Wednesday, September 14, 2022

What To Ask When Buying Solar Panels

What Are My Solar Financing Options

ASK THESE QUESTIONS BEFORE GOING SOLAR

There are three solar financing options: you can purchase your system in cash, take out a solar loan to buy your system, or sign a solar lease/power purchase agreement . EnergySages Instant Estimate Tool can help you assess the costs and 20-year savings of each solar financing option its calculations are based on your roof plus real quote data from your area.

What Happens If The Panels Are Destroyed Or Stolen

A warranty for the parts of a solar panel may not cover the cost of replacement if the panels are destroyed or stolen. Its good to ask about this, to know if the manufacturer or installer offers a replacement option, or an insurance plan that would specifically cover the destruction or theft of these panels.

As with damage to your propertys roof, you may want to ask your homeowners or property insurance carrier if their policy would also cover destruction or theft of the panels, or if they offer an additional rider for these costs. You can compare their prices with any additional insurance offered by a solar panel manufacturer or installer, and note which would be the best option for you.

Will A Solar System Raise Home Value

In most situations, home value will increase. Energy efficient features are a top priority for home buyers, and this particular feature will save them money year after year. To learn about other efficient features, check out the resources in our home energy efficiency guide.

A study conducted by the Lawrence Berkley National Lab found that an average-sized system can raise home value $15,000. In sunny regions like California, it will lift home value by a greater margin. In cloudier, rainy regions like Washington state, it will lift by a much smaller margin.

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What Is Involved In Connecting To The Grid

The solar panel installer should have a licensed electrical contractor familiar with the local utility interconnection requirements to connect your system to the local electric grid. The cost can vary depending upon the utilitys metering requirements. If your array is on the ground and a distance away, you may have the additional expense of burying a utility line.

While the electrician will confirm the installation requirements with the local utility and ensure compliance, you will be entering into a separate contract with the local utility concerning the power you are feeding into the grid. Accordingly, you should contact them directly to discuss the interconnection contract terms.

If you need help in this transaction, you can call your state energy office or the local Public Utility Commission office .

What Panels Are They Quoting

Questions To Ask When Buying A House With Solar Panels

When it comes to solar panels, you have many options to choose from for color, warranties, and production efficiency, all of which will affect the overall pricing of your system. Depending on what qualified solar company you choose to work with, homeowners typically have the choice between dark blue panels with a visible grid, black panels with a visible grid, and solid black panels with no visible grid. Some people have a strong preference, and others don’t, so it comes down to your personal aesthetics you desire.

The bigger factor to take into consideration for the panels on your quote is the panel efficiency and warranty. More efficient panels produce more electricity from the same amount of surface area, but they also cost a bit more. So, if you have shading or limited roof space, a more efficient panel is probably better. Most panels have warranty periods that are available up to 25 years, depending on make and model. Be sure to also check on this as a good warranty can help you maximize the savings potential from your solar energy system for years to come.

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Questions To Ask An Installer

  • What year was the company established? Where are the offices?
  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • Who designs the system and forecasts estimated annual output?
  • Are the installers your employees? Do you use subcontractors for any part of the installation?
  • Do you have your own electricians on-staff in-house?
  • What financing options do you offer and how do they differ?
  • How much can I save using solar?
  • Who does the paperwork for utility interconnection and permits? Are associated fees included in the price of the system or extra?
  • Will someone from your team be present when inspectors come to inspect?
  • Have you worked with my building department before?
  • Can my homeowners association stop me from putting solar on my house?
  • What happens if I sell my home?
  • Do you offer a system performance guarantee?
  • Does your system include panel-level monitoring? Does it cost anything extra? How do I access it?
  • Will the system meet local building and fire codes?
  • Do you confirm that my roof is structurally OK to hold panels?
  • Do you recommend using a central inverter, micro-inverters or optimizers? Why?
  • Should my panels be interconnected to the grid? Can I get power during a blackout?
  • Will you give me a firm quote or an estimate prior to signing a contract?
  • How are contract changes addressed? Do I have the right to cancel?
  • How long will be between the time I sign the contract until installation?
  • How long will the installation take?
  • Will there be a master electrician on site?
  • Who Can Use Solar Panels

    Finally, many people want to know who can benefit most from solar panels. The good news is that any residence, business, school, university, government, nonprofit, or utility program can use solar panels. Any building or property wanting to save money or reduce their carbon footprint has the capacity for solar panel installation. Large-scale power plants and community power systems can use solar panels, tootheyre not limited to small-scale applications. Rather, solar panels offer turnkey power solutions for any roof or land space.

