Going Solar: What Does It Take To Get Started With Solar Power?

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Are you considering going solar or switching to solar energy to power your home?

Solar energy is a renewable and sustainable source of power that can reduce your electricity bills and minimize your carbon footprint. Making the switch to a solar powered home can seem like a daunting task, and you may have a lot of questions about the process.

Here we provide you with everything you need to know to get started with going solar for your home. Keep reading to learn more.

Benefits of Solar Energy

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of solar energy, let’s first discuss the benefits of using it to power your home.

  1. Saves Money: Once you have a solar system installed, you will enjoy significant savings on your electricity bills.
  2. Environmental Benefits: Solar energy is a renewable and clean source of energy. It produces no emissions and is better for the environment than fossil fuels.
  3. Increases Home Value: Installing solar panels on your home can increase your property’s value.
  4. Energy Independence: Solar energy provides homeowners with energy independence. This helps to reduce dependence on traditional power sources.

Understanding How Solar Energy Works

Solar energy works by converting the sun’s energy into usable electricity. The process involves the use of solar panels. These panels are made up of photovoltaic cells. The cells convert sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity.

The DC electricity is then converted into alternating current (AC) electricity. This electricity is then used to power your home.

Assessing Your Home’s Solar Potential

Before you install a solar system, you will need to determine your home’s solar potential. Factors that affect your home’s solar potential include:

  1. Roof Orientation and Pitch: Solar panels work best when installed on a roof that faces south. They also need a pitch that is between 15 and 40 degrees.
  2. Shading: Trees, buildings, and other obstructions can shade your solar panels. This reduces their efficiency.
  3. Climate: Solar panels work best in areas with high amounts of sunlight.
  4. Energy Usage: Your energy usage will determine the size of the solar system you will need to install.

A solar installer can assess your home’s solar potential. They can then help you determine the size and type of system that will best meet your needs.

Choosing a Solar System

There are several types of solar systems available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The two most common types of solar systems are grid-tied and off-grid systems:

  1. Grid-Tied Systems: Grid-tied systems are connected to the grid and allow homeowners to use both solar and traditional power sources. Excess solar energy can be sold back to the grid, providing additional cost savings.
  2. Off-Grid Systems: Off-grid systems are not connected to the electricity grid and rely solely on solar power. These systems require battery storage to store excess energy for use during times when there is no sunlight.

The type of solar system you choose will depend on your energy needs, budget, and location.

Finding a Solar Installer

Once you have determined your home’s solar potential and chosen a solar system, it’s time to find a solar installer. When choosing a solar installer, consider the following:

  1. Experience: Look for a solar installer with experience installing solar systems in your area.
  2. Reputation: Read reviews and ask for references from previous customers.
  3. Certifications: Ensure that the installer is licensed and certified to install solar systems.
  4. Warranty: Choose an installer that offers warranties on both the equipment and the installation.

Be sure to check out the professionals at Blue Raven Solar.

Financing Your Residential Solar System

If you’re considering installing a solar system for your home, one of the most important considerations is how to finance it. Here are some options to consider:

Cash Purchase

If you have the cash available, purchasing the solar system outright can be the most cost-effective option in the long run. While the upfront cost can be significant, you’ll avoid interest charges and own the system outright, which can provide significant savings over time.

Solar Loans

Many banks and credit unions offer solar loans specifically designed for financing solar installations. These loans typically have lower interest rates than traditional personal loans, and some are even interest-free for a certain period of time.

While you’ll have to pay interest on the loan, you’ll own the system outright once it’s paid off.

Solar Lease or Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)

With a solar lease or PPA, you don’t own the solar panels on your roof. Instead, you pay a monthly fee to a solar company for the energy generated by the panels. While you won’t have to pay anything upfront, you’ll typically pay more for energy over the life of the contract than you would with a cash purchase or loan.

These options can be a good fit for those who don’t want to own the panels outright or can’t afford the upfront cost.

Incentives and Rebates

There are numerous incentives and rebates available for installing solar systems, such as the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) and state or local incentives. These can significantly reduce the cost of installation and ownership of the system. It’s important to research available incentives and consult with a solar installer to ensure you take advantage of all available programs.

Before deciding on a financing option, it’s important to consider the initial cost, ongoing maintenance and operational costs, potential energy savings, and available incentives and financing options.

Working with a reputable and experienced solar installer can also ensure that your system is installed correctly and efficiently.

A Guide to the Basics of Going Solar

It’s no secret that energy bills are higher than ever. That’s why so many homeowners are going solar.

Please continue exploring our blog to find more great lifestyle-oriented tips and advice.

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