Tips for Going Solar at Home
Installing residential solar panels is gaining popularity as energy from the sun is being harnessed more and more around the world to generate electricity, cook food, heat water, and warm buildings. Solar power is easily the most available energy source and has the potential to provide many times the current total energy demand. But going solar can be a big initial investment.
Here are some quick tips and basics to keep in mind when searching for your perfect at-home solar solution:
- Solar panel systems can carry a hefty price tag, so it’s a good idea to first assess whether solar energy is the right choice for your home. If your monthly energy bill is less than $100, there may be more economical ways of reducing your energy output.
- Crunch the numbers before you get started! Check out this online resource from Find Solar and EarthShare member charity, the American Solar Energy Society. It features an average cost calculator, rebate information, and a directory of solar installers and distributors in your area.
- Remember to check the fine print when signing up for solar panel installation. Often warranties for parts and accessories will run out well before those for the panels themselves.
- Determine if your roof has adequate sun exposure during peak hours of the day. Tree shade can increase system costs and greatly reduce panel efficiency.
- Optimize system output by making sure your panels are oriented south in the Northern Hemisphere and north in the Southern Hemisphere.
- Opt for a grid-tied system. Keeping it “grid-tied” will allow you to sell your excess energy and adds a built-in safety net of stored energy in case you need a little extra.
- Find a reputable and experienced local installer. A good installer will help you navigate through different incentive programs and permit procedures to keep initial costs low. Check with your local American Solar Energy Society (ASES) chapter for leads on reputable solar professionals in your area.
We here at EarthShare believe in the power and potential of harnessing the sun and wind to offer sustainable energy for many purposes. That’s why we’re excited to let you know about our partnership with ACCIONA Energy, a 100-year-old global company that's been pioneering renewable energy solutions for nearly 20 years. Not only is ACCIONA helping raise vital funds for the EarthShare Gulf Coast Restoration Fund, they’re breaking new ground with solar energy on a commercial scale through their Nevada Solar One facility - it currently provides clean energy to more than 14,000 homes! Nevada Solar One is the third-largest concentrating solar power plant in the world, and the CO2 emissions avoided by this power source are equivalent to taking approximately 20,000 cars off the road annually.
Read more about ACCIONA’s latest solar innovations and check out their tips for sustainable living!