For someone considering installing solar panels for their home or business, knowing a few key things is important before making the leap and going solar. Most of what we mention in this article is applicable to both homes and businesses, but for the sake of simplicity, we will be referring to a basic residential system as an example:
1) Establishing Goals
In order for a homeowner to decide to go solar, it is first and most importantly for them to decide what their goals are for their home. Do they want to save money on electricity? Reduce their carbon emissions on the environment? Or become a self sustaining apart from the main electrical grid? Etc.
Luckily, going solar often accomplishes at least one if not all of these goals by the very nature of solar power itself. It is common to see solar power as a less expensive option for obtaining electricity, compared to an electric company, depending on which area someone lives in; and certainly solar power is a very effective way of reducing a home’s impact on the environment and becoming more self sustaining. While one or all of these may be important to someone, defining a clear goal will set the premise when choosing a size of a system and how to go about the installation process.
2) Determining Current Electrical Consumption
Once a homeowner has established goals for themselves, it is important to know how much solar power would be needed to accomplish those goals by estimating annual electrical consumption by the home. Solar systems come in a variety of sizes and quantity of panels needed to meet a homeowner’s goals. Very important note: NO TWO HOMES HAVE THE SAME ELECTRICAL CONSUMPTION BASED ON THE SIZE OF THE HOME. For example, a family living in a 2,500 sq/ft home might have an average electric bill of $250 because of how much electricity they use, while next door in the same size home a retired husband and wife may only have a $75 average electric bill.
There are many factors that calculate the electrical consumption of a home: How many people live in the home? How old is the home and the appliances used (AC included)? Is the home well insulated? The list goes on and on. While there are certainly ways to lower a home’s electric consumption, (lowering AC at different times of the day for example,) the most accurate way to calculate a home’s current electrical consumption is by looking back at recent electrical bills, using the entire year since electrical consumption changes throughout the year as the seasons change. Observing how much power a home consumes enables a company to calculate the most accurate estimation of how much solar power to add to a home in order to satisfy a homeowner’s goals.
*Interested in having a solar professional calculate your home’s electrical consumption? Fill out our contact form to schedule a complimentary solar consultation: sparksolar.us/contact/
3) Finding a Professional Installer
It is in the best interest for a homeowner to go with a reliable and professional solar installation company. Sure, purchasing the panels and installing the project yourself may come out cheaper than using a professional company but there is very good reason for not doing so. Installing solar panels on a roof is not only tedious, but also time-consuming process of engineering and proper permitting before the panels can ever reach the roof. If the due diligence in any project is not taken care of, the main electrical grid companies will not connect the panels to their grid, meaning all the time and energy to install the project would unfortunately be of waste until everything is done properly.
Solar companies, including Spark Solar, are required by law and the electrical companies to have master electricians on every project, and must acquire all the proper engineering specs and certificates before an installation can occur. Solar companies streamline all the necessary work that must be accomplished so that the homeowner can rest worry-free once the project has begun. Our professional installers work with any electric-grid company, local municipalities, HOA, and most importantly customer desires/needs in order to get a project done and are experienced with overcoming any hurdles that a project may throw our way. Anytime a unique circumstance comes up during an install, our partners are trained and determined to overcome anything thrown to them to accommodate to our customer’s goals.
*Want to see an example of one of our projects that required unique adjustment to accommodate the desires of our customers? Check out the story of one of our happy solar customers Tom and Daria: sparksolar.us/ultra-happy-customers-in-cleburne-tx/