Answers to Common Questions About Going Solar

Answers to Common Questions About Going Solar

In New Mexico we find ourselves over indulging on power quite often. Weather it's 100º outside in August, and we crave a cool home at 72º (or 68º). Or when we are in mid January, and we just can't seem to get enough light from the day. I know I turn all of my lights on when we get home at 4:30pm on a cold dark winter evening, it just seems to warm my space and create a more comfortable place to be. 

Despite all efforts to keep lights off while not in the room, or turn the thermostat up while away for the day, our electricity bill always seems to be at a steady incline year to year. Budgets can be tough to stick to, especially if you become surprised by a $400 electric bill one month or more. 

Even for families who are energy conscious, PNM increases rates year after year. It's difficult to predict what energy costs will be year after year. Ryan, owner of NM Solar Group decided to start NM  Solar Group to help find a solution to this problem. 

 

Answers to Common Questions About Solar in New Mexico

1. What are my options for going solar?

Purchase a system with cash or financing – Owning a system used to be very expensive, but within the last few years prices have dropped significantly making the purchase very obtainable. The homeowner will choose a company that suits their needs (we hope you chose us!). Once you contact us we will help you decide the best financial decision for your family. There are many zero down payment loan options. The company you chose will examine your electric bill, look to be sure your roof is ideal for solar then decide what size system will best to cover your electricity needs, while saving you money each month. Loans are typically paid off within 10-15 years, and after that time your electricity should be 100% covered by solar power. Systems sold with NM Solar Group have a 25-year guarantee, so your loan will be paid in full long before your guarantee is over. This option will increase the value of your home making it an excellent option even if you don't plan to stay in your home for many years to come. 

Pros:
You own your system.
Increase Value to your home.
Electricity costs around 15% less than costs without solar system, then 100% less when loan is paid off. 
Your system can be moved to new home
Federal Tax Incentives will reimburse you for 30% of the cost
Net Metering 

Cons:
Not everyone can qualify for lending. (We can approve most credit scores at 650 or higher)

Lease a solar system (also called “third-party owned solar”) – With this option, a solar company will own the solar system on your roof. The solar company who is leasing your system purchases the equipment, installs on your roof, and handles monitoring and maintenance through the life of the agreement. You, the homeowner, pay a slightly lower rate for the electricity produced. 

Pros:
You don't need to qualify for financing
Lower electricity costs 

Con: 
You will be locked in a contract with a Solar Leasing Company
This option does not increase the value of your home, in fact, it can be difficult to sell a home with a leased system because the new homeowner will have to agree to take over the agreement.
You will always pay for electricity

2. How much will it cost to go solar? 

Leased

Upfront: No upfront cost.

Monthly: You will still have your monthly electricity bill, but it will be slightly lower than what you pay to PNM. The monthly electricity bill will vary depending on PNM or any other utility company you that supplies your electricity

Owned

Upfront: If you chose to finance your system through NM Solar Group, there are no up front costs. We offer zero down payment options for financing. Some people chose to pay cash, in which case you can pay the full amount in cash, or do a partial payment of cash then finance the rest. 

Monthly: PNM charges a $7 fee every month no matter if you use their utilities or not, so you will pay your utility's fee. The company you chose will evaluate the usage of power for each household throughout an entire year, then evaluate the size of system you will need. Many months of the year your solar panels should more than cover your power usage, during these months you will earn credits through your utility company called net metering. During the high months of the year, you can use the credits you stored up with net metering, so you don't need to pay any extra during these months. It may take a year of having solar to store up enough credits to completely cover power costs. The homeowner will then just pay the monthly payment of the loan they have for their solar system. 

3. How much will I save with going solar? 

Leased– The amount you will save depends on how much energy you generate for the electricity company. This is based on a factor of the utility company, roof slant and location, and many other factors. With this option your bill varies from month to month, and your electricity bill will never fully disappear. 

Owned– While making payments for your loan most people save around 15% on electricity costs each month. Once the system is paid off, your entire electricity cost should be covered by solar.

4. What happens if I make more energy then I use?

New Mexico offers net metering as an incentive to installing solar. A net meter will measure how much solar electricity your system produces, the excess is then put into the utility grid. Your net meter will spin backwards giving you energy credits. You use those credits when your system is not producing electricity including at night, or when you don't make enough for what you use. 

5. Where do the panels get installed?

The myth is that if you don't have a perfect south facing slanted roof you can't get solar. NM Solar Group evaluates each home to find the location that will produce the most energy. We can do slanted mounts on flat roofs, we can do ground mounted systems and many other options. We wouldn't install a system on a home where it wouldn't be beneficial to the homeowners, but in many cases we can find a way to make solar work.

6. Will I be off-the-grid? 

Not usually. The only way to be off the grid is to purchase a battery system. When installing solar you will still be tied to your utility company.

More About NM Solar Group:

We are a full-service solar company with our customers’ best interest at heart. We don’t just offer a great product, but a complete range of services from consultation, design, to financing, then solar panel installation and aftercare. Once a customer, always a customer. We never stop working for you. Our professional team is on standby to provide design and installation advice and to help you get the most value out of our full-service commitment.

Click Here for your free, no pressure solar energy evaluation.

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