The decision to install a photovoltaic system (solar panels) on a person’s home isn’t one that should be made lightly. That’s because for all the energy savings these systems yield, there are a number of considerations as well. Since many homeowners don’t know very much about solar power they often will spend far more on things like the installation cost as well as the system itself. So in the interests of saving money and maximizing energy savings, those who are interested in installing a PV system will want to ensure they purchase the right system and install it correctly. Here’s how:
Before any PV system is installed, it’s vital for the homeowner to assess his or her residence in order to determine if it is indeed suitable for solar panels. Many PV providers will perform this assessment themselves, but homeowners can do a basic check. That means looking at the roof of the residence for any flat areas with no obstructions. These conditions are ideal for solar panels, and if the homeowner does have a flat area on a south-facing roof, it can mean lower installation costs.
That said, PV systems can be installed on a number of different types of roofs and in a number of different areas.
Solar panels are most effective when installed on a home with reduced energy costs. And it’s best to make a home as energy efficient as possible before installing a PV system. That means adding insulation and utilizing power-saving light bulbs such as CFL bulbs. The point of all this is that an energy-efficient home doesn’t require as many solar panels to function, and that can end up saving the homeowner thousands of dollars on installation costs.
The right size
It’s vital for those interested in a PV system to size their needs correctly. Otherwise it can result in added costs. The size of the PV system is directly related to the homeowner’s energy needs. For example, those who would like solar panels to cover 50% of their home’s energy needs can use past data collected from their utility provider – measured in kilowatts – to determine the size of the panels. The PV company can provide these calculations.
Many areas offer things like tax write-offs, solar credits and utilities rebates for installing a PV system on the home. Many utilities even offer something called “net metering,” which recycles excess power stored from the panels back into the main utility grid. This recycling is when homeowners with PV systems can see their greatest utility cost reductions.
Purchase or lease
There’s no getting around it, the cost of installing a PV system can be expensive, often prohibitively so. Purchasing solar panels will cost the homeowner thousands of dollars, often even 20,000 or 25,0000. But purchasing solar panels isn’t the only option. There are contractors out there who will lease PV systems to the homeowner while they retain ownership and take on maintenance responsibilities. Many times homeowners can lease a PV system for no money down.
These are just a few things average homeowners will want to keep in mind when considering a PV system. By adhering to the above tips, homeowners can ensure they don’t spend anymore than the bare minimum for a quality system.
Margaret Walters is a keen green writer actively promoting the use of solar panels in Australia.
When we consider the many advantages of Solar Energy compared to traditional energy sources, the flexibility of setting up a photovoltaic system wherever the sun shines seems to be the biggest benefit. Freed from dependency upon a power grid, the installation will make solar power available to consumers in any location.
The Need For Renewable Energy Sources
With awareness of renewable resources on the increase, both domestic and industrial users have begun to take a fresh look at solar power. Once the initial costs have been met, and the users provided with a system, they can also benefit from government grants for grid-connected solar systems. Setup costs have also fallen over the past few years.
Energy In The Industrial World
In industrialised countries the majority of energy comes from coal, gas and nuclear energy, while solar power still accounts for less than 1% of total production. The costs of gas and coal extraction and their eventual contribution to pollution are of increasing concern, whereas solar energy remains clean, free and unlimited.
Solar Energy Set Up
The technical requirements for setting up a photovoltaic system are firstly a survey to see if your property is suitable for conversion, with a roof orientated towards the sun and strong support for the weight of the panels. Domestic solar systems produce between 2 and 5 kilowatts of energy which will be supplemented by the home’s grid supply if this is not sufficient. On a sunny day the output can exceed the consumption of the home and this excess wattage will be channeled back into the grid. The expense of setting up the system will soon be absorbed by its productive lifespan (typically 25-30 years).
Why You Should Consider Installing Solar Energy?
Owners will receive a Micro Generation Certificate Scheme to permit you to apply for rebates from the government, essentially to pay you back for any extra energy your system feeds back into the system. The disadvantages of solar power include its high initial setup costs, the lack of reliable generation in less sunny climates such as the UK, and the fact that it won’t generate at night. Traditional energy sources may keep the lights burning until the wee small hours, but solar power is the only source that pays its users to consume it.
Increased innovation and development have led to reduced installation costs for the consumer, and this technology also extends to solar water heating (which is also subject to the same limitations on daylight exposure as solar panels). Interested users should approach a reputable solar energy supplier for a survey. The Department of Energy & Climate Change can provide information on the financial incentives for users of solar energy. With solar power now providing a realistic alternative to traditional sources for consumers all over the world there are now greater options for access to solar energy – backed up by governments worldwide.
Solar professionals Solar Contact provide advice on the benefits of turning to green energy, and its advantages and disadvantages compared with more traditional sources