There’s no denying it: things cost more now than they did in past years. Many families are feeling the financial crunch as they struggle to come up with ways to reduce their monthly living expenses. Austin, Texas is no different. A study conducted by GoBankingRates revealed that recent cost of living increases in Austin rank among the highest in the nation. Austin’s cost of living rose by 33.92% between 2017 and 2018, which amounts to an increase of $18,532. The increase affects many essential things, from the cost of groceries to rent and mortgage payments. It seems that there is no escaping the financial pressure.
Households and businesses throughout the U.S. are going beyond coupon clipping and reducing their entertainment budget to save a buck. Some have discovered the financial potential of renewable energy. The cost of a new solar system has dropped over the past 10 years. It’s cheaper than ever to pay for installation. Many areas also offer tax rebates and credits as incentives. If you are ready to live sustainably, then you need to know how to get the most savings out of your solar panels.
- Find Out If You Can Sell Back to the Grid
Some states allow net metering, or the ability to sell power back to the grid. Your system may generate more energy than you consume. You may be able to sell this excess power back to the grid. It helps reduce stress on aging infrastructure and can earn you money from your local power company.
This service may not be available everywhere, so talk to your power company before you get started. They can verify if net metering is allowed and explain current rates and rules for the program.
- Switch to Energy Star Certified Appliances
Just because you are using solar power doesn’t mean you shouldn’t find ways to cut down on consumption. The less you consume, the more you can sell back to the grid or store for future use. Update any old appliances you have around your home. Look for products with the Energy Star-certified seal on the package. These are designed for greater efficiency.
- Make Lifestyle and Household Changes to Reduce Consumption
You can also make changes to help reduce your energy consumption and maximize your system’s performance. For example, only use lighting in the area you are occupying. If your home doesn’t have lamps or fixtures for specific areas, get some. Take cold showers in the summer, unplug devices you are not using, and monitor indoor temperatures closely.
- Research Eligibility for Solar Tax Rebates
Your local or state government may offer tax rebates and credits for solar systems. That means you can save a lot of money on your installation. The federal solar tax credit, or investment tax credit, allows you to deduct 30% of the cost of your system from your taxes. The Austin Solar Experts can provide more information on the availability and eligibility of rebate programs.
- Install a System That’s Big Enough for Your Household
A solar system’s capacity depends on its size. The more panels you have, the more energy you can generate. However, more solar panels mean a higher installation price. Make sure you choose a system that can handle your daily needs while keeping your upfront costs as low as possible. Talk to a professional to find out how many solar panels your home will need.
- Feature Your Solar Panels If You Decide to Sell
Solar panels are the gift that keeps on giving. That’s because they can lower your monthly utility bills and help you get more money for your property if you decide to sell. Many buyers want renewable energy, and they are willing to pay more for it. It’s a powerful bargaining tool that can help you get more out of the sale of your home. Make sure potential buyers know that your home is equipped with solar panels.
- Let Professionals Install Your Solar Panels
Professional installation is essential to the longevity and performance of your solar panels. Make sure an expert handles the process. Working with the Austin Solar Experts will also give you access to information and recommendations that can help you save money and increase efficiency.
- Talk to Experts for a Home Energy Audit
If you haven’t done a home energy audit, now is the time. An expert can evaluate your day-to-day power usage and find areas that could be improved. They can suggest updates or behavior changes that can make a difference in your utility expenses and overall consumption.
The Austin Solar Experts can help you cut costs and lower your impact on the environment. Contact us today to learn more about solar system installation and other services.