So, you’re thinking about going solar! Having a solar energy system installed at your home can be a smart move financially and for the planet. As with any home improvement project, it’s important to ask the right questions and get the information you need to make a smart decision. Here are 5 important questions that ETM Solar Works recommends for anyone looking to make the investment in solar!


1. Is residential solar the right clean energy option for me? Chances are, if you are a homeowner, the answer is YES! Residential solar is increasingly affordable. Even if you live in a part of the U.S. that doesn’t get as much sun as others, solar is still a smart and viable option anywhere in the U.S., including the Northeast! The biggest factor when deciding if solar is right for you is, counterintuitively, not climate. Shade from surrounding trees, roof position (for roof mounts), and/or having enough lawn space for a ground mount are all much more important! A good solar sales representative will discuss all of these considerations with you and help you make the right decision.


2. Should I consider other clean energy solutions while I’m at it with solar? Part of the beauty of solar is that it pairs incredibly well with other clean energy solutions including battery backup systems, electric vehicle charging, and ductless heating and cooling. For example, a battery backup can allow you to continue using energy from your solar system even in an outage. When paired with solar, switching to an electric vehicle or ductless heating and cooling can help save you even more money. If you are already interested in going solar, it may be worth your time to investigate “add-ons” that may serve as a financially smart addition to your solar system. It’s often easier to get extra projects done while you’re going solar, rather than waiting until after the fact! Some solar installation companies (like ETM Solar Works) can handle all of it.


3. What am I looking to get out of my solar system? Most people who go solar are primarily looking to offset their electric bill, either partially or entirely. However, other considerations can include improving the resell value of your home or making a positive impact on the planet. If the resell value of your home is something you’re thinking about, you may want to discuss that with your sales representative. If you are looking to make the best environmental impact possible, you will want to make it clear that you want to offset your entire electric load (and maybe even consider some of the smart energy options we talked about in #2, like ductless heating and cooling!)


4. What financing options are available? Financing options for solar have improved drastically as the industry has grown. Typically, finding a good loan option is as easy as a quick conversation with your solar sales representative. Most financial institutions recognize that solar is a smart investment that will more than pay for itself in the long run!


5. How long has the solar company been around? The solar industry is relatively young. Nonetheless, you will want to go with a solar installation company that has been around for at least a few years. Solar systems typically need little to no maintenance for the life of the system, but you never know when you will need to pick up the phone and call someone! Maybe your family is growing and driving your electric bill back up, and you want to have a few more panels added on. Maybe you are selling your home and need guidance to transfer those solar credits to the next homeowners. ETM Solar Works is proud to have been in business since 1988 (over 30 years!) We strongly recommend doing your research and finding a reliable, trustworthy company to work with.