Most homeowners would make the switch to solar power if given the opportunity. The monthly electric bills never seem to go lower, no matter what we as consumers do to conserve electricity. Luckily solar power technology is advancing at a fast pace. The efficiency and cost of installing solar power has been dropping each year. Here are 5 top solar electric tips if you are considering installing solar power.
1. Consider Your Location:
The location of your residence plays a major role in how much it will cost to install solar power, and is a good solar electric tip to know. In general, the more hours of sunlight your area receives, the lower the cost of installation. This is because fewer panels are needed, which can further be reduced by the local intensity of the sunlight as well.
2. Talk To An Expert:
This is key early on in the process of evaluating whether solar power is correct for your needs. Experts will be able to do some testing at your home to determine the optimal installation area for your solar panels. Of all solar electric tips, this one is probably the most important. Getting quotes from several companies is always a good idea, as not all installers will provide the same level of warranty service nor install the same type of equipment.
3. Order Panels Online If You Are Feeling Bold:
Substantial savings can be found by purchasing solar panels online and having them shipped to your home. The real key is to find an installer who will then perform the work, as most of the companies want to sell you the panels as well. The savings can allow you to purchase more efficient panels that you might otherwise not be able to afford, and is a good solar electric tip to look into. Make sure you have consulted with an expert prior to making any purchases to avoid problems, and you do not get in over your head.
4. Compute How Many Panels You Need:
This one can confuse consumers, but is actually quite easy. Take your most recent electric bill and find your average daily electric usage in kilowatts. If it is not printed on the bill, take your monthly total and divide by 30. Once you have your average daily usage, take that number and divide by 9. Why 9? This is the average amount of strong sunlight hours per day. Remember, solar panels do not work at night. Each panel is rated in terms of kilowatts per hour. Once you have this number, simply add up how many panels you need to get to this hourly kilowatt production number. This will give you a rough estimate ahead of time on what to expect when you call around for quotes. Remember, the more knowledge you have ahead of time the better the end result will be when you have a solar company come and install the panels.
5. Know Your Payback Period:
This is important, and is the amount of time needed to fully recoup the cost of installing solar panels. Most reputable professional solar companies will work hand in hand with you to figure out the payback period. In general, you can expect that to range from 4-6 years. If you live in an area where there is not as much sunlight, or you have too much shade on the roof, this timetable could be pushed further out. Knowing the payback period helps you to decide if solar is the best option for your situation.
Luckily for most, there are qualified professionals can help you with all these solar electric tips.