6 Questions to Ask
Before Installing a Home Solar Panel System
What is My Primary Purpose of Installing Solar?
While this question may sound simple, your answer will have a tremendous impact on when and how your solar panel system is installed. Is your primary purpose to reduce your monthly utility bill? Is it to save money in the long run? Or are you more interested in the environmental impact and reducing your carbon footprint? Or are you somewhere in between?
Based on your primary purpose for installing a solar panel system, this will have an effect on what kind of payment options are available for you and the long term benefits. For example, if your main reason for the transition is to become more environmentally friendly, then perhaps a lease would be the best option for you.
What Does My Monthly Electricity Usage Look Like ?
In order to create a solar panel system that best suits your home and lifestyle, it is important to know how much electricity you expect from this alternative energy source. Depending on the monthly Watt usage, this will help determine the amount of solar panels installed on your home by the solar companies. And with that, this will also have an impact on your expenses for installing solar panels.
Typically, our representatives use the monthly electricity usage on the utility bill because this most accurately reflects the specific number of solar panels needed to help reduce your bill (or even reduce your bill to $0). In addition, by examining your utility bill, this may also help determine if the investment to transition to solar is the right choice for you and your household.
Do I Need a Roof Repair Before I Install solar?
While it is not required by law that roof replacements or repairs are done in order to install solar panels, it is highly recommended to get a replacement if your roof is around 25-30 years old. With our company, we hold the right to refuse service if the roof is too old or damaged. This is primarily to protect staff members from the dangers of a potential roofing incident. Sadly, as of today, there is no software or website to accurately tell if a roof needs to be repaired. Every roof is uniquely designed and has different weathering effects. This makes it especially important to have a specialist inspect your roof for any repairs done beforehand.
Depending on the status of your roof and what section(s) need to be fixed for the solar installation, this may add considerable charges of up to $15,000 - $20,000. If possible, try to have these repairs done before the installation. That way, there will be less time and money spent dismantling the roof for the solar panel system. With Penguin Home Solutions, we have specific financing options to have both your roof fixed and your solar panels installed for a fraction of the cost. We make it that much easier for your home to transition from a regular roof to a solar roof.
What do the Long Term Benefits Look Like for Me ?
Of course, since solar energy is an investment by itself, it is important to understand the long term benefits for the installation. And as previously stated, this largely depends on the financial plan and location. For example, in California, solar customers enjoy an average savings of over $35,521 over their 20-year period. And this is including the upfront costs of installing the system.
Another long term aspect to be aware of is the possibility of recieving "Solar Tax Credits", which occurs when you sell your unused energy from your system back to your utility company.
However, because every financial plan and system is different per person, it is best to speak to a representative to more accurately quantify your savings.
Should I Also Consider Purchasing a Battery with My Solar Power System?
Solar Panel Systems are an efficient way of capturing and converting sun power throughout the day… but not at night. And while there are Batteries that can store and emit electricity from the solar panel systems at night, there are several important factors to consider first before investing in one.
Firstly, solar batteries are another investment themselves, as they are quite expensive and can take time to install. The Enphase Enlighten system has a custom, high quality battery; however, this can cost an additional $6,000 alone.
In addition, it is important to look at your Watt usage and determine if a battery would even be worth installing to your system. If you either use most of your energy during the evenings and nights, or if you live in an area where the climate is inconsistently sunny, then installing a solar battery pack may be worth your while. Likewise, we notice that if you work remotely at your residence, then solar batteries are recommended, as working remotely can increase your energy consumption by over 50%.
How Will the Solar Panels Fit on My Roof ?
While our systems are specifically designed to fit panels on any roof space, it is important to note that the best spot to place these panels is on the south-facing side of your roof - since this side experiences the highest amount of sun exposure throughout the day.
However, we understand that each property is unique. So, if your home does not have a specific south-facing side, or if that side is not exposed to sunlight, then the East-facing roof side is the next best place. If that roof space is unavailable, then the West-facing roof space is next best from there. The placement is important because this helps the solar panels run at their optimum level. If they are not placed to receive the most sunlight possible, then they will not produce as much energy as the system states.