Solar Panels — A Wise Energy Choice

Joe Siple

If you drove around Fort Collins a few years ago, the limited solar panel homes were likely home to serious environmentalists. Back then, owning solar was about making a statement about clean, renewable energy, as well as producing it.

How have times changed!

Solar energy on the roofs of residential buildings continues to help keep the air in Colorado clean and clear views of the snow-capped mountains. Now it’s universally appealing too – it saves homeowners money.

The reasons are simple. The cost of making solar panels has plummeted. Now businesses can make money while reducing homeowners’ utility bills – a win-win situation. The guarantees have improved so that the risk to homeowners is as good as gone. And our beautiful Colorado takes the Front Range in its power generating power in the sun about 300 days a year. Combine all of that and solar power has become a common way to pay less for electricity.

There are still a few things to consider, such as these important guarantees. They vary in the industry. While one company may have a 25 year guarantee on everything, which completely eliminates the risk for the homeowner, other companies only cover everything for 10 years. Some companies with good warranties are so big that they may not be able to respond to every customer in a timely manner, which can be frustrating for homeowners in need of a replacement part. Some may use sub-par materials making it more likely that you will have problems with your solar array. Still others subcontract much of the work, making it difficult to know who is responsible for problems.

But with the right company, the benefits far outweigh any disadvantages. Add a federal tax credit of 26% of the total cost, and installing a solar array on your roof makes a lot of sense.

The secret to making solar work for you is simple: find a reputable company that:

1) Uses quality products

2) No subcontracting (so you know who to contact)

3) Has guarantees that last at least until you pay off the panels (so any problems that arise can be resolved quickly and at no cost to you).

4) Can set up funding where your monthly electricity payment is equal to or lower than what it is now (unless you are paying off your system early).

As I drive around my neighborhood today, more roofs have solar panels than when I moved in, including mine – but not nearly as many as would make sense. Rooftop solar is no longer just an explanation for clean Colorado air. Now it’s a smart and easy way to save money on your electricity bills too. And everyone can be happy about that.


Joe Siple is husband, father, award-winning writer and solar sales representative for Apollo Energy, a locally owned “turnkey residential solar company”. Apollo is the only female-owned solar company in Colorado with high levels of customer satisfaction that comes from full transparency and long-term partnership.

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