PALM HARBOR, Fla. – This 3,400-square-foot Palm Harbor home, received an electric bill once, for more than $500 a month.

It’s not the case anymore.

“Our power bill is the basic service fee of $16,” says Aaron Metz, who invested in solar panels.

Aaron Metz says he only pays $16 for the cooler months of the year and a few dollars more to run the air conditioning around the clock.

“I’m very proud of what I’ve done here,” Metz said.

There years ago, Metz decided to add these to his home.

“There’s 36 panels,” Metz said. “Each panel is 325 watts.”

Solar panels allow Metz to generate energy from sunlight. By creating his own electricity, his bill is on average less than $30 per month.

“It’s monthly money savings and environmental impact,” Metz said.

The panels come at a cost. For Metz, he says he paid more than $30,000.

“When we went on contract this system was $36,000. The government will come in with 30 percent tax credit and offset that,” Metz said.

He says in about eight years that will be paid off.

“After payoff period, you’re in profit,” says Metz.

Before you start thinking about profit, the Better Business Bureau’s Bryan Oglesby says there are things to consider.

“It’s more than installing panels, you may also be financing and also ask yourself, ‘Are you a homeowner selling home in short term?’ So make sure it’s worth it,” Oglesby said.

He also says to take into consideration how old your roof is and if you finance the panels, there could be added interest.

When it comes to speaking with a company, don’t take their word for it, do your own research.

Any company that approaches you about installing panels needs to be licensed, you can verify their license by visiting myfloridalicense.com.

Here are more tips from the BBB on installing solar panels:

Discuss with your Energy Company: Before getting into the details, it is important to calculate the average number of sunny days a year in your area to make sure solar panels will be beneficial. Ask the energy company about a net-metering program. These programs allow you to measure the difference between what homeowners pay the utility company for their energy purchased and the cost of energy homeowners provide the utility company from the collection through solar panels. Ask about the local, state and federal laws concerning the standards and codes of the solar panels.

Inquire About Tax Credits: Find out the number of tax credits you will receive for the amount of energy that is generated. Ask about the length of time you will receive tax credits. Be sure to understand the process to receive the tax credits and note any important filing dates for the credits. Ask if you will be taxed on the credits.

Choose a Business: Once you have decided that solar panels are right for your home or yard, it is time to research businesses who lease, sell and install them. Ask friends and family members who have solar panels installed for suggestions. Check out reliable businesses through bbb.org to read reviews and complaints.

Settle All the Details: Compare costs and decide if it is more beneficial to lease or purchase the solar panels. Decide if the panels will have more light exposure on your house or in your yard. Find out if the federal or state government will receive the benefits. Be sure to know the length of the contract. Ask what will happen if the business promises a certain percentage of savings from your utility bill and the amount of savings is not achieved.

Understand the Fees: Ask if there is a cancellation fee. Find out who pays for a repair if damage occurs during the installation. Ask if there is a fee to remove and replace the solar panels if you need your roof replaced. If you decide to move homes ask if there is a fee to move the solar panels. If the environment of your new home cannot accommodate the solar panels, ask what the fee would be to cancel.

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