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Five things to consider before you go solar

Switching to solar or going solar is a process that can be a little bit tedious and complicated, especially if you don’t do enough research to know the nitty-gritty of what it entails to make it happen and start enjoying a good source of energy that comes from the sun. Also with the adoption of the 30% tariff on imported panels in year 1, the cost of going solar is affected raising doubts about whether is worthwhile to adopt solar panels.

However, it does not have to be too complicated with a little bit of guidance from good reliable sources of information that you might come across here or other sites we recommend here.

We have partnered with some of the best solar professionals in the country depending on where you live, that is, the East or West coast or anywhere in the US. Our partners are mentioned in the body of the article and at the end to help you gain access to specific information such as getting a personalized solar report and why people should consider using solar quote aggregators to go solar.

Although let’s capture the five points that you might want to consider in order to go solar. It is crucial to know the most important factors that you need to know before thinking about contacting solar providers as captured below:

1. Is your house or business in a good location that receives a good amount of sunshine?

A well-designed PV system requires unobstructed access to sunlight and the best location for the PV system is a south-facing roof as the sun is always in the southern half of the sky (but higher in the summer and lower in the winter). Also, your PV system will need to be free from shading by trees, nearby buildings or other obstructions. Your PV system may receive a good amount of sunshine at certain hours and other periods of the day could be obstructed thus affecting the amount of solar electricity generated by your PV system. Reducing these obstructions will help you to harness a good amount of solar and will help you qualify for good rebates from your state government if your state has such a requirement i.e. obtaining some of these rebates may you require you show that you have a good solar potential.

Our partners have good online tools (solar panel calculators) that help to shed some light on your solar potential or whether you receive a good amount of sunshine by just typing in your home or business address. Check out this solar panel calculators from EnergySage or Pick My Solar.

2. Do you have enough space on your rooftop or property to accommodate for the right size of the PV system?

The bigger your energy requirements the bigger the size of the PV system required and vice versa. Essentially, you will need enough space to accommodate the right size of your PV system. Smaller PV systems or start-up residential home systems may require 50 square feet while bigger residential systems may need about 1000 square feet of your property space and commercial systems will typically require even a bigger property space. A great place to start would be using some of the online tools at EnergySage or Pick My Solar to get to know how many solar panels you need to go solar and what space requirements could be needed for your specific property. A great way to reduce your space requirements is to adopt high-efficiency solar panels. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), greater efficiency means that the module needs less surface area to convert sunlight into a given amount of electric power.

3. What size do you want your solar PV system to be?

This will be determined by your electrical load and hence the bigger your electrical load; the bigger the PV system will be needed to meet your energy demand. Solar PV can meet all your energy needs and since solar is not available at night; your PV system can be stabilized using the grid (through net-metering) or use of battery banks like the Powerwall. Net-metering means that when you produce excess electricity during the day, it can be fed into the grid and when you need it at night you can get it by use of a bi-directional meter that is connected to the grid and to your PV system. Using net-metering or battery banks, the issue of not having the sun at night to power your system is therefore solved. To get to know the size of your PV system, check with EnergySage or Pick My Solar online marketplaces that will help to know the size of your PV system by just typing your address.

4. How much can you save with the PV system?

Before embarking into your solar project, you want to know: is solar worth it or not? and you want to perhaps do preliminary research to determine how much you can actually save with going solar. This will help you to determine if at all switching to solar is likely to be a worthwhile cause for your specific case. You want to make sure you are making the right decision before agreeing to move forward. You want to determine at what level of savings based on your current energy bill can you save to consider solar a great fit for your specific situation. Will you save 20% or 100% of your current energy bill? It depends on the size of the PV system. You can get to know instantly by typing your address at either EnergySage or Pick My Solar that will provide you with multiple solar quotes to help you achieve significant savings when you go solar.

5. How much will it cost to put up your solar PV system?

With the current policy changes in 2018 and the adoption of a 30% tariff on imported solar cells and modules in year 1; market experts have estimated that the impact of the tariff in year 1 will be between $0.10 to $0.12 per watt according to the EnergySage. For a typical homeowner, this represents only a 3% to 4% increase in the cost of a solar panel installation according to EnergySage. However, the tariff was designed to decline over a four-year period while the first 2.5 gigawatts of imported solar cells are excluded from the additional tariff in each of those four years. Therefore, despite this price change due to adoption of a 30% tariff for imported panels in year 1, EnergySage, for instance, even though regrets about the policy change, can help shoppers of solar to offset the extra cost associated with this tariff using solar quotes aggregation through their online platform. 

Furthermore, how you shop for solar is important because online solar marketplaces like the EnergySage and Pick My Solar can help you find the best solar quotes to help off-set additional costs. For instance, a 2017 study conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) titled “the value of transparency in distributed solar PV markets” found that a quote aggregator like the Energy Sage helps to improve market transparency and this results in lower installation offer prices. In particular, this study used data from Energy Sage to conclude that:

That’s why has partnered with quote aggregators such as EnergySage to help online users find relevant tools such as solar panel calculator, solar guides and other information to help reduce money and time in your decision to go solar. Please feel free to contact EnergySage depending on where you are located to get help with the process of obtaining multiple solar quotes that will ultimately help you to lower the cost of your going solar.

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