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Home improvements are always a daunting undertaking.
Sure, every home needs a roof, windows and siding, but what about solar panels?
Residential solar energy is not a new technology, but the industry is accelerating at a rapid rate.
my first home, I decided to install Mission solar panels.
this article, I will outline why I decided to switch to solar energy,
the process of choosing the right solar panels, a full Mission Solar
review and overall reflection of my experience.
To answer the most important question right away…
Yes, it was worth it.
Why I Decided to Switch to Solar
weighing all of the pros and cons, my decision to switch to
solar was incredibly easy.
My first home was located right in the center of Denver, Colorado.
Around 2014, I started noticing more and more of my neighbors installing solar panels on their roofs.
I liked the idea of generating clean, renewable energy right on my roof, so after personal referrals, Facebook advertisements and door to door solicitors, I decided it was time to look to see if solar panels would be a good investment for my home.
My Home’s Specific Solar Potential
To get started, I conducted some research as to what a “good roof for solar” is.
As it turns out, mine was nearly perfect.
Although the small two-bedroom home had limited space, there was a large south-facing portion of the roof with no tree coverage and enough space for a large solar array.
roof was made of asphalt shingles, which were also perfect for
holding solar panels.
The Financial Benefits of Residential Solar Panels
Like most consumers, for me, the solar panels needed to make financial sense in order to move forward with the installation.
During my search in 2016, I was lucky enough to cash in on the 30% Federal Tax Incentive that brought down the total cost of my system by nearly one third.
The tax incentive is still available through 2021, but at a lower level.
Beyond the tax credit, like myself, most people buying solar panels are looking for an overall lower cost of electricity.
my electric bills weren’t outrageous (roughly $80 per month during
most of the year and $150 per month in the summer), the estimates I
received from various solar companies presented some pretty
I were to take a loan to finance my solar installation, my monthly
payment would be a bit more than my average electric bill, but
lower than my average electric bill during the summer months.
As electricity costs from the utility rise almost every year in Colorado, my estimated “break-even” point for the annual cost of my solar versus what I would normally be paying with Xcel Energy was between five and seven years.
This meant that after roughly six years, I’d be saving more money and more money each year on electricity.
After running the numbers past my accountant and fantasizing about leaving the air conditioning on in the Summer completely guilt-free, I was in.
My Search for the Best Solar Panels
As I met with a few different solar companies, (local, national, large, and small), the most important thing to me was choosing the right solar panels. The factors that I took into consideration in deeming the right solar panels for me included:
A reputable manufacturing company,
And obviously getting the most bang for my buck electricity wise.
After nearly a month-long search, I found the best solar panels for me to be made by Mission Solar Energy.
I’ll explain my position.
Choosing High-Quality American Made Solar Panels
As a consumer, I always try to buy locally made products.
Not only are domestic jobs important to me, as the world transitions to renewable energy sources, the most sustainable energy model includes generating power as close as possible to where it is being used.
Whereas there are many high-quality solar panels made overseas such as LG, Samsung, and Trina Solar Limited, my personal values led me to support an American business in choosing solar panels.
Solar Energy is based in Texas, and if you are searching for where to
buy Mission Solar panels, there is a large chance that a local
company near you supplies them.
Additionally, because of the large amount of hail that Colorado receives, I needed a high-quality solar panel that was built to withstand harsh weather conditions.
This video below from Mission Solar provided me more than enough evidence that the solar panels would be good enough to withstand even the largest hailstorms.
Monocrystalline vs. Polycrystalline Solar Panels
There are two main types of solar panels on the market today: Monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels.
Without getting into the nitty-gritty details, the difference can be summed up pretty simply.
Monocrystalline panels are generally darker and more efficient, and polycrystalline solar panels are bluer in color and are lower in price and efficiency.
Because my roof space was limited to roughly 20 solar panels, I could no longer consider American made polycrystalline solar panels such as Amerisolar, and I was forced to look into the more efficient (and more expensive) option of monocrystalline panels.
I was okay with this decision, as the sleek, dark solar panels actually matched the color of my roof quite well, which added a great aesthetic bonus.
Finding the Best Solar Panel Size
mentioned before, the ideal part of my roof had enough room for
roughly 20 solar panels, so together with the solar companies, I did
My average monthly electricity consumption was roughly around 500 kilowatt-hours (kWh).
This made for an annual consumption of around 6,000 kWh annually.
divided by 20 is 300, so if I wanted to cover my full electricity
usage with roughly 20 solar panels, I would have to have each solar
panel be around 300W.
Because solar power is not always generating at its maximum capacity, it is generally best to leave a little extra room for electricity production.
I ended up choosing the Mission Solar 310W panels, because not only would they cover my average electric bill, but having a little wiggle room would allow for me to use more electricity in my home, or sell back the excess power produced to the grid.
Mission Solar Warranty & Manufacturer Guarantees
What sealed the deal for my decision was the Mission Solar warranty.
My Mission Solar Panels were sold and installed with a 25-year manufacturer’s warranty.
When looking at brands of solar panels from the REC group (such as TwinPeak or N-Peak), I was worried about only having a 20 year warranty.
As I was making a large investment, having a 25-year guarantee of solar power made me confident in my Mission solar panels.
Pricing and Mission Solar Panel Cost
the breakdown of my contract, the total for my solar panels alone was
$6000. This meant that each Mission Solar Panel cost $300
To find the true cost of a Mission solar panel would be quite difficult.
It is true that you can purchase the panels in online marketplaces, however, having the solar panels alone is only one small component of a full solar energy system.
After taking into account the cost of freight shipping, an inverter, and the wiring of all of the solar components, I found that using a local solar company to supply and install the materials was the easiest and most cost-effective option.
Mission Solar Review: Installation and Performance
Overall, I was very happy with the installation and performance of my Mission solar panels.
I have since sold my home and was even able to sell it at a higher price because of the solar panel system continuing to generate electricity for the new homeowners.
I chose a reputable local solar company to supply and install the entire solar system.
The installation went smoothly, with the only real delay coming from a miscommunication with the electrical utility about installing a net metering box.
Are Mission Solar Panels good?
In addition to eliminating nearly 100% of my year-round electric bill, I was able to sell back the excess electricity I produced in the summer months. The weather-resistant panels held up nicely during a few hailstorms that even damaged my car and different parts of my roof.
So, in short…
Yes, I was super happy.
My Mission Solar Panels produced more solar energy than was originally projected.
What Would I Do Differently?
Although the damage wasn’t nearly as bad as in this photo, a few birds did manage to make a nest underneath my solar panels.
When I install solar on my next home, I plan to have a protective shield such as critter guard installed around my solar panels, so as to protect them from invasive species.
Where to Buy Mission Solar Panels
If you have read this Mission solar review and are looking to purchase their panels, the best way to do so is to contact them directly.
Whereas they may not ship the panels to your home, the Mission Solar team is fully aware of the solar companies and suppliers that use their products.
Chances are, if you are looking for the best solar panels in the United States, there is a supplier and installer near you ready to bring Mission Solar energy to your roof.