There’s been an increased focus on renewable energy and finding clean energy sources. Solar energy has become one of the most tapped resources, with solar energy use seeing a 20% increase over the last 15 years. This is in part because of improved technology and a greater demand, which has made prices fall and exerted some pressure on finding more efficient ways to channel solar power. If you’re thinking about using solar energy for your home or business and are looking into contacting solar companies, we have the questions you should be asking, as well as why using solar energy can be such a smart choice on a few different levels. And we’ll give you an overview of what solar panel installation might look like.
Why Should I Think About Using Solar Energy?
There’s no question that energy costs are rising and in the typical home, heating and cooling costs are responsible for over half of utility bills every year. And yet, we get around 120,000 terawatts every day from the Sun transmitted down to the Earth for free! That’s 10,000 times more than what goes through our civilized world, no matter what time it is. Though you’ll pay to install solar panels, the return on investment is a significant one and can even improve your property value in the long run.
Furthermore, along with wind power, solar power has 100 times greater lifetime energy yield as compared to nuclear or fossil fuels per ton of materials that are mined. However much energy is needed to make the solar panels is made back thanks to clean electricity production in the span of one to two years, depending on their usage. Their serviceable life could be decades.
And of course, using solar energy is much more sustainable and environmentally friendly option than fossil fuels. And using solar energy helps take some of our dependence off of oil-rich countries.
What’s Involved in Solar Panel Installation?
A solar panel company will likely send a representative to your home or business to check out the location and advise on what you’ll need. After the installer visits, an engineer will also visit, to make sure your roof can support the solar panels and that your electrical panel is up to date and able to support the new system.
Once those visits are out of the way, you’ll need to secure permits and deal with the other paperwork that inevitably crops up. The installer will often handle a lot of this. After that, the equipment will be ordered and work can begin. You’ve likely already discussed with the installer what kind of system you want, but it doesn’t hurt to do a little research beforehand as well.
The actual installation can take anywhere from one to three days and then the switch can be “flipped,” enabling your power to flow from the panels to your home! You may need someone from the local electric company to also come by and do some final checks as well.
What Should I Ask Solar Panel Companies?
As with almost any construction company or company that deals with installations, you want to make sure that they have the appropriate licenses and insurance policies. You can feel free to ask for this information to verify and double check.
You should ask about their expertise and past history. See if they have reviews or testimonials on their website or if you can speak to prior customers. Do they work locally and do they have a relationship with your energy company?
Since solar panels are definitely an investment, you should ask what their warranty policy looks like and also what happens if something goes wrong? What if a panel breaks or stops working? What happens in case of severe weather? What happens if you need to repair your roof? Planning ahead is always in your best interest and knowing what would happen in a “worst case” scenario might seem silly now but you’ll be glad you asked if something does happen. Make sure to get everything in writing.