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Suggestions for customers earlier than investing in a solar powered home – WWBT

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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) – Solar is likely one of the fastest-growing clear energy sources within the U.S. Department of Energy. Throughout Central Virginia, extra owners are investing in solar energy.

According to USA Facts, “in 2005, Congress passed a tax credit for residential solar generation. Since then, the number of US homes with installed solar panels has increased by an average of 32% a year, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. At the end of 2020, there were about 2.7 million residential solar systems in the US.”

Solar is likely one of the fastest-growing clear energy sources within the U.S. Department of Energy, and extra owners are investing in solar energy all through Central Virginia.(NBC 12)

“I think the primary motivation for buying solar right now is to save money, “ said Bernie Stanley, president of Shockoe Solar. “You’re looking at a payback, a period of between eight and 12 years. That’s including a 26% federal income tax credit this year.”

For 14 years, Stanley has been putting in solar panels and establishing owners with solar energy. His firm additionally offers solar power for business buildings. With the rise in curiosity in solar-powered houses, is an increase in prospects pissed off, as an alternative of assured of their choice.

“I get a lot of complaints where people will say, ‘I don’t even know if the system is working or not,” mentioned Stanley. “A properly installed system, you’re going to have an app on your phone, or you can use it on your desktop and you can see what the system is doing. It’s going to send you an email if there’s an error or if there’s an issue. A lot of these folks are installing systems out there where they’re not finishing them. They’re not hooked up, they’re not connected to the internet and the customer has no idea and no way of knowing whether it’s working or not. Then you try to call [the company] and their customer service is terrible.”

Stanley has been known as in to assist many householders who’ve bought programs that don’t work correctly and can’t get the right help to repair them. He says there are different folks in the neighborhood devoted to doing the identical.

“There are a lot of organizations out there that look out for folks. The Virginia United Solar Neighbors is one of them,” he defined.

A North Carolina-based solar firm is at present going through a whole lot of complaints and lawsuits. According to WBTV, our sister station in Charlotte, North Carolina, customers owe hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in mortgage funds and say their solar power programs don’t work.

Stanley says there are a number of issues to look out for if a home-owner is contemplating solar energy. First, he says to verify references and make the most of the Better Business Bureau as a information.

“You have some companies with over 1,000 complaints, some with over 500 complaints. Some with maybe 50 complaints,” he mentioned. “You’ve got a whole bunch with zero complaints called the ones with zero complaints. That’s the best way to start and do some research. Google asked them for references, and if they say they’ve been in business for 15 years, find references that are 15 years old.”

He says to be cautious of social media adverts providing financing that appears too good to be true.

“You’ll see a lot of Facebook, Instagram ads or even on Google you’ll see ads for solar and it’ll say, ‘we’ll pay you $2,000 to buy solar from us’, an absolutely ridiculous concept. Essentially, you are borrowing money and then you’re paying yourself some of that money you borrowed,” he mentioned. “They’re not giving you anything. There is no government program or state program or local program that’s giving you anything like that. It’s just not true. It’s a tricky way of financing.”

If somebody tries to promote solar energy by going door-to-door, Stanley says don’t be fast to reply the door and let somebody inside your home.

“Almost all of the complaints that we’re hearing are because of these door knockers,” he mentioned. “They’re walking through the neighborhoods and they’re telling people, ‘hey, we did the job down the street,’ and they usually didn’t do the job down the street. They’re using that as a way to get into your house because it creates trust. That’s just one of the techniques that they use to get inside of your house.”

When it involves selecting an organization to work with and as you take a look at financing the set up of solar panels, Stanley suggests staying inside a worth vary that’s comfy for the home-owner and household.

“I don’t think anybody should spend any more money than they’re comfortable spending. I would say you’re probably better off if you have the money, to use your own money. If you don’t, maybe an [home equity line of credit] or something. That is tied to your house so that you can get that deduction of the interest because it’s tied to your house.”

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