Solar power is one of the most accessible forms of sustainable energy in the modern world. Homeowners, companies, and governments worldwide are continuing to see the benefits of switching to a more environmentally friendly option for keeping our appliances running. 

Of course, most homeowners will struggle to unlock the full benefits of clean energy without some help. That’s where solar panel installers and solar energy companies come in. 

With help from the right company, installing solar panels can be a quick and straightforward process. There are even local installers available for most homeowners that can offer advice on how to position panels to get the best results or provide insights into the best panel manufacturers. 

If you’re beginning your adventure into the world of green solar technologies, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re going to look at how you can compare solar energy companies to get the best deal on your home. 

Should I Use Solar Panels On My House?

Before you can begin searching for the ultimate solar company to help you with your local solar project, you need to decide whether a solar panel system is a good idea for your house. While it’s fair to say that most people will benefit from the energy savings that a solar photovoltaic (PV) array can offer, not everyone will be well-equipped for this kind of investment. 

Before you hand over your cash and spend your time on a significant and life-changing project, ask yourself the following questions:

How Much Do You Currently Spend On Electricity?

Knowing how much you spend on your current residential and commercial energy is the first step in deciding whether you’re well-suited to solar. In some areas, electricity is still very affordable when purchased from the grid. This could mean that you wouldn’t achieve large enough savings to make a solar project worth your while. 

On the other hand, if you have an electricity bill that extends over $70 per month, there’s a good chance that you’ll see a significant result by switching to solar. Depending on how high your energy bills are, you might find it’s a good idea to invest in a solar lease. This allows you to have your installation done for free. However, you’ll still pay for your electricity. If the electric bill from a solar provider is lower than what you pay now, it’s a natural choice. 

What Kind Of Roof Does Your House Have?

The solar industry is evolving all the time, with new methods of solar installation appearing regularly. In the years to come, there’s a good chance for the solar market to adapt to offer panels for homeowners with a full range of different kinds of roofs. 

For now, the majority of panels, including monocrystalline panels, will work best on a robust and durable roof, made with composite or shingles. You could also benefit from a solar installation if you have a cement or concrete roof. It’s worth noting that your roof needs to be big enough to withstand your solar panel installation. 

If your roof is too small or not durable enough to handle solar panels right now, you might need to consider having your roof replaced before beginning your project. You might decide to wait until you move to a new house if you can’t afford both a new roof and solar photovoltaic panels.

How Much Sunlight Does Your Home Get?

Another thing to consider when deciding if your house is the right candidate for solar is how much sunlight your property usually gets. Google has a website called Project Sunroof that can tell you more about whether you get enough light to benefit from your solar project. 

If you’re still not sure after doing your research, the best option might be to talk to the consultants from local solar panel companies. Many leading solar panel installers on the market offer free consultations. During these consultations, an expert will visit your home and find out whether you’re likely to get enough sunlight to power your home. 

You may find that there are different types of panels that are more efficient for the project you’re creating. However, if you need a particularly high-quality solar panel, that could mean that you need to spend extra cash on your investment. 

What Is Your Local Climate Like?

Finally, it’s worth thinking about the climate in your area, and how it contributes to the amount of electricity your solar technology can reasonably generate. Solar energy can often be produced in a wide selection of extreme climates. Just because you get a lot of rain in your area doesn’t mean that you won’t benefit from solar equipment, for instance. 

However, if your area is prone to severe weather and cloudiness, you might need a more efficient and durable solar panel set. Solar modules come in a lot of different shapes and sizes, and the ones that you need will depend heavily on what you want to accomplish with your project and what you hope to achieve. 

If solar panels aren’t a good option for you, you might be able to talk to a natural power company about other energy sources. There are plenty of alternatives to fossil fuels appearing in the market today, from natural gas to wind power. 

How Should I Choose A Solar Company?

Once you’ve examined your current situation and decide whether or not solar panels are suitable for you, you can begin to explore some of the possible companies you may be able to work with. Remember, although the price of solar panels is dropping, this technology is still a significant long-term investment for most homeowners. 

