Was Investing ,000 in Solar Panels Worth It for My Airbnb? – Video

Was Investing $20,000 in Solar Panels Worth It for My Airbnb? – Video

In a recent video on her YouTube channel, Shelby Church shared her experience with getting solar panels for her Airbnb in an effort to reduce her high electricity bills. With quotes ranging from $20,000 to $90,000, Shelby ultimately opted for an $19,200 8 KW system recommended by her solar provider, Nick.

After getting the solar panels installed, Shelby saw a 49% decrease in her electricity bill, which was a significant savings for her Airbnb. The bill dropped from $600 to $280, showing that the investment in solar panels was worth it for her property.

Shelby also discussed the different options for financing solar panels including leasing, owning, and financing, and shared insights on the impact of solar panels on property value. She highlighted the importance of researching and understanding the net energy metering system, tax credits, and warranties associated with solar panels.

Overall, Shelby’s experience with solar panels was positive, and she shared valuable information and tips for anyone considering making the switch to solar energy. If you’re interested in learning more about Shelby’s solar journey or getting a quote for solar panels, check out the video and reach out to her solar provider, Nick. Whether it’s for your home or Airbnb, solar panels could be a worthwhile investment in the long run.

Watch the video by Shelby Church

Video Transcript

So you guys know the biggest downfall of my Airbnb has been the utilities the electric bill is so high I always think I’m having a good month I make you money and then boom $800 electricity bill energy is very expensive all over California but especially out here in

The desert the whole time I’ve had my short-term rental my electricity bill averages $5 to $800 per month absolutely insane so naturally I’ve wanted to get solar panels but I was intimidated because the solar industry seems a little scammy I had no idea what was a

Fair price to pay I was just overwhelmed by it all but I finally did it I have solar panels and I’ve gotten my first bill with them and was shook to see the price reduction and I’m going to share everything I learned with you guys today

To make sure that you get a fair price if you’re looking into getting solar panels or just to help you see if it’s really worth it and what the process is like I even interviewed my solar provider and I’ll have the link to my solar provider if you guys are

Interested in working with him if you have any questions at all you can ask him they do solar all over the country and can help kind of decide if you’re even a good candidate for it certain parts of the country it actually doesn’t make sense to go solar so let’s start

With what everybody is dying to know how much does it cost when I was looking into getting solar panels I got quotes all over the map everything from about $20,000 up to $90,000 yes I got a quote for $90,000 obviously did not go without what I learned is that solar salespeople

Can price it however they want they can tell you the solar is double the cost and just pocket a bunch of that this is one quote I got from a Solar Company it was $644,000 if I was paying cash for a 16 KW system and no batteries and a good

Way to see what solar might cost you is actually to look at Tesla solar even Nick mentioned that Tesla solar isn’t a ripoff so this is the quote that I got from Tesla solar you can see a similar price system from Tesla solar was only $445,000 but the issue is with Tesla

Solar you almost always have to buy a power wall I think there is a way around it but there are other benefits to going with a local Solar Company too Tesla is great I always tell people as far as pricing goes even though maybe their cars are super expensive their actual

Cost for like solar is actually really good um the downside this Tesla though and I’m sure people have noticed who have Tesla cars there’s not like a ton of like support if you have issues right so that’s the downside to working with a Tesla or a nationwide company maybe

Versus like a small local installer I would say the Tesla solar website is a good resource to see what your solar system could cost and then you can go shop around with that price just to make sure that you’re not getting charged anything more than that the average cost

In California for solar panels is $2.95 per watt so it would make sense for a 16 Kow system usually is going to be around $47,000 when I put in my house to Tesla solar it told me it would be a total of like 70 or $80,000 with three power

Walls but the cost of the actual solar system would only be around $30,000 so I knew okay I probably don’t need to pay more than $30,000 for it actual solar system for my home so like I mentioned I worked with Nick on my solar system and he recommended an 8 Kow

System which costs about $19,200 which is pretty spot-on if you look at the cost estimates for the average cost of solar it’s $245 cents per watt our roof isn’t really that big and we also didn’t want to make a huge like $50,000 investment so I knew to cover all of our

Power needs we would need a bigger system but I was okay with starting out with a smaller system and now we finally got it all in installed and running and I got my first couple bills with the solar installed in February of 2023 my bill was just around $600 so this was

Before going solar and you can see we used 1,400 KW hours of energy because this is a busy season a lot of people are staying at my house in this time and then my bill this year with the solar panels was $280 total so a 49% decrease which is

