One thing that pushes people to try something new comes from other people’s word of mouth. Other people’s opinions are very influential. Most especially if it comes from someone convincing. Over the years, news about solar panels has been increasing. And, rumours have it that it is efficient and better than the typical electricity that we use.
Unlike trying that newly released home appliance that your friends keep on talking about for months now, solar panels are way more complex. It’s hard to find people who you can ask for their opinion and tips on what to expect once you have solar panels installed.
The market price of solar panels has indeed decreased over the years. It’s also true that its demand has increased for the last couple of years. But, even though its stats are changing for the better, its consumption rate is still very small. It’s hard to look for people who can give you actual advice on how things will be once you have them.
They say, nothing prepares you for it. But, there are things that you should know and do to prepare you for solar panel installation. If you’re about to have your home solarised, here are 5 things that you can expect to get you started.
1. You’ll be asked about your energy consumption and expect it to be assessed
For starters, your solar panel contractor will need to have your electricity usage records for the last 3 to 5 years. These records will be used to assess how much energy you need and use daily. Your energy consumption record gives your contractor an estimate of how many solar panels are needed for your home.
Solar panel contractors need numbers to determine your property’s kilowatt usage. Also, some solar panels don’t come in ready-made sizes. Most are custom-made for every property where it will be installed. That’s why a property’s energy usage is important.
2. Your roof condition will be checked
A property’s roof is one of the most important factors that will determine a solar panel’s long term efficiency. Here’s the thing, solar panels are not recommended and aren’t ideal to be installed on old properties. Why? Because solar panels are made to last for more than two decades.
If you reside on a property that was constructed 20 years ago, it might not be ideal to install solar panels. Unless your property is well-maintained and in great condition. The thing is, the first thing that starts to deteriorate in a newly built house is its roof. Technically, it only takes a year for it to start deteriorating.
If you live in an old property and plan to push through with solar panel installation, you might have to make some repairs and changes to your roof. Expect that your contractor will recommend a couple of repairs. All of this is necessary so you and your property will get to make the most out of your solar panels. Also, it will save you a lot of headaches and expenses in the long run.
3. Your surroundings might get in the way
Solar panels need sunlight to collect energy. That means, if a tall building blocks your property, your panels might not work. Before you get your hopes too high, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and how they will affect your solar journey.
If there’s a high-rise property next to yours that blocks the sunlight needed for your panels, your contractor might suggest not pushing through with the installation. Even a tree might get in the way of your panel’s efficiency and need to be relocated.
We all hope to be better beings and to help the environment in the best way that we can. But, it would also be such a waste to have panels installed on a property that won’t be able to utilise it. Before you get your hopes too high, consult a contractor first to determine whether your roof is an ideal place for solar panels to be installed. That way, you won’t have any problems in the future once you start using them.
4. The costs don’t stop after the solar panel installation
If you’ve been doing your research into solar panels, you know how expensive they are. Some people think that all you have to do is spend that one big amount one time and then you’re done. Well, it’s safe to say that saying is a myth.
The truth is, the expenses don’t start and end at the installation process. Depending on your energy usage and needs, your property might need a solar battery. Solar batteries serve as energy storage in case you need a backup during emergencies.
Also, you will likely need an inverter for your appliances to be compatible with your solar panel stored energy. It is expensive to invest in solar panels. A lot of factors need to be adjusted and considered for it to be efficient and maximised.
But, it is also true that you get to save so much of your electricity bill once you start using them.
5. Depending on your state and location, you might get tax rebates
In Australia and the U.S., the government offers tax rebates for solar panel users. According to research, aside from encouraging people to shift to a better energy source, a lot of excess energy is not being used by solar panel owners.
Sometimes, solar panels collect more energy than a property needs. If you don’t have a battery, likely, the energy won’t be utilised. But, none of it goes to waste, since the energy that you are using is renewable.
The government offers tax rebates to reduce a user’s solar panel installation costs. A lot of various tax rebates are available for solar panel users depending on your state and location. These rebates serve as the government’s incentive to those who have shifted to solar. Thus, promoting a better and cleaner energy consumption journey.
Use these points to help you better plan your clean energy journey
The points I discussed are just some of the things that you can expect as you start your solar panel hunt. Remember to do your research and ask all your questions to your contractor whenever you can. That way, your solar panel journey will meet your expectations and you get to better utilise it in the future.
About the author:
Bianca Banda is a writer for Penrith Solar Centre, an Australian solar company that advocates better energy resources to improve the quality of life on Earth.