As solar photovoltaic systems become more affordable, many consumers have begun to consider installing solar panels on their roof or surrounding property. A solar PV system can be a great investment for a home or business owner, but there are many important factors to consider.
First, are you able to put solar panels on your home or property? Not only do you need suitable sun exposure, but you have to make sure you have the proper building permits. Many cities now have codes that dictate how solar panels are installed. The roof you have must also be considered; any solar installer will have experience with a composite shingle roof, but if your roof is metal, tile, slate or has wooden shingles, you may have to look around for a solar panel contractor with specialized expertise.
Before going solar, you also have to consider how much power you want to generate and what kind of panels to use. Solar arrays come in various efficiencies and sizes, and while larger arrays can provide more power, they are only effective if you have room for them. Even if you have lots of space, you should still consider the cost of size versus the output of various solar panels. Investing in one smaller, highly efficient solar panel allows you to expand the system later, instead of covering your entire roof with a cheaper, less efficient array. Once you decide on the panels you want, make sure to compare contractors before hiring one. Several states, including California, Nevada and New York have databases that specifically list contractors who are certified as solar panel installers, and independent websites such as the Clean Energy Project Builder can help locate contractors that specialize in solar panel installation.
Know what incentives are available. In California, the average home solar array costs between $18,000 and $25,000 without incentives or rebates. Luckily, there are lots of resources for people who want to purchase a solar array, but need help with the upfront costs. Consumers can look up federal and state-based solar incentives on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency site. Alternatively, leasing solar panels or entering into a power purchase agreement are both becoming more available to consumers. In a typical lease, you pay a monthly fee for the electricity generated by the solar panels on your house, regardless of how much energy the panels produce. The equipment is owned by the company that provides the financing. In a power purchase agreement, the consumer agrees to host a third party’s solar panels on their property while paying for the use of electricity generated by the system at an agreed-upon rate.
The opportunity to install solar panels on your own property is not available to everyone, but if you are a homeowner looking to make an investment in a cleaner future, the variety of solar panels and services available with them have never been more diverse or accessible.
Greenshine New Energy, LLC. Specializes in developing and manufacturing customized solar lighting systems for a wide range of lighting applications. At Greenshine we specialize in solar street lights, garden lights, and lawn lights for outdoor applications. Our lights can be installed anywhere, especially areas where grid tied electricity is not available.