Across the world, more and more people opt for solar power systems. Apart from being Green and lowering your utility bills, the price of solar panels keeps on falling. However, choosing solar isn’t a light decision. Our professional research team conducted an in-depth research to help you make a final choice with more ease and more information to follow.
We’ve put together a list of 7 things to consider before starting to invest in solar panels:
Is Your Roof Ready For Solar Panels
Questions to be answered:
- How old is my roof?
- If it is not too old, does it need repairs?
- When does my roof warranty expire?
- When does my solar panels warranty expire?
If necessary, replace the old roof, buy a new one or take care of any repairs prior to the solar panels installation. If you purchase a 20-year solar panels warranty and your roof is likely to last only 15, then you should really match both projects according to their expiration date.
Luckily, the average lifespan of a roof is between 15 and 50 years, depending on its material. Concrete tile roof proves to be most durable so far. I doubt that you have the cheapest possible roof if you have already decided to make move to the solars!
Which Kind Of Solar To Chose
There are two prevalent solar technologies to chose from:
Photovoltaic solar panels directly convert sun’s rays into electricity by a semiconductor, generally, silicon.
Thermal solar panels capture sun’s heat and then convert it into concentrated solar power i.e. mechanical energy and in turn electricity.
Photovoltaic panels can power electrical devices, while solar thermals can heat homes.
If your home heating/cooling uses a lot of energy, a solar thermal investment could be the best option. But, bear in mind that you will have to find the top qualified professional to install it since solar thermal is rarer for homes.
3. How To Connect To The Grid?
When connecting with a local utility you should consider the following:
- How long does it take to get hooked up?
- Are there any fees to be paid?
- When and How will you be credited for the generated electricity?
Do You Trust Your Installer?
Ensure that your prospective installer has:
all the credentials related to the project and accreditation from the (your) state Certified Energy Practitioners.
Choosing an installer that will also be around for the long term is also an important factor to consider. While there is little maintenance that is required, if something stops working, you want your installer available to fix it under warranty.
Leasing Vs Buying
The initial cash outlay is certainly higher when buying your own solar panel but pays bigger rebates. It’s much more remunerative in the long run and it’s only yours! When leasing the system your investments are very low and you will access cheaper electricity. But, for how long? Once the lease is up the contractor company might take the system away. Then, you will lease again and again not sure of the company’s lifespan. They can go bankrupt during the leasing period as well.
The following information must be clearly defined and clarified in as much detail as possible:
- Financial projection
- Performance projection
- Ownership projection
- Detection of entities that might have access and collect data on your electricity output and consumption
Audit Your Actual Energy Consumption
This should be your first step before installing solar panels. It would be smart to cut down your energy usage and search for other energy efficiency upgrades before making the jump to being Green.