5 Essential Solar Power System Shopping Tips for Homeowners

If the bill from your electric company in Florida or California is relatively low, you might not see the cost benefits inherent to upgrading to a solar power system. Of course, every environmentally conscious homeowner can understand the benefits to our planet.

Whether you want to save money, the planet, or both with your purchase, however, the truth is that you want to get the most out of any green energy solutions you choose. This requires you to put on your consumer hat and shop around. Here are a few tips for homeowners shopping for a solar power system.

1. Understand Incentives

The federal incentives for installing solar panels have gone the way of the dodo, but you may still have options for rebates, cash back, or tax deductions at the state level, depending on where you live. Solar energy providers should be able to offer you this information before you make a purchase.

2. Ask for Referrals

There are bound to be several options when it comes to purchasing a solar energy system for your home. With the government putting a time limit on the demand for increases in green energy production, plenty of businesses began to provide options for homeowners. Simply call your power provider to get referrals to area solar companies.

3. Consider Financing

You no longer have to shell out the $25,000-$50,000 it costs to outfit the average home with sufficient solar panels to power it. You could pay up front if you want to, but many homeowners prefer the flexibility of a payment plan.

Companies that offer financing install solar panels at no initial cost and you pay off the tab over, say, 20 years in place of the energy bill you no longer have. After that, you have access to free energy, and if you move in the interim, the remaining bill is transferable (or you can simply roll it into the price tag for your home sale).

4. Know the Rules

Before you slap solar panels on your roof, it’s important to make sure you have permission. Your solar provider should be aware of any potential issues with building codes in your area, but the onus is on you to understand HOA rules, for example, that might result in fines if you fail to gain proper permission prior to installation.

5. Ask About Placement

In the wind energy business, placement of turbines is extremely important for optimal collection of wind. The same is true of placement for your solar panels.

Living in the northern hemisphere means you need to place panels on a south-facing slope in order to maximize collection. This could affect your solar panel purchase. If you don’t have a south-facing roof, you’ll need to consider placement on a hill or build a sloped platform in your yard to accommodate.

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