Lisa Explains: Is solar right for me?

I’m always so surprised at all the information Avista has on its website. When I visit other sites, usually I’m in and out long enough to pay my bill, but Avista helps me learn about energy all the time.

I recently came across a page that tells me whether solar power is right for me.

I first read through many of the frequently asked questions about the alternative power. Avista doesn’t install solar panels, but they do have a list of qualified installers. There are some net metering benefits for accounts less than 100 kilowatt hours. This means that you could use some of the power you generate to offset your monthly energy use. There could be some state or federal rebates available if you decide solar is right for you.

Avista also has a handy tool that can help you estimate the cost of installing and using solar panels. You enter your address and are shown a satellite image of your home. Move the pin to the roof of your house and the tool will size the panels you need.

I tried this tool out recently. Once the tool said that my roof was eligible for solar, it asked me to estimate my monthly bill. It also wanted to know what kind of improvements I intended to make my home more energy efficient. I chose easy improvements, such as buying LED lights or adjusting my thermostat. After thinking for a bit, the website told me I could save about $617 a year on my electric bill with solar energy. That’s just a little more than $51 a month. It also said I could receive a $6,142 tax credit thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act. That sounds like a good deal to me!

If you decide installing solar panels is right for you, make sure you secure several bids, view a list of qualified contractors and learn about connecting to Avista’s power grid.

Lisa, an Avista customer, has been writing about the energy savings she implemented in her 1908 home. While visiting to get some tips to make her home more efficient she noticed there were more than just tips to save energy, there are energy tools, programs, and lots of customer resources. “Lisa Explains” is written from the customer perspective with short articles about what she has learned in hopes that you find it just as interesting. Join us every other week for Lisa Explains.

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