Solar panel installation can save thousands in energy costs, reduce your carbon footprint, and add value to your home. What started out as a home improvement has grown to a vital component of clean energy and green living initiatives.
The thought of undertaking a project like a solar panel installation can seem daunting. Many are unsure how to start the process. Here are a few tips to help you get started when considering solar panels.
Consider your space
This is the most important aspect of having solar panels installed. If your roof is not large enough for the panels, consider ground panels or both.The amount of electricity you use on average will estimate how many panels you need. If you decide on roof panels, inspect your roof to make sure it is strong enough to support the weight of the solar panels.
Calculate your energy needs
The amount of panels you need depends on your average energy consumption. Check your electric bill for the average kWh (kilowatt per hour). Consider your electricity use per season as your location can determine your electricity use and the number of solar panels needed. There are many calculators available online to help determine how much you will save by installing solar.
Pick a system
Solar panel systems are available either on-grid, off-grid, and hybrid On-grid solar panel systems are connected to your local electricity provider’s grid and is the most popular option for residential homes. If your solar panel system is overproducing, you will receive credits on your electricity bill that can be cashed out. On-grid systems allow for electricity to be a backup power source.
Off-grid systems are not connected to an alternative power source and require a costly back-up battery. This type of system is appealing to many as it is 100% self-sustaining. Backup batteries are not environmentally friendly as they will have to be replaced.
A hybrid system combines both on and off grid and requires a battery pack. Hybrid systems help reduce peak energy consumption.
Many states have a solar tax credit and the federal tax credit for a solar installation. Before installing panels, make sure this is something you can take advantage of to get the most out of your system.