Best Idea Install A Third
To stay on top of your PV system’s health and make the best use of your solar power to save money, we recommend investing a few hundred dollars in a third-party solar monitoring system.
Unlike the data that comes from your inverter, these can detect when the output is poor or nil, and alert you with an email or SMS within a couple of days.
Good quality third-party monitoring will know the correct performance to be expected from your panels and, using local weather data, will alert you if it drops below the minimum guaranteed in your 25 year warranty.
And when you call the installer to fix it, they’ll take your concerns seriously if they know you’ve got a third-party monitoring system guiding you.
Nigel Morris from Solar Analytics says, “Not having monitoring on your solar PV system is like driving a car without a dashboard.”
“It simply gives you a 0-100% figure for your system health,” adds Peacock. “A friend started getting emails from their Solar Analytics system telling them to look at their system urgently.
“She got the installer round and found a melted connector that could have been a fire risk!”
Monitoring also allows you to track your energy usage in the home and measure high-usage circuits and appliances to:
- reduce their use or upgrade them to more efficient models
- shift their use to daytime solar production periods.
ABOVE: Graph from a Solar Analytics monitoring system for a home showing daily output compared with expected daily output.
Batteries + Charge Controller
Now heres where we store ALL of our electricity captured by the solar panels, we are going to get for this setup 2x 232ah medium flooded batteries and wire them in parallel. From there, we are going to run a single positive and a single positive, and run them from the 2 batteries, into the charge controller.
Remember, this parallel wiring is exactly the same how we did it with the solar panels. What youll have now is solar panels constantly charging the batteries and a charge controller preventing damage to the batteries once they reach 100% state of charge. Next step!
Determine Your Energy Usage
Check out your most recent power bill to see your monthly electricity consumption. In most cases, the total amount of electricity used will be shown at the bottom of the bill in kilowatt-hours .
Your yearly energy usage will give you the best estimate for how many solar panels you need, as energy usage fluctuates in different seasons .
Because monthly energy usage varies so much, it can be beneficial to dig up your monthly electric bills for the past year, add the electric usage together, and divide by 12.
But using just one utility bill to find your energy consumption is still enough for a ballpark estimate.
You May Like: What I Need To Know About Solar Panels
Are Solar Panels Worth The Investment
Thanks to the lower-than-ever cost of solar panels and various solar incentives, solar panels are a cost-effective investment for the majority of homeowners that will provide an excellent return on investment.
Not only do they lower your energy bills, but you also get to power your home with clean renewable energy and reduce your dependence on your local utility company.
Even though spending up to $20,000 is daunting, federal incentives eliminate 26% of solar system costs after 1 year. There are also various ways to finance a solar system – from solar loans and leases to PPAs – so you can pick whichever option that works best for you.
Plus, solar panels provide significant utility bill savings in most areas. An average home solar panel system can save between $1,000 and $1,600 per year on electricity bills depending on the states net metering policy and the homes energy consumption.
Actual solar savings will depend on the system size, the cost of electricity, home energy usage, and what net metering policies are in place, but the average solar homeowner can expect their solar payback period to be between 8 and 11 years. After that, theyll be enjoying completely free solar electricity for at least 15 more years!
If youre still not convinced, you can use our solar panel calculator to find out how much solar costs and can save you for your specific home based on your average electric usage and prices in your area.
Solar Prices Are Predictable Electric Rates Are Not
The EIAs Annual Energy Outlook for 2018 predicted an average national increase in electric rates from 12.57¢ per kilowatt hour in 2018 to 14¢ per kilowatt hour in 2028. Heres an example of how this increase impacts some households.
In 2018, typical Arizona electric rates were a negative 3% below the national average. Yet in 2028, the states electric rates are projected to increase 9% above their 2018 cost for similar usage.
Sure, energy prices go up and down. But, over the long-term, they pretty much always go up. And, electric rate increases are typically beyond your control.
So, step off this stair master of endless rate increasesyoure not getting anywhere. Go with a home solar system. Take control of your household budget with predictable electric bills. And, rest assured youre doing your part for a sustainable community.
Solar panels protect your wallet from rate increases and lock in lower costs. Imagine clean, affordable, reliable energytoday and for years to come. Together, we you can make it happen.
Recommended Reading: How Does Solar City Lease Work
How Can I Ensure My Solar Panel Installation Goes Well
Make sure you don’t end up with panels overhanging the roof. Where panels are fitted just above the existing roof, it’s good practice to leave at least 30-40cm between the last panel and the roof edge to allow for access and to minimise the risk of strong wind blowing the panels off.
