Georgia Solar: Harvest sunshine while saving money
Georgia has a solar secret. Georgia is a great place for solar! You might have heard that solar does not work in Georgia but that is a myth. In fact, Georgia is a leading location for solar in the Southeast. We have some of the best solar opportunities east of the Mississippi River. Whether you live in Georgia Power territory or get your electricity from an EMC, there are all kinds of incentives to get solar. Do not forget, in addition to the incentives offered by your utility company there is a federal tax credit too!
Regardless, of where you live in Georgia, solar is a great choice. Georgia is one of the best states on the East coast for solar. Especially in South Georgia, farmers have already learned the secret. Harvesting sunshine is their new popular crop choice! They can harvest solar all year long and they do not have to plant, fertilizer, or water.
Not only do Georgia solar owners benefit but their neighbors, benefit do too. By installing solar, local utilities import less, natural resources into Georgia which means less cost to the utilities, less pollution, and less coal ash to deal with. Who knew installing solar was an act of being a good neighbor? Not only are you being a good neighbor you are also protecting the health of children and future generations of children. Who does not want to protect children? Studies show the heaviest burden of fossil fuel pollution is on our children and even babies in the womb. In a way that means solar, helps lessen the burden on toxins in the womb.
Which solar company in Georgia is right for you?
As the benefits of solar are becoming widely understood by more people and given the dramatic drop in the price of solar, the demand for clean and carbon-free solar power is rising. Many companies have formed to help meet the demand. While some, maybe most, companies are committed to the interest of their customers and to the environmental benefits of solar, others smell an opportunity to make a quick profit in an environment in which most customers are still relatively uninformed about the specifics of solar energy. It is therefore important to pick a company that is right for you and what you are trying to accomplish by going solar. So how can you tell which solar installation company is right for you?
The first thing to recognize is that solar is not appropriate for every location. Solar only works if there is sufficient direct sunlight. The energy production of solar panels drops significantly in indirect sunlight. Georgia has a fair amount of sunny days, but many parts of the state are beautifully covered by trees that shade many otherwise ideal solar sites. So the amount of sunlight available at your site has to be evaluated first and foremost.
With the aid of satellite data, tools that were available only to solar professionals in the past, are now available to everyone. One such tool is Google Project Sunroof. This site is freely accessible to all. Most, but not all, Georgia address are included on this website. Go there, enter your home or business address, and see the amount of sunlight available on the roof. In addition to the availability of sunlight, Google Project Sunroof provides information about local utility rates and savings potential. The information about rates and savings are less reliable than the sunlight data. The latter is from the latest satellite measurements and is updated as regularly as that information becomes available. The former is from each utility company and is updated less regularly. So Google Project Sunroof’s data on sunlight or irradiance at your home or business is reliable.
So what does your access to the information available at Google Project Sunroof mean for your choice of solar installation company? For one thing, it allows you to independently verify the company’s assessment of your home or business’s suitability for a solar array. If what they say and what you see on Google Project Sunroof are not the same, you might want think again about working with that solar installation company.
On the other hand, it is more prudent to rely on the solar company’s estimate of savings since generally they are more up to date on Georgia utility rates than Google. To be fair to the Google site, the user is given the chance to enter the utility rate to calculate savings. But many utility rate structures in Georgia are quite complicated, often involving time of day and seasonal variations as well as non-consumption charges, some of which are fixed while others vary with the amount of consumption. A reputable solar installer in Georgia has, or should have, a firm grasp of your utility rate plan.
Another factor in selecting a right solar installation company is how well they have addressed your goals in their proposal. Solar energy has a lot of distinct benefits and not all solar adopters have the same motivations for going solar. Some are looking primarily to save money. Others are more interested in their carbon footprint and environmental impact. Yet others may be looking to become more independent of a central source of power which is far away from their home. There are other reasons too. Most people have a mix of these motivations for wanting to go solar. It is a good idea to be clear about your own motivations both in your own mind and to clearly communicate them to your solar sales representative. Your goals, your reasons for adopting solar, will make a difference in the design and size of your solar array. If you do not see how the proposed design fits the goals you have communicated to the salesperson, then you might want to think again about working with that solar installation company.
In addition to home or place of business being suitable for solar and your goals, the solar salesperson should consider your power consumption patterns, the orientation of your roof, and other rate plans that may save on your power bill. The salesperson should be able to tell you why the proposed design best suits all the above-mentioned criteria. If not, you might want to think again about working with that solar installation company.
There are the more common considerations for choosing any contractor. Price, competence, references, and customer satisfaction are all paramount. Most customers are familiar with these which is why we have not talked about them much here. The point here was to discuss criteria specific to solar contractors.
Do solar companies in Atlanta serve all of Georgia?
We cannot speak for everyone, but Better Tomorrow Solar does serve all of Georgia. More importantly, we serve you directly. Solar is easy but it still has a learning curve and we will walk you through it step-by-step. From design to installation to interconnection to tracking solar generated from your system, Better Tomorrow Solar will be there with you walking you through the solar installation process.
Choose a solar company who can connect you to Georgia utility partner
Most solar systems are grid-connected. That means the house or business to which they are connected will remain hooked up to the utility company’s grid even after a solar system installation. This ensures uninterrupted, seamless power even when the sun is not shinning. When the sun shines and the solar panels produce electricity, the power goes into the home to power up appliances and the like. Excess production, should there be any, goes back into the grid for the neighbors to use. The power company has the capability to track how much power comes into the grid from a solarized rooftop and is obligated by Georgia law to purchase that power from the home or business owner. That clean solar power coming into the grid displaces dirty power generated by the utility company. At night and other times when the sun is not shining, customer demand will be supplied by the utility company through the grid. The customer will not feel any difference between electric power supplied by the solar panels or from the grid—all-electric power is the same regardless of its source.
Before installing a grid-connected system, a solar installer company must make sure that the relevant utility company is made aware of the planned addition. Utility companies may have to change out or upgrade equipment to accommodate the planned installation.
Better Tomorrow Solar has staff dedicated to ensuring clear and effective communication with not only utility companies, but also cities and counties that issue permits for each installation. We view this as crucial to the smooth running of a solar installation project.
Solar makes your Georgia home more resilient and is a better investment for future home buyers
Did you know national real estate studies prove that solar increases your home value? Yes, it turns out many Americans want solar. A study completed by Zillow in 2019 concluded that on average solar adds about 4.1% value to your house. Other studies corroborate those findings.
Homes with solar sell faster too. Future homeowners understand the long-term value of solar and are happy someone else did the work of getting the solar installation completed. As a homeowner however, you should make sure when it is time to sell your home that you choose a real estate professional that understands the marketability of solar. The same is true for the real estate appraiser.
So unlike may other home improvement expenditures, solar pays off while you live in your home and when you are ready to sell it.