Pretty good considering the size of my solar system the bill is broken down in a few different charges there’s a 36 charge for fees that the utility company just passes on to you and this is for various things like nuclear decommissioning Wildfire fund just all this stuff that you have to pay for

Whether you have Solo or not you’re paying for this every month in Southern California and then my energy is from two different utility companies the first one is Southern California Edison and it was $101 for the energy I got from them and then desert community energy charged me

$143 so in total that’s $280 so this is all way lower than my past bills it would be like 2 or 300 each usually from each utility company it was just crazy and the charges from the two utility companies are actually paid annually because they give you a chance to offset

The cost if you generate extra energy and sell it back to the grid so it is possible that I could lower that a lot in the summer because no one’s really staying at my house then usually and the days are much longer and it’s always very sunny so we probably generate a lot

Of energy then one thing I want to note for this first month is that it was actually pretty cloudy this February we only had 13 days that were sunny and so it’s actually looking like March is going to generate a lot more energy than February did we only generated 766 kwatt

Hours of energy but halfway through March we’ve already generated almost 500 so I’m guessing we’ll be closer to 1,000 kilowatt hours by the end especially cuz the days are longer now so we’ve we’re getting more sunlight the longest day of the year we actually get 14 hours of

Sunlight and in the winter it’s more like 10 hours of sunlight so it’s like a 4 Hour sunlight hour difference day from what I’ve seen online people typically generate a lot more energy during the summer so I’m interested to see in the very very sunny months how my solar

Panels will offset my electricity bill I assume it might even more so yes my bill is not $0 but that’s because I didn’t get a huge system for a $220,000 system it’s basically cutting my bill in half which is really nice and that’s realistic of what you’re going to get

For this size of system for how much energy we’re using if you want to get to an almost $0 Energy bill you’re going to have to to get batteries and a larger system so it’s going to be more expensive to get there one thing to note if you’re looking into getting solar is

The net energy metering system and this dictates how much you can sell your energy back to the grid for a lot of times if you have solar panels you’re making extra energy and you can sell it back to the grid it used to be that you

Could sell it back for the same price as you were buying it for so that would offset a good amount of the cost that you were still drawing from the grid Because unless you have batteries you are still using energy from the grid usually in the evening and at night so

Last year NM 3.0 went into effect and this is a big deal because it made it so the energy you’re selling back to the grid is for a tiny amount they did this to incentivize people to get batteries but really what it did is made solar

Less worth it for people to get and more expensive cuz you have to get batteries for it to be worth it now it’s like a $50,000 investment I thankfully did get in before NM 3.0 so I can sell my energy back to the Grid at about the same price

As I buy it for thank God that is why I didn’t opt to get a battery I also figured I could just get a battery later so since I got in before the deadline you can see that the cost I sell it back for is almost the same as the cost I’m

Buying my energy for so basically if you live in California you can’t sell your energy back to the grid for as much as you used to be able to if you’re getting solar today however there is a lawsuit going on they’re trying to overturn this I hope that they do because it’s just

Making less people want to go solar another thing to note is the tax credit that you get when you go solar you can get a 30% tax credit on the amount your solar is and this is a federal tax credit so you can do this no matter what

State you live in and this is running until 2032 so you can still get this today say you buy a $50,000 system you’ll get a $115,000 tax credit to offset your income taxes so let’s talk about the timeline to get solar it typically takes about 2 to 6 months

Because this is something that you have to get permitted so while it can take a while it’s not time consuming at all I found for me I just had to sign some documents and the solar people took care of everything else they get the permits they make all the engineering plans some

Places have same day permits others take months same day yeah so depending on where you are it could be a same day permit which is crazy that’s how it honestly should be you would think right with the way the system is but some of these people I swear you just have like

The sloth from zootopia just you know just sitting there and when it came to the actual install it was really fast they can do this in 4 to 6 hours usually unless your house is like massive or something so that’s three to four people laying down the panels and then one of

Them was doing the electrical component cuz they do need to install a solar inverter I was amazed at how they did it all so fast I guess just after doing renovations I’m used to things taking like way longer but yeah once they come to your house it actually doesn’t take

That long so after that we actually had to wait for the city and the utility company to inspect it and that’s what took the longest I think because a lot of people were also trying to get in before the NM 3.0 deadline so it took several months for those inspections to

