Solar Power Checklist
I want to switch to home solar power, what now?
10 Point Solar Power Checklist
Congratulations, you have decided that solar power is an option for you. You will be joining over 645,000 homes and businesses that have converted to solar power in the United States since 2014, so what’s next? Below are some basic considerations when you are looking into a home solar power conversion.
1. Contact A Qualified Solar Advisor
Our solar experts are qualified to fully evaluate your home to maximize your return on investment by switching to solar. We will guide you through every step of the process of switching to clean affordable solar energy.
2. Evaluate Your Current Energy Bill
Your current energy bill is a huge wealth of information that will help you and your solar contractor when designing your home solar power system. Your utility bill will tell you how much energy you use month to month as well as give you an accurate picture of your yearly average electricity usage. Keep in mind future needs, like adding a pool or home addition that may increase your energy needs as well.
3. Roof Orientation
Is your roof right for solar power? In the northern hemisphere the Sun’s energy comes from the south. For solar panels to operate with 100% efficiency they must be pointed to the south, requiring a roof-top with an unshaded southern exposure. If your roof does not have a southern exposure you can still install solar power system as long as it is scaled to make up for the lack of direct sunlight.
4. Climate Considerations
aWhile solar power works in any climate a properly sized system for your particular climate is a must. Solar energy is best thought of on a yearly average basis rather than a day to day basis. In the Southwestern United States for example, the typical home could use a smaller panel layout than a home in the cooler, cloudier Northeastern United States.
5. Structural Roof Inspection
Roof-top solar panels are really very light, but, it is always a good idea to inspect your roofing structure to make sure there is no existing damage that might compromise your solar panel installation. Water damage or insect intrusion may weaken your roof structure and should be fixed before installing a solar power system.
6. Roofing Material
Roof top solar panels are usually guaranteed for 20 – 25 years, it is worth considering the condition of your existing roofing material when installing a roof top solar array. Most solar panel installations will easily accommodate roofing material repairs or replacement but if your roof is already 15+ years old you might consider re-roofing before a solar installation
7. Out Of Pocket Costs
How much is your new system going to cost you upfront? There are many areas in the United States where it is actually possible to get a home solar power system installed on your home for absolutely zero out of pocket costs as well as lowered monthly utility bills guaranteed for as long as 25 years. Take advantage of all rebates and incentives available in your area.
8. Tax Credits and Rebates
Federal and State tax credits and rebates as well as local and utility energy rebates vary widely. These rebates are often combined to allow for zero out of pocket costs and long term monthly savings.
9. Solar Lease, Purchase or PPA
It is important for you to understand the different types of solar agreements available in your area and what will work best to fit your needs. Bottom line is saving money, there are many innovative ways to save by switching to solar power. In some areas the best choice is a solar lease where other areas an outright purchase financed by a PPA would make more sense. Investigate what program in your locality will provide you with the best return on investment.
10. Choose Your Solar Contractor Wisely
Get at least three written estimates that include any opt-out information in case a system doesn’t perform as promised. Make sure your contractor is licensed for your area and is able to take care of all permitting and grid tie-in. Check references carefully, make sure your contractor has completed projects satisfactorily.
Home Solar Power Installation Checklist Wrap-up
The steps outlined above are general considerations to make once you decide to switch to home solar power. We have specially trained solar experts that will analyze your home using state of the art satellite imaging as well as sophisticated energy usage analysis against the cost of energy in your area, as well as projected increases over the life of a your solar power installation. We will use this information to pre-qualify your home. We are able to take care of everything on this checklist with the exception of actual physical inspect of your roof absolutely free of charge or obligation.