Catching Some Sun

Light is solar radiation is emitted by the sun. In approximately one and a half hour, the amount of sunlight that hits the surface of the earth is adequate enough to handle the energy consumption of the entire world for a year. Although every place on earth gets some light from the sun throughout the year, the amount of solar radiation that strikes any certain spot deviates.

Solar technologies have been introduced which capture solar radiation and turn it into forms of energy that are useful such as electrical energy. The conversion is done either through mirrors concentrating solar radiation or photovoltaic (PV) panels. This energy is then used to generate electricity in some homes.

How can residential solar installations help in increasing energy savings in a household? How much does the installation add cost? Is it a worth-it approach in achieving benefits while preserving savings? It is better to comprehend the benefit-cost analysis of getting solar PVs installed to your properties once and for all.

Solar Energy Industries Association have recorded that the United States has over two million solar panel installations in both residential and commercial facilities. This number is a million higher compared to the numbers in 2017 and is expected to reach over three million by the end of 2021. This is a clear manifestation that more people are interested in spending less money for electricity and establishing a minimum price for electricity for the next 20-30 years through solar installations.

There are installations with battery storage. It is more appealing to areas in the U.S., where power supply is often down. Through battery storage, homeowners will be able to store electricity to be used for periods when power is out. These installations are more common in the state of California where there are frequent wildfires causing utilities to constantly stop power operations. These are also popular in Texas as well in Florida where tropical cyclones often occur leading to power outage.

If your home is on the market, there are certain things to be considered in order to determine the value of the solar PV installation of the home. The value will depend on the location, size, cost of local electricity, and age of the residential system. Knowing the current market value based on the age of the system can be quite burdensome but recent tools have been developed to ascertain the value of a residential system today. This has become a great helping hand for appraisers and realtors nowadays. Home shoppers across the country have considered paying to get residential system installations as they are worth it even if it is a $15,000 bite for 3.6-kW photovoltaic (average in size) system. This is approximately a $4 per watt PV system.

In a recent survey conducted by the National Associated of Realtors, it has been manifested that most buyers focus on the home’s costs of operation and its utility bills. There are also great effects in promoting energy-efficient home listings than standards.

Home buyers should not overlook one red flag that may come along the way. Determine whether the residential is system is owned. If it is leased, things can get complicated especially for the sale of the property. There are two options for the home buyer—they either shoulder the existing lease or make the home seller pay it out and just merge it with the mortgage by making it an additional cost to the listing’s price. The latter would be more practical. As for realtors, it is best to make a clear presentation on how the prospect buyer would save when buying a listing with PVs on it. Talk numbers and make a comparison of bills prior and after utilization of residential system. In that manner, home buyers would get an idea that an extra cost for installation will be beneficial in the long run.

If by this time you are already sold in getting PV installation, make sure to know some pointers in selecting the best solar installer in your area. The most preferable way would probably be through referrals from family or friends who have gone solar or go through online testimonials of solar clients of different installers. There are also available tools found online to help interested clients make a comparison of solar installers. Better acquire three to four bids for the installation of the same metrics and characteristics.

In going through the bids, your concern should mainly focus on important things such as provision of references from other clients within your area. Get to know the challenges these customers had and how the bidder company made a resolution out of it. It is also vital to know whether the company is familiar with local permitting. Ensure that the company is familiar with the local processes with regards to permits.

Never forget to validate licensure or certification of the company. If you want to assure that you will not meet any problem concerning the installation process, ensure that the company bidder has an electrical contractor’s license. To further investigate, pay a visit at your state’s electrical board and they will provide you information whether the bidder is admissible or not.

Make sure to know if the system is aided with a warranty that is strong. Normally, a solar equipment has a standard warranty of ten years for inverters and twenty years for panels. If the company ensures a strong warranty, it is a mark that they are using an equipment of great quality. Ask who has the responsibility of maintaining the system and attend to it in times of repairs.

It is also important to get the amount of energy—at least an estimate—that the residential system will produce every month or every year. It should be measured in kW-hr. Doing so will help you make a comparison of figures with your recent utility bills and be able to get an initial computed savings in the future and the period of breakeven. Do not forget to obtain the total cost of getting the system which include the installation, hardware, the cost of connection to the grid, permits, taxes, and the warranty.

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