    With that in mind, contact us at Solar Liberty for the best solar panel installation in New York. Were the largest solar installer in New York State with the best professional and experienced staff. Using only high-quality equipment and components, our solar panel installation guarantees energy- and cost-saving solutions for any residence, business, school, university, or power plant. Our thousands of satisfied customers prove we care about your solar power solutions, whatever they may be.

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    Solar Tip #3 Choose The Right Provider And Get A Free Quote

    Doing your research takes some time and effort, but getting a quote is easy and free. Solar Sams process is as simple as 1-2-3:

  • Request a free quote and provide the information needed. Well provide a quote and sample system design for your review.
  • When youre ready to move forward, an expert will come to your site for a site walk.
  • From there, a pricing contract with your exact system details will be created to get you sailing toward savings.
  • No matter which solar provider you choose, ask for references and verify that they have a history of success. Check the Better Business Bureau and/or Solarreviews.com for ratings.

    Going with a local provider ensures that you are supporting local economy and getting help from someone who knows your area well. Getting a quote is a risk-free way of making sure going solar is right for you.

    Be An Informed Solar Consumer

    Before you start buying Solar, ask yourself 2 questions.

    This list of 10 questions is designed as a guideline to help you in the process of picking out a solar installation company. It is by no means a be all end all resource. The most important thing for you is to be an informed consumer. Always get at least three estimates from reputable contractors and dont be badgered by hard sales tactics. Home Solar power is an affordable, renewable and clean energy source that can save you literally thousands of dollars per year.

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    Is Net Metering Available

    Depending on home location and utility company, some solar owners are eligible for net metering, which allows you to sell excess electricity produced by your solar panels back to the grid. This is another factor that should be discussed with the seller, as it will help you to figure out how much you have the potential to save on your monthly energy bill.

    Sarah Hancockeducates consumers about the workings of the solar industry to help people make decisions that benefit both their own interests and the environment. Connect with her on the Best Company Solar Blogand on.

    All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.

    Solar Panel Buying Guide: Everything You Need To Know

    Start here if you’re considering solar panels for your home.

    The question of whether to get home solar panels is no small decision. There’s the issue of whether the energy savings will offset the costs. You may wonder whether you need a new roof first or how long solar panels last. There are many factors to consider before buying home solar panels. Below we’ll go into the basics of solar panels and answer all of your pressing questions so that you can make the right choice for your home, budget and energy goals.

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    How Do You Know How Well Your System Is Performing

    Most solar monitoring systems gauge, display and record the energy being produced by your system in real time. But how do you know if it is operating optimally?

    The most sophisticated monitoring systems measure your production against a database of forecasted production for your area. The database was compiled in partnership with the Department of Energy .

    A typical monitoring display screen will show how much energy your system is producing and how much you are using at the moment, and can show the daily summary as well as historical production and consumption data. It will also show the state of charge of your battery.

    Many monitoring systems record and store this information so that the user can go also go online and access data in real time or past data.

    Say, for example, you are not home, but want to check your systems performance in December, you can find that, compare it with the forecasted output and determine if you have a problem. Or if you are concerned that perhaps you have a crack in a panel or your inverter is not working properly, you can compare your output against projected output in real time.

    What Are My Current Energy Costs

    Questions To Ask When Buying A House With Solar Panels

    Generally, solar energy appeals to people that are looking for ways to cut their energy costs. Is the cost of your electricity way down? If your electricity costs are down, there might not be a need to cross over to solar energy. But if the cost of electricity is high, thats a good motivation to switch.

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    How Does Solar Impact My Property Values

    Studies have shown that homes with solar energy systems sell for more than homes without them. However, your property value will only increase if you own, rather than lease, your solar panel system. In most parts of the country, going solar will actually increase your property value more than a kitchen renovation.

    How Much Does Solar Cost Really

    There are a few things to take into account. The size of your home and how much energy you use will determine the scope of the project. Theres also a marketplace of solar panels for you to choose from. With all that in mind, according to the Center for Sustainable Energy, the average cost of a residential system will vary from $15,000 to $25,000.

