By Scott Laskey
Making a More Informed Choice About How You Consume Power
Could you benefit from considering alternative energy? Like any property modification, installing solar power for home use can be a big decision. The wisdom of upgrading your residence ultimately depends on which options you choose. Consider the following questions as you ask yourself if you should get solar panels for your home.
Solar panels require direct sunlight. The shade from trees or structures near your home could mean that you generate less power at certain times during the day.
Even if your home’s roof has less-than-perfect positioning, it may still be amenable to solar panels. Modern installations function well on a wider variety of roofs than once thought possible.
Each home is different, and so are solar panel products. In other words, it’s not a question of whether you should install a system but rather which one will suit you best.
What ultimately determines whether your solar plans are viable? Two cost factors to think about include:
A 2014 government report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory showed that solar system prices usually fall over time. Technological improvements may also result in improved power generation and more optimal return rates.
The study’s authors maintain that even though price tendencies fluctuate from time to time, they’re significantly lower than they’ve been in the past. Tax incentives, power company trends and market conditions can all potentially have positive impacts on what you pay and how much you save.
One important change from the early days of residential solar is that consumers don’t necessarily have to buy panels outright. Property owners can use Power Purchase Agreements, or PPAs, and a variety of other financing options to fund their installations. Of course, if you’re unable to make a large down payment but still prefer the long-term financial benefits of buying panels, you can also obtain a loan.
California maintains various rules governing the installation of residential solar systems. You’re free to choose a particular spot or section, but that area of the roof needs to live up to certain standards.
California building codes have a lot to say about roof-mounted structures like photovoltaic modules. In addition to verifying the electrical characteristics of the system that you’re installing, inspectors must ascertain whether your building and the module are structurally compatible.
Some homeowners delve into state building codes to determine whether they’re solar-eligible. Others just consult with an expert. An experienced solar provider can help you resolve a lot of misconceptions about the requirements so that you can make a better choice.
When considering solar power for home electricity generation, compare your property’s potential longevity with your solar system’s typical lifetime. Many setups can last for upwards of 30 years, so it pays to schedule your project carefully.
For instance, if your roof is due for an upgrade in the next couple of months, then you’ll probably benefit from holding off on your solar installation. Still, getting started with an inspection or consultation could provide you with more clarity.
A significant number of California homeowners stand to benefit from installing solar panels on their residences. As long as they take the time to research their projects, they can maximize the amount of money they save. It’s also important that you work with a reputable Santa Cruz solar company to:
Sandbar Solar & Electric has helped Californians leverage solar power for their homes for more than 13 years. During this time, we’ve worked hard to keep regular consumers well advised on their options. Our dedication to ethical business practices and supporting those we serve reflects the fact that we’re proud to be a part of this community.
We work hard to install superior solar panels on homes from Monterey Bay all the way to San Jose, and the greater San Francisco Bay Area. We’d love to show you our skills, so take a look at some of our projects online.
Scott is the founder of Sandbar Solar. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from UC San Diego, Scott has an NABCEP certification, and has lectured on and taught many high-tech construction practices and solar PV technical concepts to education institutions, including Stanford University and state-recognized electrician apprenticeship programs. Scott enjoys sharing his knowledge of the evolving renewable energy space and making a difference in his community.
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