There are a lot of reasons to make your home greener and more energy-efficient. The most popular reasons for going green and switching your home from electric utility power to solar power are lowering or eliminating your electric bill and protecting the environment. But, for whatever your reasons are for wanting to switch your home to solar energy, there are some things you need to know before you make the transition. Here are a few tips to help make the switch to solar power smooth and easy.
Know Your Areas Solar Power Potential
The amount of solar resources or sunlight avaible across the U.S. is adequate enough for home solar systems, but solar power varies from one area to another. It’s vital for you to understand how much solar energy will be available at your address. If you live in an area where there is frequent cloud cover or tall trees surrounding your home, you may have to consider other natural sources of power other than sunlight, or you may need additional space for solar panels. Use a mapping service that offers tools to help you determine your home’s solar energy potential. If you don’t have the space for rooftop or ground solar panels, consider using a community or shared solar power system or consider only using partial solar power to provide electricity to your home.
Estimate Your Energy Needs
Switching your home to solar power is more than just plugging in a few solar panels and hoping they’ll provide enough power to run the electrical appliances in your home. If you have already determined that you have placement space for solar panels, you need to determine how much electricity you use annually. Review your electric bills and figure out your yearly kilowatt-hours. Review each monthly bill, and take the time to consider improving your home’s energy efficiency with energy-efficient light bulbs, appliances, windows, and doors at the same time. After you determine your electrical needs, you’ll have an idea of the type and size of solar panels you need to install.
Know the Cost and What you can Afford
The cost of solar panels has undoubtedly become more affordable over the past several decades, and there are financing and government incentive programs available that make switching to solar power even more affordable. Determine what you can afford and look into all incentive programs, solar leasing programs, and financing options available in your area. Take the time to crunch the numbers to determine which option will save you the most money regarding purchasing, installation, and energy savings. Check with the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency for tax cuts, incentives, and other programs for adding solar power to your home.
Work With Professinbal Installers and Utility Company
Suppose you’re going to be completely off the grid and rely solely on solar power. In that case, it’s best to have a professional in solar panel installation handle your home’s conversion to solar power. Find a reliable and reputable company that has experience in home solar power conversions. Make sure to get references that you can check, and make sure the company offers a warranty on equipment, installation, and workmanship. Working with an installer is crucial to your solar power system working correctly and efficiently. Your installer will also ensure that your solar power will integrate with other power sources such as utility, generator, and wind turbine systems.
Switching your home to solar energy is an excellent plan for saving money that can be passed from one generation to the next. The great thing about adding solar power to your home is that it can be done on a small or large scale. If going completely solar is not in your budget, you can start small with just a few solar panels and add additional panels as time passes. Other smaller additions, such as a solar hot water tank, can also help to reduce your household’s energy consumption.