If you’re considering adding a solar electric system to your home or business, now is a great time to do it.
The cost of installing solar is going down.
Prices of the photovoltaic panels used in solar collection have fallen about 75% during the last few years. The industry is maturing, the systems are getting better, and now more than ever before, there is a greater supply of experienced installers to put in these systems.
And as electric rates keep going up, solar owners save more money on their electric bill every month too.
How Does Solar Work?
The process behind solar is really pretty simple. Solar collection panels are put in place, typically on a building’s roof. These panels convert sunlight into direct current (DC) power. This DC power is converted into alternating current (AC) power by means of an inverter. This power is added into the building’s electrical panel, where it is either used right away or the excess may be sent back to the property’s utility company, effectively causing the utility meter to spin backwards. Most utilities will actually give property owners credit for producing more energy than they are using by buying back this excess.
Can I Install a System Myself?
Probably not. While someone with electrical experience and who is comfortable working up on a home’s roof can literally put one of these system’s in place, there are other factors involved. For example, most home’s roofs don’t have the ideal exposure or slope for PV panels to work as well as they should. Experienced installers know how to place these panels so that they operate as efficiently as possible. The difference in effectiveness can be substantial.
Second, installing these systems requires a good deal of formal regulations paperwork, building permits and inspections by your local building department. Since these systems get tied into the existing local electric grid, utilities are, of course, very particular with how these systems are set up. Attempting to complete all of the forms and permits by yourself can be a frustrating experience that leads many do-it-yourselfers to give up their project half-way through. Professionals who do this type of work every day know exactly how to plan and complete these projects.
Is Solar a Good Choice for My Home?
Not every building is right for one of these systems. The best way to find out is to have an experienced engineer visit your property and take a look. They will be able to examine your site and your energy usage, design a detailed plan and present you with their recommendations. These companies will not charge you for this service.
If you’re interested in finding out how much you can lower your monthly electrical costs, there is no better time than now.