Be done but once they were I got it turned on in January of 2024 so let’s talk about leasing versus owning versus financing first up leasing I’ve got some Intel on this because Monica and Jason leased the solar at their house they said the lease for the panels is $1.95 a

Month and then the electric bill is only $40 to $70 a month so the monthly total is pretty similar to what it is at the Airbnb and Jason noted they do use a lot of power they leave the AC on quite a bit are there any major cons to leasing

Instead of buying um in my opinion no um back in the day there were just cuz a lot of times people had like this negative stma towards a lease that if you lease solar that it was going to make your home impossible to sell or

That yeah right or a lean on your home whereas now now days you know power companies have just gotten so greedy and the prices from power is so high if you’re leasing your solar and you’re paying half the cost or a third of the cost you normally would it’s going to

Make your home so much more attractive to a potential buyer um so that’s a huge one so leases have gotten so much better don’t be afraid they’re they’re go they’re okay now so leasing definitely has Pros you don’t have to Fork over like $30 to $50,000 in a one-time

Payment you can split it up in monthly payments that are pretty reasonable almost always lower than what your power company compan is charging you in Monica and Jason’s case I think they have a larger solar system than we have at the Racket Club resort which is why their

Monthly electric bill is only 40 to $60 it’s cool to see that the cost to lease the panels is really not too bad cons of leasing since you never actually own it you continue making those monthly payments after the point which you would have paid off the whole system a lot of

Times solar systems if you buy them in cash it pays for itself within 5 to 7 years with a lease you’re probably paying more in the long run but whether you’re buying or leasing it’s still usually way less than what the utility company would charge you there used to

Be an issue with leasing where they could put a lean on your house and if you wanted to sell your house you had to pay the whole Solar off but now it’s a lot easier to transfer that lease which is what Monica and Jason did while I’m editing this technically there is always

The risk that new buyers wouldn’t want to take over a solar lease but to be honest in the California desert that would be insane because you would pay way more money if you didn’t have the solar panel so I’m not sure that would ever actually happen in Southern California but maybe in different

Markets it could if you have the cash I think buying it is probably the best but even if you don’t it seems like leasing saves you a lot of money the only one I would look out for is financing solar I think like most people of course would

Want to ideally buy it outright but what is it like right now if you’re going to finance solar so right now the market is really weird the financing rates in the markets are super high right you know 8 to 10% um which makes it really hard right but the really nice part about

That is even with 8 to 10% financing you’re still paying less than what you worked for the power companies which is crazy that just shows you how high the power rates are from these power companies that you could Finance something for 10% and still pay way less

Than you are to the power company and this is true I did the math in the power companies rates are just so high even if you get the worst solar deal you’re probably still going to be paying way less with solar than you would with the utility company but when it comes to

Financing solar you have to look at out for the hidden fees and then I know there can be like sort of like a loan origination fee with if you’re getting if you’re financing it what is that like in the Solar industry yeah so right now

Like the rates right now are about 8 to 10% um but a lot of times like with interest rates like in homes you can buy down the rate same thing with solar um you can buy down the rate the problem is all solar financing are unsecured loans

Right so they’re not tied to the house there only on the property which makes it a higher risk to the finance company so a lot of times they’ll bake in like origination fees and there’s no actual regulations so it can be anywhere from 15 to 30% of the total loan amount which

Is crazy that means if you financed a $50,000 solar system with a 25% fee you’d be paying $12,500 in fees so if you’re getting quotes for your home and whether it’s a $399 or $499 if you get a lower rate for solar there’s going to be a financing

Fee baked into it right which is unfortunate right that’s why some the cash is a nice option um but either way with the financing fee or not you’re still going to pay less it just more of breaking down what the best option is for your personal home so you can see

One of the quotes that I got it was $60,000 if I paid in cash or if you did a loan it was 71,000 so that’s quite a significant fee it basically is the fee to buy down the cost of the loan to being 4% it makes that 3.99% interest

Rate kind of misleading because in total you’re paying a lot more than that so definitely look out for that probably better off getting a private loan from A bank or credit union how does solar impact your property value especially when it comes to leasing it versus

Buying it out right does it increase it a whole lot or is it about the same yeah it’s a great question um so really just depends on the program certain markets and depending on where you live and the cost of the system will play a role most

Real estate agents will tell you own solar is going to be better than leas especially because some of the lease programs back in the day weren’t as beneficial they either put like a lean on your home or they had these weird price escalations even though the leases

