Are you interested in residential solar power systems? They can be a great way to save money over time on energy bills. However, these systems are expensive, and unfortunately, many people make costly mistakes before and during the installation process. Knowing what to avoid can save you money and increase your overall satisfaction with your decision to go solar.

 

1. Forgetting about Overall Energy Efficiency

Prior to doing anything else, you should evaluate how energy efficient your home is as a whole. An energy audit is the best way to accomplish this, and if necessary, you can hire someone to assist you with one. An energy audit will point out ways that you can save money each month by using less power. For instance, you may need to add insulation to your home or make a few changes to your duct system so that it is more efficient. Once that is finished, you can move on to installing a residential solar power system. At that point, the system should take care of all of your energy needs on its own.

 

2. Trying to Install the System Yourself

While you may be quite handy, installing a solar power system is a complicated job. Most installers are trained fairly extensively, and they know where to put your system so that it will be able to generate the most power. They also know how to handle issues that might crop up along the way, like a leaky roof. Finally, a professional installer can guide you when it comes to the permits and paperwork that you will have to complete.

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3. Thinking You Can’t Afford It

While it’s true that solar panels can be quite expensive, there are other options that can put you on the path to sustainability and still help you save a bit of money at the same time. Perfect for those just starting on a “green” path, plug and play solar kits don’t cost as much as solar panels and will cut back on your power usage. They are small and easy to use. You simply put them outside, on a flat service, and make sure they are near an outlet. You want the systems to be pointed at the sun as well, so that they draw in the sun’s rays. That’s all there is to it.

When it comes to the solar panels themselves, remember that there are financing and leasing options available to you. Some systems cost tens of thousands of dollars, which puts them out of reach for the average family. However, if you choose to finance, you won’t have to pay as much money up front. In addition, leasing can save you on equipment and installation fees. You would only be responsible for the power that your system generates on a monthly basis.

If you are ready to embark on the journey toward a greener life, solar power can certainly help you achieve your goal. However, it is important to steer clear of the most common mistakes homeowners make in order to get the most out of your investment.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Leasing does not save you equipment and installation fees. Leasing is one of the most expensive ways to get a solar system on your roof. The solar leasing companies typically price their systems at least double what you can purchase a system for. And if you add up the 20 years worth of lease payments plus the 30% federal tax credit that you’ll be forfeiting to the leasing company plus the 2.9% annual payment escalator that many leasing companies tack on, then your cost to lease a system versus owning, easily climbs to triple the amount.

    Despite the fact that the leasing companies advertise that they’ll take care of all maintenance, repairs, monitoring and insurance, the leasing companies charge so much more for their systems that it is actually the homeowner that pays for these services not the leasing company.

    I disagree with your statement regarding self-installation. Nearly 40% of our customers, nationwide, have performed their own installations. Over the past 15 years that number have grown to well over 7,000 grid tie, off grid and mobile application customers who have purchased a system from us and performed their own installations without a hitch.

    Although we do recommend that the high voltage DC and final connection to the electrical grid be performed by a licensed electrician, installing the bulk of a modern grid tie solar system (the racks, solar modules, inverter, and conduit) is absolutely not rocket science and can easily be performed by most handy people.

  2. Another mistake is ignoring nesting by animals beneath the system once
    it’s installed. On rare occasions, in some locales, squirrels will chew the wiring,
    causing expensive repair bills. Repairing this sort of damage is very
    costly. If the neighborhood seems like a candidate for pigeon or
    squirrel nesting, wildlife exclusion—commonly known as squirrel guard— is recommended. We developed such a system to meet the needs of installers who had no technique for doing so. Such pest deterrent screen is becoming more and more common as the popularity if residential solar increases.

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