Like any investment in your home, the installation of solar panels should be considered from all angles. You'll want to educate yourself on the specifics of the installation and the benefits you'll receive, along with the cost/savings ratio of the project.
Having solar panels for your dwelling can save you money in the long run, even though there are expenses involved at the beginning. Luckily, there are many options for financing, and most systems can be installed for zero down.
You also have the choice of leasing or buying solar panels, and each option has benefits. Once you've done your homework about the process of solar panel installation and the savings you can enjoy, you'll have access to many professional installers. Today's modern solar panels can last for 25 years or more, so it's helpful to ask your contractor about a maintenance and repair agreement. Here are the steps that will get you going:
The Six Steps to Getting the Right Solar Panels
- Do your research.
- Find a reputable solar panel provider.
- Choose the right power storage system.
- Check out financing.
- Look at the fine print.
- Consider a maintenance contract.
Explaining the Steps
First, do an internet search to find solar panel providers in your city. You can find out a lot by comparing websites and making notes about each installer. Before you contact a professional, it's helpful to educate yourself on the basics of solar panel installation and use. This will help you understand the specifics when you talk to a company representative. Consider both rooftop panels and free-standing panels since each one has benefits, depending on the angle of the sun in your area.
To find reliable solar panel companies in your city, check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). If a company has any complaints, they'll show up there. Another valuable resource is your neighbors who have already gone solar. Find out which company they went with and how much it ended up costing them. They may be able to steer you to a company that has a proven track record in your area. Don't feel rushed in your decision since it's better to choose the right solar panels for your home, even if it takes a bit longer to come to a decision.
When you install solar panels, there's the option of sending power to the grid, storing it in batteries, or a combination of both. Depending on the policies of your local power company, you may be able to simply hook up to the grid. Some energy providers will even buy your excess solar power through reverse metering. Having a battery can save money by reducing reliance on the electric grid for power during times of peak power consumption. It also adds to the cost of your project, so you'll want to consider whether the savings will be worth the extra expense.
Not many people have several thousand dollars lying around to finance a project like installing solar panels. Sometimes, the installer will offer financing, and there are also third-party providers for home energy loans. Or you may roll it into a refinance package on your home. Taking into account the monthly loan payments versus the savings on your energy bill, there may not be an immediate net gain. Interest rates are typically low on solar home improvements, however, and the cost is also offset by a generous federal tax credit.
If you're getting solar panels through your local electric company, remember that homeowners sometimes lease solar panels from the power provider. This should figure into the cost/benefit ratio of having them installed. The energy savings should be high enough to cover the rental fees and, over time, the cost of installation. If you plan to install batteries at a later date, make sure the setup you're purchasing has the right equipment installed to make it possible.
Finally, consider including a maintenance and repair contract when you decide on solar panel installation. Keeping your system in good shape will give the best return on your investment. Regular professional cleaning and maintenance of your solar panels will also give you peace of mind. It's easier to pay a small premium for maintenance and repair than to be faced with unexpected repair costs.
It's worth taking the time to research the benefits of solar panels for your home. It can be cost-saving for a homeowner, and it helps reduce the reliance on fossil fuels. It's easier today than ever before to find a reputable contractor and obtain financing for the installation of high-quality solar panels, and it's an investment that will provide clean energy for years to come.