Considering Solar?

Investing in solar for your home is a major decision. If you’re considering rooftop solar, Bowie-Cass Electric Cooperative (BCEC) can help.

Is Solar Right for You?solar panels being installed on a roof

“Free energy from the sun and lower electric bills… Where do I sign up?”

The benefits of installing rooftop solar panels may seem like a no-brainer, but the reality is not every home (and homeowner’s situation) is right for solar.

There are many factors to look at before pulling the trigger on a rooftop solar system. Consider things like:

  • Determining if your home will receive enough sun to achieve your goals
  • Finding the right contractor
  • Negotiating contracts
  • Considering the impact on your home insurance
  • and other important details.

Do not be pressured into a decision before investigating all of the aspects involved, and be cautious about solar companies making amazing claims about cost savings and revenue generation.

As with any major home project, do plenty of research upfront, and contact us at (903) 846-2311 if you have questions or decide to move forward with installation. We’re your local energy partner and can serve as a helpful resource throughout the process.

8 Questions to Consider Before Installing Rooftop Solar

For many homeowners, solar panels are a great way to help the environment and save on electric bills––but there are many factors to consider before diving in and installing a system. Here are eight questions to consider before installing rooftop solar panels:

1. What Are My Goals?

If your primary goal is to save money on electric bills, you may be able to achieve this through an energy audit program, which can identify areas of the home for maximum energy savings.

2. Is My Roof Suitable for Solar?

Your roof should be in good condition before installing solar panels. If your roof is old and in poor shape, it may need to be replaced before panels can be mounted.

Additionally, your roof should receive a lot of sun to make the most of a rooftop system. Consider how much sun (and shade) the roof receives and if any trees will need to be removed. Solar panels perform best when facing south, so keep this in mind as you think about where the panels will be mounted.

3. How Long Will I Own the Home?

If you’re considering rooftop solar, you’re likely planning to stay in the home for several years. But if you plan to sell the home at some point down the road, consider that not all potential buyers will want to maintain a rooftop solar system. If you enter a contract to lease the system, carefully review the terms and what those mean if you decide to sell the property.

4. Lease or Purchase?

Purchasing a rooftop solar system outright is expensive, which is why many homeowners opt to lease their solar panels. However, federal tax credits can help cover some of the costs for a new system, up to 30%. Regardless of how you decide to finance the solar system, make sure you get several quotes from qualified contractors.

Speaking of contractors, there are several factors you’ll want to discuss with them upfront:

5. Can the Contractor Provide Up-to-date Documentation?

It may seem obvious, but be sure to request proof and documentation of the contractor’s licensing, permitting, and other credentials. Comb through company reviews, check the contractor’s status with Better Business Bureau, etc.––do your homework on the front end before signing a contract.

6. Does the Contract Seem Reasonable and Fair?

If you decide to hire a contractor to install rooftop solar, carefully read the fine print of the contract. Do the system performance calculations seem realistic? Does the project timeframe sound reasonable? Negotiate the contract terms to fit your goals and needs.

7. Who Will Maintain the Solar Panels?

Determining who is responsible for maintaining the solar panels will depend on who owns the system. If you lease the system from a solar installer, it may be their responsibility. Periodically, solar panels need to be cleaned as dirt and debris can impact panel productivity. Parts may also need to be replaced, so it’s important to know who will take on these responsibilities.

8. How Will I Work with Bowie-Cass?

Finally, but equally important, you should contact Bowie-Cass if you decide to install solar. The system must be connected to the electric grid, so you’ll need to sign an interconnection agreement. We can walk you through the steps, including how our solar rates and fees work.

Contact Our Energy Advisor

Would you like to find out if solar is a good option and whether it will save you money? Please call our office to discuss what solar can and cannot do for you.

Our Energy Advisor can help you determine if it makes economic sense. We can also suggest additional ways to save on your energy consumption.

Jim Christian
Bowie-Cass Energy Advisor
Phone: (903) 846-2311 ext. 326
Email: email Jim Christian

Avoiding Scams

Bowie-Cass Electric Cooperative wants our members to be informed about legitimate ways to save on their energy consumption. We also want you to be informed about the scams that promise savings but do not deliver on the claims being made.

If a salesperson contacts you saying they are working with Bowie-Cass Electric Cooperative and can help you save money on your electric bill by adding a device or changing your meter, please call our office to report them. Bowie-Cass Electric Cooperative is not currently working with anyone or any business making those claims.