The sun,yes, the sun!, beats down on a panel Tim is carrying up at 1:55 p.m. on a beautifully sunny early June day!

Going solar: Introduction

There are many things to consider when weighing whether going solar is for you or not.

These can be usefully thought of in terms of three broad categories:

  1. Economic considerations
  2. Environmental considerations
  3. Personal & political considerations

Before you reflect on the specific considerations and factors that fall under these broader considerations, it can be useful to reflect on which of these larger factors – economic, environmental, personal & political – is most important to you.

For instance, here is how I order these criteria:

  1. Environmental
  2. Personal & political
  3. Economic

Even if you do foreground one, or more, of these more than the other(s), chances are good that all of them will affect each other as well as your final decision about whether – and how (big) and when – to go solar.

So, for instance, even though I list economic considerations last in terms of importance, they are nonetheless crucial to us.

Going solar is expensive in terms of its upfront costs. In terms of long-term costs, savings are virtually inevitable.

Going solar is expensive in terms of its upfront costs. In terms of long-term costs, savings are virtually inevitable.

I put “Environmental” and “Personal & Political” considerations before “Economic” ones because I would not consider going solar solely for economic savings. Unless, of course, the savings reaped were immediate — as in Day One Savings.

Very few people realize immediate total savings the day their system is turned on.

The savings you realize from installing a solar system on your home could be achieved more quickly – although your long-term savings almost certainly will be smaller – if, instead of buying a solar system outright, you choose an increasingly available and increasingly popular way to get a solar system on your roof: solar leasing.

Basically, with a solar lease homeowners lease the panels from a solar company. This requires no large upfront investment – absolutely, positively the biggest factor holding back many people from going solar.

I begin this overview of going solar by examining economic considerations even though it is not my own primary motivator in going solar. I do so because economic considerations arguably stand as the most important factor in terms of whether people – even the most environmentally conscious of people – end up going solar.

Going solar series–>