purchasing your solar array outright:
As you can see, there is no bad choice, whether you choose to take out a solar loan or purchase a solar panel system outright. Our payment options are designed to help you be able to get your own solar power system sooner, without breaking the bank. Work with an RGS Energy Broker to discuss your specific payment options, determine how large of a solar array you need, and learn what else needs to be done to get started. We will even take the time to walk you through the range of different local, state, and federal solar incentives. See how you can start experiencing the advantages of solar power for your Colorado home by contacting the RGS Energy team today!
There are myriad benefits to solar energy, and many public entities recognize that. As a way to encourage more households to make the switch to solar, there are a wide range of different financial perks available to those who choose to go solar. This includes things like federal tax breaks, Colorado-offered funding, local utility incentives, and even grants and other financial perks provided by private organizations. Below are a few of the available options to help you cover the cost of a solar power system.
If you are planning to make the switch to solar power, the best place to start looking for financial perks is the currently available federal solar incentives. Energy.gov has a list of the various tax credits and other incentives provided nationally. This includes options like the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which provides a 30 percent credit for solar panel systems installed by the end of the year. Of course, government websites are not known for being easy to navigate, so bring your questions to the RGS team. We have been in the solar business for nearly 40 years, so we have plenty of experience navigating the array of solar incentives out there.
According to the Colorado Energy Office, prices for photovoltaics have dropped 64 percent in the last five years. Not bad, right? The State of Colorado is committed to helping even low-income households make the switch to solar power, so there are a range of different solar incentives available to Colorado residents. You can see currently available incentives through the Colorado Energy Office and explore the various options to see which you may qualify for. Or, if you would rather not wade through all that information, ask your Energy Broker which Colorado solar incentives you qualify for, and we can help you through the process.
One of the best ongoing solar incentives in most parts of Colorado is an incentive available through the utility companies. Some of the utility companies across the state offer rebates and credits for Colorado homeowners with solar power systems, so you may be eligible for extra savings on your monthly electric bill. Learn more about what is available in your area, as well as other grants and solar incentives. Contact the RGS Energy team to learn more about the incentives you are eligible for, and get started today!
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