One way of creating additional wealth is to save money on your electric bill. You can do this by installing solar panels on your home. Naturally, solar energy is a form of energy that is captured from the sun’s rays and converted into electricity.
The sunlight hitting the solar panels on your roof can be converted into the electricity to power your house. This is an affordable way to get electricity, which will help cut down on your power bill. It is also good for the environment, as it conveniently fits into the sustainable energy category.
Getting Smart On Solar
There are many things that you should know before you arrange to have solar energy panels installed on your home.
One thing to determine is how much energy you consume in your home – and how that many vary during the different seasons. You can simply look at your electrical bill to see your electrical usage, as measured in kilowatthours (kWh). Take note of the values for each month during the course of a full year.
You will want to make sure that you buy, not only the proper size of panels to fit your roof areas, but also the panels that will provide sufficient electrical output for your electrical consumption needs. The smaller the panel, the less electricity that it will generate.
The next thing to do is figure out how much sunlight your home gets each day. A solar panel is nothing more than a collection of solar cells. These cells work together and need sunlight of course in order to convert it into electrical energy that can be used to run your home.
Latitude, Local Climate, & Time Of Day
Naturally, if you happen to live in a climate where there’s snow on your roof for part of the year -or- it rains a lot -or- your home is physically in a higher latitude, the solar output during these times can be very little to nil.
Obviously, there will be no electrical energy generated at nighttime – and very little if any during the twilight parts of the day. Check here to see the best angle for you solar panels in your area.
Take note of the sun’s path over your home during the course of a day. What parts of the roof are getting the most direct rays of the sun during the day? Typically, the northern facing roof sections are not good locations for solar panels because of the extreme low angle that the rays of the sun strike the roof there.
Another thing to take into consideration are the trees around your home. It doesn’t make sense to install solar panels on a roof section that will be shaded by a tree during part or most of the day.
Adding It All Up
Now, it’s time to determine if there’s enough roof area to be able to receive the number of solar panels you will need to be able to provide for your electrical consumption needs. You will want to get solar panels that are properly sized – in terms of dimensions and output. This process is not as simple as just finding a deal on solar panels online, having them shipped to you, and you screwing them to the roof.
Get some graph paper and draw your roof sections. Use the same scale to draw the size of the solar panels onto your roof drawing. Does it appear you have enough roof area to support your needs? Check here for a more detailed drawing.
Getting Solar Installed
Unless you have the proper experience with installing solar panels to power a home – and you know all of the local building codes for installing solar panels in your area – and know the proper equipment needed to connect your new equipment to your area’s electrical power service, you will want to have a qualified contractor to install the panels for you. It’s recommended that you check customer reviews (e.g., Google, Yelp, HomeAdvisor, etc.) before hiring the the best contractor for the job. It’s recommended that you only work with a licensed solar panel installation professional.
The cost of having solar is actually a combination of costs. One cost is the cost of the all of the energy panels and electrical line connectivity equipment that you will need for you home. Naturally, there is an installation cost. If you would like to make use of the energy your solar panels gathered during the day, there will be a cost for batteries – like a Tesla Powerwall. The combined costs can easily be $20,000 on up – which can be financed, if you choose.
So, how is that driving your energy costs down? Obviously, you are either paying the $20,000 up-front or paying $20,000 + interest over time. That may sound like a lot.
Lower Cost – Part I
But, if you take into consideration that your monthly expenditure moving forward for electrical energy will decrease markedly*, you will get to keep the money you would have otherwise spent on electricity pre-solar. Naturally, that savings can be used to make any financed payments you’ve arranged for.
* With many solar power systems and local electrical utility requirements, you don’t actually use the energy from your roof panels to directly power your home. Even though some solar manufactures make equipment that directly powers your home, generally the main stream solar manufacturers make equipment that feed the solar electricity back into the local community’s electrical utility system. In the case of the latter, you get credit for the amount of energy you are putting into the local electrical system. So, your home continues to be powered by the local electrical utility system, as usual. But, the actual amount of electricity your home consumes is offset by the amount of electricity that your home’s solar panels have fed into the local electrical system.
Lower Cost – Part II
As long as you’re planning on staying in your home, there’s a “break-even” point in the future where with the money you’ve saved (by having solar) you’ve paid off either the up-front lump sum you paid or the financed amount. From then on, all the money you save a month is yours to keep or spend in some other way.
It’s realistic that you can end up saving tens of thousands of dollars in electrical consumption over the years by going solar.
Wrapping It All Up
Going with solar can be a wise decision. You can add to your wealth – and be gentler on the environment in the process. Just do yourself a favor and get a good feel for home solar power first so that when you’re talking with solar contractors & your local electrical utility so that you’ll be able to make more informed decisions on what can be a significant investment in your home.
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