There is a file available for download. . This file is available for download at .
*Online survey of 1,116 Which? Connect members with solar panels on their home in June 2021.
How Many Solar Panels Will My Home Need
Calculating the number of solar panels needed to power your home can easily be done online using our solar panel calculator. The calculator will take into account:
- The size of your home
- Location of your home
- The amount of power you typically use every month
- The rate charged by your utility for electricity
All of these factors influence how much solar power you need to maximize your savings where you live.
The calculator will then provide an estimate for all the key solar information you need:
- The solar panel output needed to wipe out your electric bill
- The actual number of solar panels required to achieve that output
- The cost to install a solar panel system of that size
The next step is to talk to local installers. They can conduct a detailed assessment of your roof and provide an actual quote and timeline for the installation of a complete solar panel system for your home. The calculator makes this process easy by allowing you to choose how many solar installers you would like to receive quotes from.
Find out how many solar panels you need for your home
Don’t Miss: Does My Solar Power Work If The Power Goes Out
Looking To Reduce Your Dependence On Traditional Power Sources Heres How To Figure Out Whether Solar Is For You
If youve been thinking about adding a solar power system to your home, you arent alone. Some 3 million systems sit atop American roofs, including about 400,000 that were installed each year in 2019 and 2020, according to Becca Jones-Albertus, director of the Solar Energy Technologies Office at the U.S. Energy Department.
Learn Hub: Do It Yourself Solar
When you choose DIY solar, youre taking control of your solar project. While a DIY solar system involves some extra effort, you can act as your own project manager and save thousands when setting up your solar panels. You can build it yourself, hire local laborers to help, or do a mix of both.
Regardless of which approach you choose, our Do-It-Your-Way Solar Guide will help you learn everything you need to know about DIY solar panels, including planning, system design, set up, and more. And, you can when youre ready to get started.
Building your own solar system puts you in complete control of your solar project but requires a lot of planning and hard work. By opting to go DIY solar, you can actually cut your costs by more than $12,000 for the average home solar system. Not a bad investment.
You can go solar today for about one-third of what it would have cost ten years ago. In fact, the cost of a fully installed system went down from $7.14/watt in 2010 to $2.50/watt by 2020.
Also Check: Can You Heat Your House With Solar Panels
Roof Covering: Concrete Tiles Clay Slate Etc
What your roof is covered with makes a big difference and affects the overall cost and speed of the installation.
The easiest type of roof covering for solar is concrete tiles. These are very common.
Assuming an on-roof array, the roofers will push a tile up to expose the felt. They will then locate a rafter under the felt in a suitable position.
Next they will drill a metal roof hook or anchor into the rafter, using two screws. The tile will then be pulled back down to cover part of the metal hook.
Pay attention to this next point!
Very often with concrete tiles, when you pull the tile down, it does not lie flat any more. This is because the metal roof hook can push the tile up a little.
Best practice we would say essential practice is to grind the back of the tile to create a groove.
When this is done properly, the tiles will then lie nice and flat, eliminating any possibility of leaks in the future.
Lazy roofers dont bother grinding tiles, even when the tiles dont lie flat.
Make sure you tell the roofers installing your solar panels to grind the tiles if necessary.
Clay tiles are another type of roof covering. These are smaller tiles, made of clay. They are much more fragile than concrete tiles.
If you install according to the concrete tile method, over time, many of the clay tiles will crack, possibly leading to leads.
The answer is to use a HookStop, Eric Tile, or equivalent.
There are four main approaches:
Do You Trust Your Contractor
Installing a solar power system is both a home improvement and electrical project. This is why when you start your search for the right contractor, you validate that they have the correct credentials. For example, asking if they have accreditation from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners is a good place to start.
Choosing a contractor that you feel will also be around for the long term is also an important factor to consider. While there is little maintenance that is required, if something stops working, you want your contractor available to fix it under warranty.
Don’t Miss: How To Keep Pigeons From Under Solar Panels
Where Is The Best Place To Install My Solar Panels
Cant I Install My Solar Panels Anywhere I Want?
Whether youre trying to build a garden or planning where you want your tool shed positioned, location is extremely important.
In order for the garden to flourish, it must receive the appropriate amount of sunlight and be placed in good soil in the most optimal conditions for growth. As with a tool shed, the best place is usually where it can be easily accessible, doesnt stick out like a sore thumb, and maximizes space.
