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If you need help, we have a list of frequently asked questions and answers. We strive to give you the best experience possible. Click a question below to view the answer.

When you install a solar energy system on your property, you save money on your electricity bills and protect yourself against rising electricity rates in the future. How much you can save depends on the utility rates and solar policies in your area, but going solar is a smart investment regardless of where you live.

Solar power, like other renewable energy resources, has many environmental and health benefits. Going solar reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change, and also results in fewer air pollutants like sulfur dioxide and particulate matter, which can cause health problems.

The easiest way to find out how much you pay for electricity (and how much electricity you use per month) is to take a look at your utility electricity bill. 

Net metering is the system that utilities use to credit solar energy system owners for the electricity produced by their solar panels. With net metering, you only pay for the electricity that you use beyond what your solar panels can generate

Solar panels absorb the sun's energy throughout the day and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity. Most homes and businesses run on alternating current (AC) electricity, so the DC electricity is then passed through an inverter to convert it to usable AC electricity. At that point, you either use the electricity in your house or send it back to the electric grid.

Solar system cost is fairly consistent across markets, and consistently getting lower with time. That said, there are a number of variables that drive the cost of a commercial or residential rooftop solar system:

  • What is your roof made of?
  • Is your roof easy to get to?
  • Does your roof have a lot of space?
  • Do you want basic panels, high-efficiency panels, or something in between?

If you need to generate a lot of power but have limited space on your roof, you may need to pay a premium for a more efficient panel. Higher quality panels capture more energy from the same amount of sunlight.

The solar systems we install typically cost between $2.80 and $3.80 per Watt. Considering most residential systems run between 4 and 15 kW (a kilowatt is 1000 Watts), we’re looking at about $11,000 on the low end, and $60,000 on the high end. That’s a big range, we know, but to be a little more specific, the large majority of home systems run between $20,000 and $30,000 (it’s important when assessing the price of your system to account for any solar rebates, which can save you a ton of money).

What we provide for this fee is a completely turnkey service. We handle all the permitting, engineering, installation, materials, and equipment. Basically you could write us a check and leave town, and when you got back the system would be all ready to go. You’d still need to get with your utility to flip the switch, but we definitely earn our keep when you hire us.

Solar rebates and government tax breaks can put a huge dent in the price of your solar system. With Quasar Solar, every initial assessment takes available solar rebates into account. Tax incentives can knock thousands–or tens of thousands–of dollars off your system’s total cost.

Here in New Mexico, we have the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, a federal incentive that kicks you back 30% of the cost of your system on your next tax return. 

 

As your solar system generates electricity from sunlight, you’re able buy a lot less less from the grid. The time it takes for your utility bill savings to offset the rather chunky cost of a solar system is a very popular topic for discussion.

The payoff period depends on how much you pay for regular electricity, as well as any tax incentives that are available in your area that might reduce the total cost of a system. In New Mexico, where we are based, there are virtually no local incentives and energy is pretty cheap, so a system will typically pay for itself in 8-9 years. This number has been shrinking rapidly as solar becomes more commonplace (i.e. less expensive to manufacture), and energy costs increase.

In New Mexico in April, the weather is cool and sunny, which means your solar panels are producing well, but you have no need for your air conditioner. You’re probably producing more electricity than you’re using. If you’re on the grid, like most solar people are, the excess is flowing back out your power lines, making your meter run backward. You might naturally assume that your utility is discounting this from your bill. But that depends on your utility. Many will sell you grid energy for 11¢ per kWh, but buy it back for 3¢. 

Dramatically. For starters, most buyers will find the energy savings to be very attractive. By showing them before/after bills, you could easily make the case that your home *costs* hundreds of dollars less per month than an identical house down the street that runs exclusively on grid energy. This savings can very easily translate into a quicker sale and/or a better offer. There’s also a significant cool factor with solar.

Solar systems and appraisal values

We aren’t just making a rhetorical case here. The US Department of Energy sponsored a study that showed thousands of California home prices increasing by more than $15,000, due to having even a pretty basic solar system. Fannie Mae has also issued a guideline instructing appraisers to analyze the system and market to see what value it adds to the home. Changes in the real estate business are comparatively slow to become institutionally adopted, so hard, fast rules haven’t been set. But with well over half-a-million solar-powered homes in the US, there’s undisputedly a market.