Solar power energy industry is growing lately. However, the cost of a solar panel installer is still expensive. It will be a risk worth taking because it will reduce your carbon footprint and will provide a sustainable energy choice. If you’re considering having solar panels installed in your home, here are the things you need to consider:
1. Check if your roof supports solar panels
See if the roof is under a shade. If that’s the case, it will all be wasted. Consider shared or community solar when you are living in an apartment. After checking if your roof is well-lit, check the structure and form of the roof. Remember that solar installations have a guaranteed 20-25 years of warranty. Make sure to think if your roof needs a renovation years after. In that way, you won’t have to pay extra for detaching the solar panels.
2. Have many Options
The more people install solar panels, the cheaper it gets. This may lead to a stiffer competition among solar contractors, installers, and manufacturers. When that happens, there will be plenty of choices for solar energy for consumers. You can talk directly to a contractor about your energy plans and determine the costs if the project moves forward.
Consult your local resources and find a solar installer to ensure the process will run smoothly. Order a cost/benefit analysis survey. In this document, you will see roof slope, property orientation, shading, optimal placement sites, power distribution and finally, aesthetic considerations.
3. Identify what Type of Solar is Right for your Home
There are two most popular solar technologies to choose from. One is photovoltaic that uses arrays of cells to turn sunlight into electricity. The other one is thermal, which uses sunlight to heat water or air for use. A solar thermal investment is appropriate when you live in a place where fuel is more expensive than electricity. However, this option is rarer for homes so you might find it hard to seek a qualified installer.
4. Do Some Repairs if Needed
Before you need to install a solar panel, you need to contact your building inspector. Make sure that the roof is still structurally fine and capable of supporting the weight of the panel. Check the conditions of roofing materials before resulting to solar energy. Repairs after the solar installation needs complete removal of solar panels.
If possible, build a separate storage for battery, electrical inverters, and Balance of System (BOS) equipment. If solar energy becomes more and more popular, more companies are expected to enter the market. This will bring more products and solutions for the consumers.
5. Know how to Connect to the Grid
The principle is just simple. Any time you’re connecting with a utility, there are a lot of logistics to back up. Net-metering refers to the practice which utilities compensate rooftop solar at the same rate as they charge users for electricity.
6. Explore Buyback/Energy Storage Solutions
Install a production meter to help offset the cost of your solar energy system. You can sell the excess generated power back to the grid. The production meter determines the amount of electricity produced by an energy source. It connects your system via AC disconnect on your solar inverter.
Utility companies send the homeowners a yearly report. It is provided with information pertaining to the kilowatt-hours produced by your solar energy system. Complete a yearly application for excess energy your system provided for the grid. This will come in forms of checks and service credits.
7. Ensure your Installer is Reliable
Check the credentials and references before picking your installer. Look for an accreditation and a few different quotes before signing the contract. You will also need to be sure that the company will do what it promised to do. That includes sticking to warranties and agreements. If something went wrong, the installer needs to be there to fix it.
The contractor will assess the following before installing a solar panel: viability of solar resources, size of the system needed for home electric requirements, ideal placement of the system, and safety/reliability standards. In some cases, the owners might install their own solar panel with the contractor overseeing the project.
Solar Panels are one-time investment that comes with a lot of ROIs. However, remember that every electrical system is at risk of failure, damage, and deadly surges. Regular check of the system can prevent all that. Review the contract carefully. It should have all the details of financing, ownership, and performance expectations. Check there is someone who collects data on your home energy production and usage.
Keep your old utility bills to see the yearly comparisons of your electric consumption. Order a home energy audit to see a valuable feedback on methods to develop your home’s efficiency capabilities.