Position, placement, and orientation is equally important, if not more so when it comes to solar panels. If you were really insistent on placing your solar panels horizontally on the side of your house, you probably could, but would that make sense?
For a big investment that is supposed to return value to you, putting aside time to carefully analyze and determine the best placement is definitely a big deal that could use consultation with a professional.
More often than not, solar panels are seen placed at angles on rooftops and theres a really good reason for that.
So, instead of asking whether you can install solar panels anywhere you want, the better question you should ask is where and how your panels should be placed to achieve the benefits that you want. These benefits could include dollar savings, reducing CO2 footprint, and/or the satisfaction of producing your own power.
What Is The Cost Of A Solar Panel Installation For An Average 2000 Square Foot Home Today
The average cost of a residential solar panel installation in 2021 ranges between $18,000 and $20,000, before applying tax credits or other incentives that may be available where you live. This works out to between $2.75 and $3.35 per watt of solar installed, depending on your location and the brands of solar equipment used.
Once you take the federal solar tax credit into account, the overall cost drops to an average of between $13,320 and $14,800 – thats almost 80% lower than the cost of solar 10 years ago! Our solar panel cost and savings calculator will show you local incentives you may be eligible for to help lower the upfront costs.
You May Like: What Is The Best Solar Stock To Buy
Brighter Days With Sunrun
Theres plenty of sun to go around. Join the solar energy market. To get you on your way, Sunrun offers solar leases and power purchase agreements . These options both give you the energy cost control and environmental benefits of a home solar system. We also have cash options if you want to buy and maintain your own solar system.
Sunrun is the easiest, smartest way to join the solar energy revolution. All Sunrun service agreements include 25 years of support*guaranteed.
To make the right decision for your budget, its good to have a solar lease and PPA bills explained.
In general, a solar company does the installation. The solar company then leases the equipment installed on your roof to you at a fixed monthly amount. Or, they can sell electricity that the panels generate to you at a set price per kilowatt hour. Heres how they affect your bill:
If you like consistency, this is the one for you. With a solar lease, the bill from your solar provider is the same every month. This fixed figure is established by the amount of power your panels are designed to yield over their 25-year lifespan. That amount is then divided into consistent monthly payments for the term of your lease.
If youre more inclined to play the odds, consider a PPA. Under a Solar PPA, you pay the solar company a fixed rate per kilowatt hour generated by your home solar installation. This rate is generally less than that charged by the electric company.
Calculate How Many Solar Panels You Need For Your Home
The average American home needs between 19 and 23 solar panels based on the average electricity usage of 877 kilowatt-hours per month. Installing that many solar panels would cost between $13,000 and $16,200 after the federal solar tax credit.
However, chances are your energy usage doesnt line up exactly with the U.S. average, plus the number of solar panels you need depends on several other factors, like the location of your home and what kind of solar panels you choose.
So how exactly do you figure out how many solar panels you need? Weve got you covered.
Calculate how many solar panels you will need to power your specific home
You May Like: When Do Babies Eat Solid Food Only
Watch Out For Critters
Do you have squirrels in your neighborhood? They might decide that the space underneath your panels is a cozy place to build a nest. While theyre under there, they might chew on wires and cause an expensive repair. You can avoid this by installing critter guards if your array doesnt have this already. You can pay a handyman or roofer to do this. Just make sure they dont step on the solar panels!
What To Prepare Before The Solar Installation
Finding the right installer is important for a smooth and certified solar installation. The installer will need to carry out a brief survey prior to the solar installation which is primarily to assess whether your home is suitable for solar panels. This includes whether your roofs pitch, aspect and strength are fit for purpose.
A suitable house to install solar panels on will have a structurally sound, 10 60° pitched roof that faces east, south or west. Thats around 10 12 million UK homes that are ideal for solar panels!*
Remember to gather several quotes from different installers to find a competitive price, and to check your installers MCS accreditation. You can find out whether your installer is certified here: MCS installer search.
9 times out of 10, homeowners dont need planning permission to install solar panels theyre classified as Permitted Development . Your qualified installer will help to ensure that the solar installation meets with all the relevant PD criteria. Some of this criteria includes:
- You cant install solar panels higher than the highest point of the property .
- The solar installation mustnt protrude more than 200mm from the surface of the roof.
- If you want to install solar panels, the change in the buildings appearance must be kept to a minimum.
The article Do I need planning permission for solar panels? covers this matter in more detail.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Difference Between Sole Proprietorship And Corporation