And the ppas have gotten better now um I would still say own solar is always going to add a little bit more equity to your home right it’s a value ad cuz you’re locking the power rat for the home and so if you have solar there’s a

Ton of studies like Forbes New York Times all these magazines and authors that do that say Hey your home’s going to increase in value anywhere from 4 to 8% yeah um so it’s definitely a big value add to your home because right now when you pay the power company there’s

No value ad it’s just goes to the power company you never see that money ever again whereas when you have solar you just redirecting that money into something that you own and it’s adding value to your house so does it always make sense to go solar so isn’t the

Right fit for everybody right even though like we’re in Sol sales and I run a Sol brokerage I don’t want to mislead homeowners and say hey so is a good fit for everybody cuz it really isn’t because depending on your Market depending on how that power company set

Up you won’t be able to sell power back to the Grid or they won’t pay you anything for the power for example like in Arizona there’s a couple really good utility companies that have great programs Nevada really great right California just went through the big NM

3.0 so you still can save money it’s just harder right you have to design the systems more efficiently whereas like before it was kind of a little bit easier right so it really is utility company dependent so wherever you are um either reach out to myself or reach out

To like a local professional in your Market because depending on where you are sometimes it’s going to make a lot of sense sometimes it might not and you’re going to need to reach out to someone to find that out right is somewhere that’s really cloudy not a

Good fit for solar um yeah it really again also depends from Washington right I see people with it there yeah so I’m like you still can save money especially depending on how you use your power right it’s just it’s not going to be as good as in Palm Springs or you know the

Desert if you’re somewhere like Seattle where the energy rates are really low like 11 cents per kilowatt hour is extremely low compared to California in these cases it might not save you as much to go Sol what are the warranties like for solar panels and like how long

Do they typically last pretty much industry standard right now is 25 years across a board that’s going to be company dependent right certain companies offer longer warranties than others soid panels wiring inverter everything um and then you also get a roof penetration warranty as well cuz a

Lot of people when they get solar they’re worried about the roofs rightfully so right um they don’t want to avoid any warranties or things like that so don’t worry uh we also provide a warranty on top of that um so you get that peace of mind is there any

Maintenance that you have to do like do I have to go up there and like clean them off ever uh it’s more of an aesthetic thing um you’re wrong if you want to you can um there are a lot of companies out there that talk about cleaning panels um

But we have a a guy that I I know really well he’s an OG and solar he’s worked in it for 10 plus years um and they’ve done lots of testing on how much it actually affects and it it really is a controversial topic some people feel

Like it makes a big difference you know our research says it doesn’t make a big difference um so but if you don’t mind uh you can either hire a company to come out there and clean your pounds for you um or you’re going to have an app on

Your phone that monitors everything oh love that so it’s perfect so you be able to track all your usage a lot of times there’s production warranties as well cuz at the end of the day you just want to make sure you’re paying less for power and gain the most out of your

System which the app will be able to check for you so is solar worth it I think for my house it is I would maybe even invest in a larger system to offset more of the cost but so far my energy bill decreased about 50% and that was

For a cloudy month I think it actually will be a little more than 50% normally but we’ll see if it can cut my cost 50% every month that would be about $3,500 in savings each year which would take about 5 to 6 years for it to pay off in

My opinion that is very worth it because the utility rates actually just keep going up a lot of people don’t know this but electricity you know it’s not immune to inflation it also does go up and again a large reason for this is because the California grid systems really old

And they need money to upgrade it realistically energy will be more expensive in year five so my savings will be probably more than $3,500 a year because energy would have been even more than that so that is pretty much everything I I’ve learned and can share

With you guys about solar so far whole industry is more complicated than I realized I really used to think oh if you just get solar you will have no electricity bill and that’s just not true it depends on the size of the system if you get batteries if you can

Sell energy back to the grid and it’s actually never going to be zero cuz you’re always going to have at least the connection fee if you have solar and you know even more about it than I do please comment down below share your knowledge with us and if you guys are thinking of

Going solar I’ll have Nick’s info down below he’s the one that did my solar install and taught me so much about the industry whether you just have questions about solar or you want to get one of your quotes for from him I’ll have his info down below because they do solar

All over the country I hope that this was helpful hope that you guys enjoyed and I’ll see you in my next video bye

Video “I Got $20,000 Solar Panels To Save My Airbnb. Was It Worth It?” was uploaded on 03/23/2024. Watch all the latest Videos by Shelby Church on Gretopia