The option to go solar power to provide electricity for your home seems to be the most logical thing to do nowadays. Primarily, to conserve energy and reduce electricity bill. Secondly, to help save the environment and sustain natural resources by using renewable energy coming from the sun.
To start with, solar power is a good choice for you. But just like any other decisions you need to make, going solar needs to be carefully studied and referred to experts before finally making the move. It would be wise to do some research and learn the basics of solar power. And if you’re convinced, you can pick several contractors and ask for advice with regards to installing solar panels.
In this article, learn the things you need to know and discuss with a solar contractor about your house. Get help as you make the transition from utility energy to using solar power in your home.
Questions for Your Solar Contractor
Solar Power Savings
On the get-go, this would be your primary concern: How much savings can solar power do for you?
There is no regular rate or standard on this, as electricity usage is always a variable. But know that you will need a pretty decent amount of money to install solar panels as your initial investment. You can shop for quotations from local dealers to know and compare the cost of solar panels plus installation. So, buying and installing is the most challenging part you need to hurdle because it entails quite a money. But know that there are rebates and tax incentives you can take advantage of to lower the cost of solar panels.
Once installed, you are sure to gain savings off your electricity bill. But how much savings, really? You can also ask this from your contractor. Ask for client experiences. This should be able to give you good hindsight on electricity savings. While not exact to your own, you’ll be given enough evidence that solar power can really save you a lot of out-of-pocket costs.
For your online reference, visit Energy Sage for a regular report every six months about solar power costs and trends across the United States. This can provide you a good overview of solar panel and electricity costs.
Sure, this is a big concern when it comes to solar power. As the sun is the energy source and your roof is the best place to install the solar panels, you should be able to know if your roof position and area is in a good location, as well as the material used for your roof.
Roof Location and Angle
Solar contractors can assess this for you. But as your initial guide, Energy Sage founder and CEO Vikram Aggarwal say anything than the North is a good location for solar power. He emphasized that south-facing roofs are the most ideal location as it captures the most sunlight. West is the next best, then East.
Roof angle is another factor you need to look at as rich exposure from the sun is greatly required. Most solar panel systems will require 300 square feet but if your roofing is complex you might not be able to harness enough power. In such cases, contractors will look for other areas where they can install the solar panels, such as your yard space for a ground-mounted system.
Shading is another concern with your roof orientation. Your roof needs about 4 to 6 hours of continuous sunshine in order to convert uninterrupted electricity. You should check your house’s location, are there trees, adjacent homes, and other barriers that can block the sun rays from hitting your roof. This should be determined as well to make proper adjustments once the installation proceeds. Your contractor can very well determine this for you.
Your roof material is another crucial factor for solar panels. Roofs with composite or asphalt shingle, seam metal or concrete tile are good for solar power. So, if you’re thinking about building a new house that is solar power-ready, make sure to have it built with strong, durable materials such as those mentioned.
But most likely, your roof has been built already before the solar power option. You can still go solar; your current roof won’t deter you from doing that. A professional solar contractor can advise you on how to go about your roof situation. You can also check Google’s Project Sunroof to see whether your house is suitable for solar power.
Since we are already in the roof topic, would it be a wise choice to replace your roof before installation? This is a good question to ask your contractor so that they can assess your roof condition if it is still suitable for solar power installation.
First, know that your solar panel life can last for 25-40 years. Which means that your roof should be able to withstand that length of time. But in case of a roof change, you need to remove your solar panel altogether which might mean costs for you.
The general rule, solar panels should be installed on roofs that are in good condition. If this rule isn’t met, it is advisable to have it replaced. Consider re-roofing since you can get savings from rebates and incentives. Plus, highly efficient solar panels can give you great savings in the future until its life span.
There are other more concerns and inquiries you need to ask your contractor to help you decide to adopt a solar panel in your home. We’ve provided you the most basic ones already but you can list down more questions to ask your contractor or leave a comment and we’ll try to help you further.
Go Solar with SunPower by EcoSolar USA
Making the decision to go solar can be easier. Gain the understanding you need and boost your confidence with solar power by contacting SunPower by EcoSolar USA for a free consultation.