Thoroughly vetting the installers and solar energy companies in your area will ensure that you can feel as confident as possible about your investment. 

Step 1: Make A List Of Local Companies

The first thing you should do when choosing between solar energy companies is to create a list of possible suppliers. There are plenty of solar installers out there, so to narrow down your options, try adding a few filters to your list, such as:

  • Location: It’s much easier to work with a local solar company than one that lives miles away. You’ll have an easier time booking consultations and appointments with a nearby company. Additionally, your local solar company will be more familiar with the unique needs of your climate, and the kind of solar loan and financing options available to you. 
  • Panel Options: Different solar installers work with their distinct collection of solar panel manufacturers. If you’ve already found a particular kind of solar panel that you think will be best for your house, you’ll need to narrow your choices. 
  • Financing: Make sure that your solar energy companies offer the kind of payment options that are best for you. There are a lot of tax credit and lease options available for those who want to reduce the cost of solar thermal energy today. If you’re looking to invest in solar energy systems, but you want to keep costs low, you’ll need to focus on financing. 

Step 2: Check The Company’s Reputation

If you were searching for a traditional energy company, there’s a good chance that you’d start by looking online and listening to recommendations from your friends. The same rules apply to the solar energy industry. Looking into the reviews left by other customers that have worked with a specific solar panel manufacturer or company is a great way to boost your chances of making the right choice. 

While you’re doing your research, you can also look into the solar panel manufacturers that your installers are partnered with to ensure that you’re getting something with a good efficiency rating. 

If you’re nervous about getting the most value for your money, double-check that the solar panel company you’re working with offers warranties for their work. Some of the leading solar energy companies provide warranties not just for the actual panels, but also for their installation. 

Step 3: Check The Company’s Credentials

In most situations, experience and credentials will be more important than the size of their company. If your solar expert installer has only been around for a couple of years, but they can share with you dozens of certifications from leading groups in the solar energy industries association, they might be worth your time. 

A small company with the right credentials, including global solar energy installation certifications, is going to be a lot more trustworthy than a big business that doesn’t have any of those trust seals. You should be able to find most of a company’s credentials on its website. However, if you’re unsure about your provider, it might be worth contacting the business and asking how they can prove themself to you. 

If your solar energy companies refuse to share any credentials, this is a massive red flag. 

Step 4: Look For Added Extras

As the solar panels industry becomes more crowded, businesses worldwide are consistently searching for new ways to set themselves apart. Because of this, you might find that there is a range of solar energy companies out there that can offer exclusive deals or offers that you can’t get elsewhere. 

Check what your solar company offers when it comes to net metering or paying energy back into the grid for an extra income source. You could also look into things like companies with energy storage facilities. Not all companies will provide ways for you to store the excess energy that you create beyond your solar capacity. 

However, storing the excess solar electricity from your solar panels can come in handy when you need to reduce your electricity costs. 

Step 5: Request A Quote

Finally, based on the information that you’ve compiled, you should be able to create a list of some of the most reliable solar energy companies in your space. Try to narrow your list down to no more than five options. Once you have that collection of names, call each business, and ask for a quote on solar panel installation, and any other services that you might need. During this time, make sure that you ask any remaining questions that you have about your solar energy system. This might include queries like:

  • Can you evaluate my home and tell me how many solar panels I need?
  • What kind of warranty do you include? Do you guarantee both your work and the panels that are provided for my solar energy array?
  • What’s the process if I want to take the next steps and invest in a solar solution with your company?
  • What kind of solar panel manufacturers do you work with? Can you offer better deals than other people who work with the same brands?
  • What kind of certifications do your installers have?

Sometimes, just speaking to a company will make them stand out as a clear winner for your custom. If that’s the case for you, then you can move ahead in your solar journey. If not, continue to evaluate your options and think carefully about the features that matter most to you. 

How Much Does Solar Installation Cost?

Although different solar companies can offer specific deals on installation, maintenance, and set-up, the overall price of solar panels and solar installation will impact your budget. The first thing you need to know is that the average solar cost in 2020 is around $13,142 after you access tax credits. The installation price is continuing to fall as manufacturers find cheaper and more efficient ways to make panels. 

