Solar powered homes are becoming more popular by the day. This is largely thanks to tax incentives on solar panels and equipment along with increasing worries about climate change. Installing solar panels to your home can significantly decrease your carbon footprint. However, the recent influx of financial plans and solar installers can make it difficult to figure out where to get started. Here are a few tips to bear in mind.
In simple terms, solar panels are photovoltaic cells (special batteries designed to harness sunlight). These cells transform sunlight into energy before sending the energy into an inverter, which converts it into electricity. Installing a solar panel involves more than just hanging cells on a rooftop. The panels need to be well placed for efficiency and you’ll also need to install additional wiring.
When hiring an installer, be sure to hire a professional who:
- Offers a strong warranty on both the solar inverter and the panels.
- Doesn’t outsource installation. This ensures more accountability if anything goes wrong.
- Is licensed and bonded
- Can provide at least two recent references
The price of solar panels has dropped significantly over the last five years or so, primarily due to tax credits and subsidies. Local tax incentives vary from one area to another, so it helps to do your due diligence and make sure you’re maximising on the financial help available to you.
Lease, Buy or Finance?
Getting a solar lease has become an increasingly popular way to bear the up-front costs. You can also expect leasing companies to pay for repairs and maintenance. Nonetheless, a permanent installation will not only come with tax benefits but also increase the value of your home.
If you have good credit, you can benefit from low interest rates and get a good deal on loan. The trick with going this route is to ensure your loan repayment is lower than your average electricity bill, so you’re sure you’re still saving money. However, you should note that going solar will usually raise your homeowner’s insurance premium.
Typical Length of Installation
MDB solar installation will usually take a few days. However, the entire process from the time you sign the contract to the installation may take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. One of the main reasons for a time lag is because you need a permit to install solar panels. Your installer will usually obtain necessary permits, but the type and costs of permits vary hence the lead time between signing the contract and installation.
Tall buildings, trees, chimneys and other obstacles can affect your panels exposure to the sun. Also, different panels react differently to shadow; some will reduce their output while others will shut down altogether. Panels generate power more efficiently the more they’re exposed to full sun.
The amount of solar radiation that reaches the ground also differs according to the season and region you live in. This is called insolation, and that’s why a solar-powered home in one area will be more efficient than another house in a different region despite similar panels and equipment.