Beginner’s Guide To Solar Power

Solar power technology can seem complex. That’s why our partner, Freedom Solar Power, has put together this beginner’s guide to solar panels.

Couple sits on loveseat outside on their patio under the roof with solar panels

Guest Authored by Freedom Solar Power

The sun shines bright on Texas, and solar power is the fastest-growing American and global electricity source. If you’re new to solar panels, both the technology and the installation process can seem complex. That’s why we’ve put together this beginner’s guide to solar panels. Read on to learn why solar might be a good investment for your home.

Solar 101

What Are Solar Panels?

A solar panel is a collection of solar photovoltaic (PV) cells that absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity.

The sun releases tiny packets of energy called photons. These photons travel to Earth, and sunlight hits panels in varying amounts depending on their orientation and location. Solar panels then convert the sun’s energy (photons) into electricity when it strikes a solar cell by knocking electrons loose from their atoms. These electrons then flow through an inverter and into your electricity meter to power your home or to your city’s electric grid.

When the sun isn’t shining and panels don’t have any solar energy to convert to electricity, the electric grid continues to power your home.

Benefits Of Solar Power

There are countless benefits of this clean, renewable energy source. Installing solar panels:

  1. Improves local air quality by powering your home with renewable energy instead of traditional sources like coal.
  2. Makes the electricity grid more resilient thanks to this renewable source.
  3. Saves you money on your electricity bill and offers a hedge against rising energy costs – the sun’s rays are free.
  4. Paves the way for energy independence, with less reliance on fossil fuels.
  5. Improves the resale value of your home – a recent study by Zillow stated that solar increases the resale value of your home by at least 4%.
  6. Is a surprisingly low-maintenance home addition, with very little required of you except maybe an occasional cleaning.
  7. Can cool your home up to 5 degrees Fahrenheit by shading your roof.

Rooftop solar panels can increase your home’s resale price with a return on investment (ROI) that is higher than many other types of home improvements. According to a recent study by Zillow, solar panels boost the selling price of a home by 4.1%.

The Installation Process

Installing a solar power system is a major construction project, so you want to work with a solar company you can trust to make it easy and painless for you. Freedom Solar has a proven 7-step process that makes it simple and painless for homeowners and businesses to go solar, from our first conversation with you until the day we flip the switch and throughout the lifetime of your system.

Solar Panel Costs

Solar panel cost and installation vary based on their make and model. Labor costs also vary depending on the style of your roof, conduit attic runs, backup power, and the location of your residence or business.

A+ Federal Credit Union has partnered with Freedom Solar to offer homeowners a free initial consultation and estimate based on your individual solar energy needs. Depending on your financial goals, you can choose to pay cash upfront or finance your system.

Most Freedom Solar customers choose to finance their system and will spend approximately $138 per month when they finance an 8 kilowatt (kW) residential solar system – this is before local rebates and tax incentives, based on your city and state, are factored in. Some customers pay as little as $83 per month. If you estimate that you’ll be saving at least that much on your electricity bill, you could come out ahead from day one.

Learn More

Have questions about going solar? Review these Freedom Solar FAQs for frequently asked questions about solar installation, benefits, costs, and durability.

To learn more about home solar and financing options, Freedom Solar Power is available to speak with A+FCU members. Click here to fill out the free consultation form, or call 800.504.2337 Monday through Friday, 9 am – 5 pm CST.

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Solar Financing Options

Rising electricity bills can be a burden on any budget. Take control of your energy costs by exploring home solar power and financing options with A+FCU.

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