I want to install solar panels when I replace my roof next summer. What do I need to know about manufacturers, incentives, and costs? I am in Washington state.
I live in a suburb of Seattle and, don't laugh, I believe my roof is an excellent candidate for solar panels. It's got a relatively shallow slope and is currently a torch-down roof that will need replacing next summer. While we're replacing the roof, it would be nice to put a solar system up there.
In Washington state the local utilities are required to buy energy back from homeowners and a certain rate. This rate increases if the system components are manufactured in-state. I believe there is a federal tax credit as well.
This web page
has a pretty good breakdown of how to calculate cost-effectiveness but I am hoping to get more details and some personal experiences.
1) Have you installed a solar system in your home? What was the process like? Are you glad you did it? Are the finances working out as you expected?
2) Is the information on the link above correct and up to date?
3) Are there in fact components manufactured in WA that I can buy in order to get the increased buyback rate? Do these manufacturers have a good reputation?
4) How can I really decide if my roof is a good candidate for this?
5) What goes into claiming the various tax credits, etc?
6) Is there anything I'm not taking into account or should consider?