How to Plan Your Home Solar Electric System - HomePro Solutions Solar Company

How to Plan Your Home Solar Electric System

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I couldn’t believe how fast my system got installed and turned on by PG&E.  I’m saving over $200 a month now that I’ve gone solar. Thanks Tim for helping me out.
~ Chris Tesene, Brentwood, CA

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If you are planning on installing a solar energy system to power your home, there are a few steps that you should follow to make sure that you end up with a home system that is ready to work safely and efficiently. Similar to other utility systems, there are lots of options for solar energy. Therefore, you need to take the time to evaluate all of your options and decide what is best for you and your home. Take a look at the steps below and figure out you can find the best solar energy system for your needs! 

Analyze the Energy Efficiency of Your Home

Before you install a solar energy system, you need to take a closer look at how your home currently uses energy and think about ways it can be upgraded. Some of the information that you need to collect includes the total amount of electricity your home currently uses, ways to reduce electricity usage, and options you can implement to improve the energy efficiency of your home. Some of the resources that you might want to consider include: 

  • Heating and Cooling: If you use electricity to power the cooling and heating of your home, then this can significantly impact the amount of solar power you require. Take steps to improve the insulation of your home. This will reduce the amount of electricity you need to heat or cool your house.
  • Lighting Options: You can switch to energy-efficient lighting options, what is LED lighting.
  • Appliances: Think about ways you can use your appliances more efficiently. As an alternative, consider investing in efficient electronics. 
  • Collect a Home Energy Audit: By getting a home energy audit, you can understand where or how your home is losing energy as well as the steps you can take to improve the energy efficiency of your home. 

Assess the Homr Solar Potential of Your House

Next, you need to assess the solar potential of your home. There are multiple ways that solar energy systems operate. Some use direct sunlight and some use scattered sunlight. These are both effective at creating electricity, but you need to figure out the method that works best for you. The amount of power that is generated by a solar energy system is going to depend on the amount of sunlight that reaches it. In addition, the amount of energy produced will also depend on the size of the system. In this manner, you can use mapping systems and tools to help you determine the exact potential of your home when it comes to solar energy. These services are going to provide information on the estimated size you will need, how much money it will take to install the system, as well as local contractors who can help you install it. Some of the factors that this analysis is going to consider include: 

  • Shade: Of course, one of the most important factors is going to be shading. In addition to looking at the trees in your own yard, trees in your neighbors’ yards are going to be considered as well. 
  • The Roof: Because many solar systems are installed on the roof, the age, integrity, and size of your roof will be considered as well. If you are going to need a new roof in the next few years, this might be something to do before putting the solar panels on. 
  • HOA: If you have a homeowners association, then there might be restrictions or specific requirements that must be met for approval. Some states also have solar rights provisions that limit the restrictions that HOAs can apply to solar energy installations. 

Look at the Options for Home Solar

Next, you will need to look at the options you have for solar energy. While you can always purchase and install a system on your own, there are other options available to you. Some of the options include:

  • Purchasing a system and installing it on your own 
  • Investing in a community or shared solar power system 
  • Leasing solar energy equipment 
  • Host a solar energy system and purchase back the electricity generated from the company

It could be helpful to talk with trained professionals to learn more about these options. 

Estimate How Much Electricity You Need

In order for a contractor to provide you with the right recommendations regarding how big of a solar energy system you require, you need to collect more information about your home’s current electricity use. 

Therefore, take a closer look at your electricity bills and look at the average number of kilowatt-hours you use every month. Remember that some months may be greater than others. Then, you need to think about any planned changes that could increase or decrease the amount of electricity your home uses. That way, you can provide an accurate estimate to the solar contractor. 

Collect Bids on the Solar System 

The next step is to collect bids on the purchase and installation of the solar energy system. Look for licensed, qualified, and insured professionals who carry certifications from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners. It can also be a good idea to talk with friends or family members who have recently installed solar energy systems. See if they have references.

Some of the points to remember include: 

  • Ask if the company is familiar with the permitting process
  • Ask the contractors to produce references from other customers 
  • Always ask for proof of licensure and insurance 
  • Ask about the warranty on the system 
  • Ask if the company has any judgments or liens pending

Following these steps will help you make the right decision for your solar system. 

Install the System

Once these steps have been completed, the installer will help make sure that you end up with the right system for your home. The size of the system is going to be based on your electricity needs as well as other factors such as:

  • Other sources of electricity you might have, such as a wind turbine 
  • How efficient the system is at converting solar energy into power 
  • The orientation and tilt of the solar system 
  • The amount of available sunlight 

Once the system is installed, make sure you understand how billing and metering works. 

Don’t Overlook Tax Incentives for Solar Power

Finally, do not overlook the tax incentives that come with installing a solar energy system. There could be federal or local tax credits that apply to the solar energy system you just installed.

Even though there are several steps involved in installing a solar energy system, this is a great way to not only save money but help the environment as well. Learn more about the process of installing a solar energy system in your home.

If you have further questions about a solar installation on your home or business or how you can save money with solar, the best thing you can do is explore your solar power options with a qualified professional. Contact HomePro Solutions today. We have the technical know-how and customer service expertise necessary to ensure that every solar power project is a success.

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