When investigating the solar option take into
consideration a few things:
- Solar is an investment. Your utility makes it easy to spread the payments out over a 5-year contract, but your cost will be about the same at the end of 5 years. However, with solar, you will not be required to sign a new contract, with a higher rate in 5 years.
- Plan a budget. Expect to budget from $400 to $750 per upgraded light pole. We will discuss these costs in more detail below.
- It is likely you will need a contractor or a very skilled landscaping crew. You will not need an electrical contractor as our most common system require no wiring. The installer will likely require a 10-14-inch auger and be able to dig up to 5 feet deep, depending on your pole selection and wind zone requirement. They may also need to remove the dirt.
- Does the HOA or the utility own the poles and lights? If you are under a contract, most likely the utility owns the poles and lights. When you cancel your contract the utility will remove the poles. This will require new poles. Depending on your budget expect poles to cost between $600-$1000 depending on your local wind zone and city requirements.
- Are you in a hurricane zone? You will require new poles.
- If you own the poles, are your existing poles designed to take the additional weight and size of a solar lighting upgrade? Unless you have wood poles the answer is: most likely not. You likely will require new poles. We do have one option, the Stealth 40, that can work with the existing top of pole-mounted fixtures.
- You have a few pole options but the most cost-effective option is direct burial. Direct burial poles do not require concrete or foundation. Composite fiberglass and Aluminum direct burial poles are the best-looking non-maintenance options we supply.
- What fixture look do you want? If you are seeking to go with the existing ornamental look and feel, we recommend staying with your utility. The upfront cost for ornamental fixtures is prohibitive for HOA’s. If you are open to a more progressive look this is where you can save a lot of money and even upgrade to a brighter option.
- How are you going to manage the unloading of light poles?
Going solar in an HOA is a construction project. Planning a budget and having your pole installation costs are two key parts of preparing to go solar. It is key to have a firm understanding of these costs before researching your solar options.