Most Arizona voters are in favor of investing in renewable energy like solar, according to a brand new poll from the Center for Western Priorities.
So with more Arizona homeowners turning to solar, is it really a solid investment for them?
Sunny Energy LLC answers the top questions consumers typically have when making a decision about solar.
How much does solar cost when looking at owning vs. leasing?
Joe Cunningham, Sunny Energy Co-Founder, says it usually costs about $15,000 to $20,000 to own and there is financing available. Leasing involves monthly payments that depend on the plan you sign up for. There shouldn't be any start-up costs.
Cunningham adds the monthly lease fee could increase every year as utility rates go up, but sometimes it's a steady payment. It depends on the lease you sign. Leasing could also end up costing more in the long-run.
How much will I save?
That answer depends on several factors and is tough to generalize. Savings depend on whether the homeowner leases or owns, Cunningham said. He also recommends getting a personal consultation to find out if it's worth it for you.
Homeowner, Mark Meluskey, just installed solar panels on his single-story Scottsdale home. He leases the panels and estimates a savings of $70 to $170 a month, depending on the time of year. He can also afford to run his air conditioning all summer now and plans to possibly buy the panels from Sunny Energy in the future.
Can you still sell your home if you have solar panels?
The answer is yes, according to Cunningham. He says if you own the panels, they add value to your home. If you lease, the new homeowner can usually take over the lease.
Who pays for the repairs?
If you own, you pay for the repairs. But, Cunningham says there shouldn't be too many repairs required and there should be several multi-year warranties on the products. If you lease, the leasing company pays for repairs for the entire lease.
What happens if you make more energy than you use?
Cunningham says the credits or dollars can be used in future months when you use more energy than you produce. The power companies buy the extra energy from you and then sell it back.
When is solar not for you?
Cunningham says solar is not a good option if your roof is within about five years of needing repairs, there's too much shade around your home and your roof is too small.
What are the best months for solar production in Arizona?
Cunningham says the best months are April, May and October because it's cooler and the sun is still strong enough. He also says there aren't as many air conditions running across the desert, so the energy goes to the grids.