The best way to get a fair price for your solar panels is to compare your options and get quotes from different providers. That means asking your solar companies what’s included in the cost of your installation. For instance:

  • How many solar panels are you going to need for your roof? Can you access extra features like inverters and batteries, or will that cost you more? 
  • Does your installation come with a warranty for peace of mind? Will your installers come and examine your roof and confirm that it’s fit for installation before working?
  • What kind of tax credits and benefits can you use to reduce the cost of your solar array? Some companies might refuse to take specific grants that you’ve accessed through your state. If that happens, this is often a sign that you’re not working with a reputable installer. 
  • What kind of maintenance is provided? Most of the time, solar panels don’t require a lot of maintenance work. However, it’s good to know that your solar company will come and check the performance of your solar panels every so often. 
  • What kind of solar panels are you getting? There are different types of solar panels to choose from, including monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels. Some more innovative businesses in the solar industry are also experimenting with nanotechnology. Since the kind of solar panel you get can impact the efficiency of your PV array and the amount of electricity you create, it’s essential to ensure you’re getting an excellent quality product. 

You can compare the quotes you get from local top solar energy companies with the average price per state to see whether you’re getting a reasonable cost for a solar PV installation in your state. There are plenty of available resources to give you details on how expensive solar is in your region. Places like Florida and California currently stand out as some of the cheapest places to get solar installed. 

On the other hand, if you live in Wisconsin or Idaho, you might need to pay a little more for your solar power system, which means that it will take longer to pay your loan back. 

Will I Save Money With Solar Panels? 

As the prices of solar stocks continue to rise, one of the biggest concerns that many homeowners have is whether they can save money with solar panels. After all, solar energy seems like a great idea on the surface. Renewable energy is better for the planet, and it claims to be better for your wallet or bank account too. 

However, when you’re speaking to a solar installer, it’s often difficult to get specific insights into the kind of money you can save by switching to solar. 

The good news is that most homeowners and commercial business owners do save money with solar panels. However, how much you can save will depend on several factors, including where you live, and how much exposure to sunlight your building gets. Everything from local electricity rates to the angle and size of your roof will influence how much you can save. 

An excellent way to get an idea of how much money you can keep in your pocket by switching to solar is to ask the business you work with, on average, how much their solar costs, and how long it takes for customers to earn back their investment. 

How Much Do Solar Panels Help You Save On Electricity? 

If you want to get a general idea of how much your solar panels could save you on electricity bills from the utility company, start by calculating how much you currently spend. The average electricity use for a household in the United States is usually around 10,972 kWh. If you multiply that figure by the national rate for the average electricity bill, you spend around $1,408 per year on electricity. 

A lot of people don’t realize just how much they spend on their electricity bills. It’s also worth noting that the price of utilities is continuing to increase as huge companies run out of fossil fuels to exploit. Unless you’re already with a green energy company, there’s a good chance that your rates will increase at an average of around 2.2% per year. This is the typical rate of increase for the US at the moment. 

If you purchase your solar panels as an up-front investment, rather than take out a lease, you will be able to offset up to 100% of your electricity costs. Initially, you might pay more for the installation and the panels themselves. However, many people find that their solar panels pay for themselves within less than ten years, since the average solar system costs around $14,119 for a US household.

The company that you choose to work with and their grants and tax relief available to you could mean that you pay even less than you expect for your solar panels. 

Tips To Remember When Working With Solar Companies

Solar companies come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. There are businesses out there that are exclusively committed to installing your panels and maintaining them for you. However, these organizations might not give you access to the grid if you want to take advantage of things like net metering and other financial benefits. 

There are also solar companies that behave very similarly to a traditional energy company. They can give you access to all of the electricity you need, without installing panels onto your roof. Instead of using fossil fuels to generate energy, these organizations use natural and sustainable energy options, like renewable wind turbines and solar-power electricity. 

The kind of solar company you need will depend on what you want to accomplish with renewable energy. Just remember to make sure that you do your research before you sign on the dotted line. The more homework you do, the easier it will be to make a confident decision about your green energy usage when choosing between solar energy companies. 

 

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