The US is now home to better than 2 million solar panel systems. For years now, state governments and the federal government did their part in encouraging solar power with tax incentives or rebates. Increasing the amount of renewable energy available in the country limits our dependence on the finite fossil fuel reserves in the world.
Of course, most homeowners don’t aspire to such lofty goals as cutting a nation’s fossil fuel dependence. In fact, you’re probably a lot more curious about how you go solar than what it means for the nation at large. If you’re wondering what going solar means for you, keep reading for our quick guide on the process.
Understand the Pros and Cons
Before you join the go solar power contingent, you should get understand the benefits and pitfalls. Some key benefits include lower energy bills, better home value, and a smaller carbon footprint.
Solar isn’t without its drawbacks, though. It has a high cost of entry, a long time window on a return on investment, and your must depend on sunlight. Get a particularly rainy season and your solar system produces a lot less electricity.
You can read more about the pros and cons at blueravensolar.com/blog/why-go-solar-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-solar/.
Understand the Costs
The cost of going solar isn’t just a matter of the panels or the equipment to hook it up to the grid. It can also mean getting a new roof.
A solar panel system can last up to and beyond 25 years. Before putting that on your house, you want a roof that can last close to that long. It can also mean getting your roof reinforced to support the weight of the solar panels.
Before you get your system, you’ll meet with a rep from a local solar installer and likely a structural engineer. They’ll look over your home and talk with you about the size of the system you want. A good rule of thumb is that the more electricity you want, the bigger the system.
They’ll also make recommendations about your roof, reinforcements, and go into detail about costs and financing.
Paperwork and Installation
Many solar installers can help you arrange the financing. Once your financing is in place, you’ll sign a contract with the installation company. If you need reinforcement for the roof, contractors will come out and handle that part.
The simplest part is generally the installation. Most companies can do that in one to three days, weather permitting.
Going Solar and You
Slogans like “go green solar” sound good, but they don’t tell you much about what’s actually involved. A local solar installer can field most questions for you, but it’s on you to dig into the pros and cons of solar. You must decide if the benefits justify the cost.
If you do decide that going solar is right for you, it becomes very similar to hiring any service provider. You get the financing in place, sign the contract, and get the system installed.
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