In a booming time of smart-home and tech growth, with added available tax incentives for energy-efficiency, most people are venturing into the affordability and ROI (return on investment) of solar panels.
The costs of solar panels have drastically dropped since 2008, and many people are opting into the savings solar power provides.
Whatever questions, objections, or enthusiasm you might have, here are some things to consider before you commit to a solar makeover.
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Consider All Your Options
The best place to put your solar panels is the place you get the best/most sunlight. That might not always be your roof.
A solar contractor will be able to analyze the structure of your roof and establishment, and they can find the location that you’re going to get the most out of your solar panels.
Solar panels last around 25-30 years, so you want the foundation to be reliable. Sometimes the best place for stability and easy maintenance is going to be the ground.
You and your solar contractor can figure out the best way to utilize your solar energy and get the most from your investment.
Find Out How Much Solar Energy You Need
Your solar contractor can help you figure out how many solar panels you will need in order to get the energy you need day-to-day.
You can get a rough estimate by looking at your average energy use over the past year. If you don’t have records, your current energy company should be able to provide copies of your bills. To determine your average energy consumption, simply multiply your hourly energy requirement by the hours of good sunlight in your area–then divide that by the panel’s wattage.
Furthermore, you will want to understand net-metering with your electric grid. Since owners of solar panels usually don’t use all their solar energy, electric companies will use a net-metering process which consists of “buying” solar energy from the owner and either paying them for it or subtracting the amount used from the homeowner or business owner’s bill. Additionally, this allows you to pull energy from the grid when your solar panels aren’t quite creating enough energy at a certain time.
Contact your energy provider about your options today.
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Utilize Your Electric/Utility Company
Opting for solar powered systems that are tied to the grid usually makes the most financial sense.
Off-grid solar system owners may find themselves without power during times that sunlight isn’t as prevalent. Using a storage battery is always recommended, so you have power to draw from when solar power is low.
On-grid solar power systems allow homeowners to start with a smaller solar investment with the opportunity to use net-metering. And they’ll almost never be without power whatever the energy grid or the sun is doing since the two energy sources work together.
That being said, don’t assume you’ll just have net-metering. This is something that should be talked about with your solar contractor and utility company. Acquire the necessary documents or agreements to tie your system to the grid and work with your contractors like you would any business partner.
Your utility company may even have a trusted list of solar providers for you too look over. You’ll likely find necessary information on local solar programs, net-metering, and energy offers on the utility company’s website or by calling their customer service.
Get The Best Professional Solar Installation Help
Reliable solar contractors are a must-have in this process.
Solar panels require some intricate electrical work. And while solar panels are sturdy, they’re still expensive pieces of equipment. Many manufacturers warranties will be voided if not installed by a professional and many utility companies won’t accept net-metering without some professional installation.
You want to make sure your installer has all the credentials, insurance, and references as required by state and federal law. Accreditation from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners is particularly important.
You also want to check customer references and gather many quotes so you can compare costs. Make sure they’re a solar company with staying power and that they’ll be around for a long time to come.
Any contract you sign should include all information about ownership, performance, financing, and warranties.
If you’re feeling uncertain, or just want some stress-free help, don’t hesitate to reach out to Home Professionals with our pro-finder form. We connect our homeowners with the best deals and local professionals. We’re willing to do the work for you and get you those quotes quickly, so you can relax.
For one less thing to worry about, fill out the form below.