OK, so I know last time I told you that I will let you know everything you need to know about solar panels, but I was talking to Bob the other day, stealing tips from him for you guys, and he told me that solar panels are not for everyone, and before you jump in a store and buy whatever you find, you should figure it out if they are right for you.
If you are like me, you probably want to install solar panels because you want to reduce your energy costs and also, maintain a small environmental impact.
Here are some tips to help you make the best decisions about investing in solar panels so that the payoff is satisfactory for years to come:
Think about how much do you afford spending on solar
Even if you decide to invest in the least expensive solar panels on the market, it is important to be aware that the initial investment you make into solar panel technology can be expensive. You will not only have to invest in the solar panels themselves, but you will also have to properly install them into your home or office building.
It’s a good thing that the U.S. government offers some significant tax incentives to help reduce the cost of solar panels. But even with those tax incentives, you are still looking at an expense that can add up to several thousand dollars. In fact, some solar panel systems easily cost $40,000 or more, depending on the size of your solar array set-up and the type of solar panels you select.
You can consider having an energy-independent home in other ways. For instance, maybe you don’t want to invest $40,000 in a fully solar-powered home, but you might have funds to set aside for some solar energy elements, such as a solar water heater.
So, before you decide to install a solar system into your home, take a very close and honest look at your expenses and finances. Remember: There are solar power technologies available for consumers with all budgets and financial constraints.
Think about your motivation
While it may sound great to say you’re investing in solar panels because they are energy efficient, it may be wise to make sure that you are investing in solar technologies for the right reasons. Solar power systems may look great, reduce you environmental impact, and reduce your expenses, but they can also be tough to maintain, expensive, and unreliable energy sources.
Therefore, before going to a store, prioritize your reasons for doing this. Maybe you want a solar system that reduces your energy costs; in such a case, it may be more important to you that you invest in a system that is relatively inexpensive to install—even if it doesn’t produce the same amount of energy as a higher-cost system.
The size and type of your solar power system will vary greatly depending on the technologies and budget you choose to allocate towards the solar panel system. These variables will have a direct impact on the amount of electricity your solar panels will generate for your home or office. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that you select solar power technology that matches your electricity needs.
You should first take a look at your monthly electricity bills for the past few years to determine about how much energy you use each month; I trust you have done that already as I advised you in my previous articles. Depending on your budget and preference, you can develop a solar power system that provides enough energy to cover the full energy use of your home or office—or you can select a system that covers a portion of your energy use. If you use a system that covers a portion of your energy use, then be sure that you have a reliable backup energy system. For those months that you use less energy than you generate from the solar panels, you may even be able to sell that unused energy back to the electrical company!
So before you go to the store and buy the ‘’ingredients’’ for a solar power system of your own, asses if you need it, if you can afford it and if you think it will pay off in the end. Hopefully you will have it all figured it out until my next article, because I’m planning on telling you all about the 3 types of solar panels you can choose from!