1. Make sure you understand how the utility calculates your monthly bill
Historically, energy rates in Bermuda have increased by approximately 5% annually. This steady and predictable increase is beneficial for solar investors and prospective solar investors. The more you spend on electricity, the greater the ROI (Return on Investment) you will enjoy on an installed solar system.

2. Have a general understanding of how much energy your home uses each month
This includes anticipating changes in your energy use. A growing family, for example, will likely face increasing energy requirements. However, if you have college-age kids, who are ready to leave the nest, you can expect your energy costs to decrease. You can also make some behavioural changes to lower your electric use before going solar.

3. You don’t have to have a south facing roof
One fundamental principle of solar – one that is often ignored – is the method in which value is extracted from solar energy production. The power that is generated by solar panels should be immediately consumed at the house, rather than exported back to the grid, to maximize value. With this in mind, often using a combination of east, west, and south roof faces will generate the highest return, as the time of solar production more closely aligns with typical usage energy usage habits of the home.

4. Learn your solar warranties
Very conveniently for prospective solar clients, solar hardware will often be rated as Tier 3, Tier 2, or Tier 1. Tier 3 solar hardware is typically manufactured in China and offers little to no post-purchase support. It is common for this hardware to have a five-to-ten-year warranty, but virtually no way to make a claim if there is an issue. Tier 2 hardware will have a slightly better warranty than Tier 3 – often between 15 and 20 years. As expected, tier 2 panels will be sturdier and offer more post-purchase support. Tier 1 solar hardware is the most durable and efficient; often tier 1 solar hardware will have a 25 year warranty and offer fantastic post-installation support. With all Greenlight Energy solar installations, we use tier 1 solar panels and microinverters – both which offer an extended 25-year warranty.

5. How long solar panels last
From an accounting perspective, a solar installation typically has an estimated useful life of 20 years. When using tier 1 solar hardware though, it is reasonable that the depreciation schedule be extended to 25-years to match that of the warranty period. It is important to note though, quality solar panels are designed to produce at least 93% of their first day output after 25 years. Meaning, from a practical standpoint, solar panels will produce power for many decades from the day they are installed. With online monitoring available with every system, you can rest easy knowing that your solar system is running behind the scenes as expected.

6. Solar panels will not harm your roof
The panels will not harm your roof in any way when properly installed. Actually, the panels protect the areas located directly beneath them from weather, light, and heat. You may even find that the room(s) of your home directly beneath the panel installations will remain cooler in summer and warmer in winter, regardless of the other insulation. You can save heating and cooling costs when you install your panels wisely. Proper home preparation, and choosing an installer like Greenlight Energy will go a long way to ensuring a job done right.

7. Know your solar battery storage options
Coupled with a Greenlight Energy Solar PV System, our clients enjoy days of uninterrupted power during blackout events, as well as sustained grid-independence (meaning no utility bills at all). The cost and the extent of energy storage options with Greenlight Energy are highly customizable and bespoke to client needs. For example, some clients need to be able to survive off-grid due to medical apparatus, while some clients just want to host essential loads like the fridge or the ACs during power outages. Our team works with you to take a look at your average energy consumption as well as your energy needs, to develop a plan for energy storage that fits your lifestyle.

8. Understand the implications if you plan to rent or sell in the future
There is no doubt that adding solar increases your home’s market value. According to a recent report by Zillow, it can increase the value on average by 4%. That’s an extra $50,000 for a typical Bermuda home! Many homebuyers are looking for homes that are energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, so not only can solar can be a positive addition for you, it also may well increase your property’s saleability, and be an added benefit to potential renters.

9. Understand your payback period for a cost-benefit analysis
Depending on the size of your home, the payback period for Greenlight Energy customers is typically 5-7 years. Greenlight Energy estimates their Solar PV systems have an estimated useful life of 30 years with a 25-year product warranty, which means customers are guaranteed savings for at least 25 years! Larger homes with greater energy consumption, will enjoy a shorter payback period, with some clients seeing an entire return of capital in just six years!

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Cavendish House 2 Cavendish Road, Lower Floor Pembroke, HM 19 Bermuda