    Remember, there are a plethora of savings opportunities! There is a federal tax credit of 26 percent for 2020 to 2022. Different states also offer rebates and tax credits of their own, and even some cities do. Check out the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency, or DSIRE, for the different opportunities available to you.

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    If Youre A Homebuyer Planning To Buy A Home That Already Has Solar Panels Installed Heres A Quick Guide To Things You Need To Know

    If youâre thinking of buying a house that already has solar panels installed, there are some questions youâll need to run through with the buyer before you sign the contract.

    But first, if youâve never thought about home solar until you came across them in your real estate search, you probably have some questions. Home solar has become wildly popular, with now more than 2 millions solar installations across the United States. Our buyers guide will give you an in-depth introduction to home solar, such as explaining net metering and whether you need to clean your solar panels.

    Home solar can be great for your pocketbook and it helps the environment, but if you want to buy a house that already has solar panels installed, there are some questions you should ask the seller before you sign the contract.

    When Do You Use The Most Electricity

    5 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Solar Panels

    Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity, and feed that electricity directly into your home. You will get the most value from your solar panels if you use a lot of energy during daylight hours things like washing and drying clothes for example. Making a few changes to your daily routine will really help maximise your savings.

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    Questions About The Future

    Know what to do in the unlikely event that one or more panels suffers damage.

    Now that youve squared away info about how and when the system will be installed and how much it will cost, its time to think about what happens during all the years youll be harvesting energy from the sun.

    Solar panel systems are meant to last for at least 25 years, but things can go wrong, and it pays to be prepared for if that happens.

    Here are the questions you should ask about the future:

    • How will I be able to monitor the solar energy my system generates?
    • What happens if the solar panels dont produce as much energy as you claim?
    • How long will my contract with the utility company last?
    • What happens if I need my solar panels removed to have work done on my roof?
    • What if a solar panel fails due to a manufacturing defect or breaks because of a storm or other natural disaster?
    • What if I want to add additional panels to my installation? What about a battery?
    • What happens if I move while still paying off the panels?

    How Does It Save Me Money

    Community solar saves you money by allowing you to invest in solar panels that produce electricity for your home or business, even when you cant install them on your roof. When you participate in a community solar project, you are paying for access to less expensive solar electricity so that you dont have to buy electricity at standard utility rates.

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    Do The Solar Panels Have A Warranty

    Quality solar panels are generally durable. You can rely on them for upwards of 25 years. But you should prioritize solar panels that come with good warranties to protect yourself from various misfortunes. Top-performing solar companies usually offer excellent warranties as they are 100% confident in their product.

    The Benefits Of Solar Panels

    Pros And Cons Of Buying A House With Solar Panels Installed

    Why would you want home solar panels? Solar panels for your home come with many benefits:

    • Savings on energy: The most direct benefit is that you can gain the opportunity to power your own home outside of the electrical grid. That will save you money, and if you generate extra power, you might even be able to get credit on your bill from the electric utility.
    • Solar is an abundant power source: According to the US Department of Energy, just one hour of noontime summer sun meets the annual US electricity demand. Even if you’re in an area with a lot of rain or shade coverage, you can still save on your electricity bill.
    • Help with your home value: If you plan to sell your home down the line, having home solar panels can be a major perk to buyers and can help increase your home’s value.
    • Going green: Since solar is a renewable resource, you can minimize your carbon footprint.
    • Independence from electrical grid failures: Some areas have electrical grids that are less than reliable. If you experience frequent power outages in your area, your own solar power can keep the lights on.
    • Power your camping: Some small solar panel arrays fit right onto RVs or you can take them camping so you have electricity, no matter how remote the location.

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    Local Permitting Requirements And Inspections

    Getting all the proper permits and inspections can be challenging on your own, so its best to choose a solar provider who completes this part of the process for you. Your provider should have the local relationships in place to make this easy.

    At Solar Sam, you get one-stop service. Decide to go solar with us, and well take care of the rest!

    How Often Will You Need To Clean The Panels

    Cleaning the system sounds a bit gross, and often its not something that people think about when they invest in solar panels. Dont stress thoughits as simple as using soap and water. Cleaning off debris, leaves and dirt will also keep your panels efficient.

    The less debris thats on your panels, the better theyll be at collecting the suns energy. Neglecting them can make them less efficient because the panels rely on solar cells absorbing energy. A good wash and debris removal will keep your panels in tip-top condition.

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