7 Considerations to Make Before You Install Residential Solar Panels
Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind and being used more and more across the United States. It has been estimated that power systems using solar and wind systems produce 100 times more power than power sources using fossil and nuclear fuel. Renewable energy sources produce more power and are better for the environment so it makes sense for homeowners to think about having a residential solar panel installation done. Before you take the plunge, however, there are some things you should think about.
- Look at your roof. There are a few issues you need to talk over with the solar panel installation service you are planning to use. You need to find out if your property is even a viable candidate for solar power panels. Some things they will look at before doing a residential solar panel installation are the tree cover over your roof, the amount of rain and snow your area gets, and how much sun your home gets every day. Another thing they will look at is the structure of your roof. You need to make sure your roof can even handle the weight of the solar panels for homes.
- Look at what else you have done to make your home energy efficient. One of the best things you can do to lower your utility bills is to upgrade your windows. Newer windows are far more efficient than those produced even ten years ago and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends window replacement as the number one way to make homes more energy efficient.
- Look at the different kinds of solar. There are two kinds of solar panels that are being used today. One kind takes the heat from the sun to generate power and the other takes the light from the sun to do the same thing. When you meet with residential solar companies, they will ask you a lot of questions about the way you use electricity in your home to determine what kind of solar will work best for you.
- Look at how you will connect your home to the grid. This is something that will depend on the area where you live. You will have to work with your local utility company and the company that will do the residential solar panel installation to get the details. It is important to note that there may be fees to join the grid that will be imposed by your local utility.
- Make sure you get someone you trust to do the residential solar panel installation. This is the same kind of thing you would do before you hire anyone to do any work around your home.
- Talk to people you know who have had a residential solar panel installation done.
- Get references.
- Check licenses and insurance. Ask them about this but make sure you verify anything they tell you.
- Look online. Look for comments and reviews online.
- Ask them a lot of questions. If a company is not willing to take the time to answer your questions before you sign a contract are not going to do it after.
- Look at the options to lease and to buy. As with everything, there are pros and cons to each option. If you want to buy your solar panel energy system, it will cost a lot more upfront but you will get more back from the investment that way. If you choose to lease your solar panel energy system, you will have to pay the company that owns the panels a fee for energy. What you need to do is conduct a cost/benefit analysis of the options to buy or to lease.
- Look at the contract. It should go without saying that you should never sign any contract without taking your time so you can read and evaluate it. Your contract should be very clear on things such as the ownership of the panels, what the expectations are for the performance of the panels, and how the entire financing will be for the system.
For many parts of the United States more residential solar panel installations can be a great thing. Before you install solar panels, make sure it makes sense on your home and area.