Evaluate Your Sunlight Exposure
More sun means more energy produced and a greater potential to save with solar. Certain states, like Arizona and California, average more sunlight hours per day.
Your home’s orientation toward the sun, the amount of shade it gets, and its roof type also affect a solar system’s output. You can estimate the efficiency of panels on your home using the SolarReviews calculator.
Why Install Solar Panels At Home
Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the need to use green or renewable energy. New research from Citizens Advice reveals that two-thirds of householders are thinking about making their homes more energy-efficient in the next 12 months, while in a study from NatWest 55% of homeowners said they have plans to make eco-friendly improvements to their property over the next decade.
Solar and wind are now the lowest cost ways to generate electricity and, unlike other more traditional types of energy, they won’t run out. It’s not surprising, then, that fitting solar panels on the roofs of domestic properties is a popular home improvement, with an estimated one million systems on houses across the UK. They are not cheap, but in the longer term they should help cut your electricity bills as well as your carbon footprint, while you also get paid for the extra energy you generate.
For The Lowest Prices Get Your Solar Quotes Through Bulk Buying Platforms
It is no secret that solar companies will hand out their best pricing when they know they are facing stiff competition.
That is why you are often better off requesting your solar quotes through a marketplace like SolarReviews.
Our combined platform is used by over 350,000 consumers per year and receives competitive bids from more than 350 solar companies nationwide.
Installers know that if you have used our platform, you are an informed consumer who is shopping around, and the only way to win your business is by offering you a great deal.
Users of the SolarReviews platform in 2020 paid $3.40 per watt for their solar system compared to a statewide average of $4.66 per watt.
|Average cost of residential solar panels in California – official figures||What users of SolarReviews in California paid on average|
$4.66 per watt
$3.40 per watt
New solar companies are joining the SolarReviews platform in 2022, which will drive down prices further.
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Is My Roof Strong Enough For Solar Panels
Installing a solar system on your roof is a great way to take advantage of underused space. While roofs provide the obvious benefits of keeping us safe and dry, we cant use them for much else. With a solar system, however, you can use the space to create cost-free and emissions-free electricity.
If youre considering installing a solar system, you may be questioning whether or not your roof can actually support the additional weight. Thats a valid concern, and were here to help.
Does Solar Panels Affect Your House Insurance
Yes, your solar panels are likely covered by your home insurance. Solar panels are covered under the dwelling portion of your homeowners insurance policy if they are attached to your home.
If you dont have homeowners insurance, you may be able to get a loan from a bank or credit union to help cover the cost of the panels. You may also be eligible for a federal tax credit, which can be worth up to $5,000.
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Why It Makes Sense To Repair Or Replace Your Roof Before Getting Solar Panels For Your Home
Lets be honest. Repairing and especially replacing your roof is not an inexpensive prospect. If you were already planning to pony up a big chunk of money to install solar panels, the last thing you want to do is spend MORE money on your roof before getting your solar panels.
As hard as it is to swallow, however, repairing or replacing your roof may be the right thing to do, even if it delays your solar panel installation. Think about it this way you would never build a home on a foundation of sand, right? Your roof acts as the foundation for your solar panels. The stronger and better the roof, the longer your solar panels can do their job.
If you try to cut corners and install solar panels on a damaged or aging roof, then youre going to have to address those problems anyway in the future. Imagine how much more expensive it will be to have to call your solar installation company to take down your solar panels and then re-install them on your new roof. Youll have to pay for the roof repair or replacement anyway, but doing it before installing solar panels on your home will save you lots of money and lots of headaches.
Heres one more thing to consider. A new roof will increase the curb appeal of your home and increase its value, so some of that money you spent on fixing or replacing it will come right back to you when you sell.
Do You Have Any Trees That Will Need To Be Removed
Trees are one of the main causes of roof damage and can also cause a lot of damage to your solar panels. Removing any overhanging tree branches will be essential before you can install your solar panels. Additionally, overhanging tree branches will shade your solar panels and keep them producing the optimal amount of electricity.
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The Benefit Of Unused Energy
You can connect the solar panels in the garage roof to the grid using a circuit. When you have excess electricity remaining in the grid, you can send it to the local utility authorities by agreeing with them to sell electricity.
You would either get paid for the transfer of credit for the electricity bill. Either of them will benefit you immensely.
Read Reviews Of The Solar Equipment
Check to see how the brands youre looking at have been rated by other consumers.
Why? Because reading the product specifications and marketing materials only tell part of the story. To get the full picture, you want to hear what end-users have to say about the equipments real-world performance.
Luckily, finding consumer reviews of solar equipment is easy. SolarReviews has the largest collection of solar company reviews on the internet. You can check them out here:
The most recent reviews tend to be the most valuable, as they reflect customer experiences with the companys most recent model.
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How Do Solar Installers Design System Layouts
Hereâs a secret: most solar installers use a method similar to the one described in this article to prepare system layouts for customer quotes. While they use professional software, solar companies almost always make use of satellite images from Google Earth or other sources as a starting point.
A responsible company will always come to your house to ground-truth the design by verifying measurements and looking for issues that arenât always visible in satellite photos like vent stacks, shading, and roofing issues.
But pretty much all solar installers start the design process by using satellite images. Hereâs how you can do a rough draft yourself.
Does Installing Solar Panels Void Roof Warranty
Apart from your foundation, your roof is one of the most essential parts of your house and one of the most expensive to maintain, repair, and/or replace. For this reason, many homeowners invest in a roof warranty to make sure the literal roof over their head is covered. For this reason, most homeowners are concerned about installing solar panels on their roofs and having dozens of holes drilled into their roofs. The thought of holes in the roof from solar panel installation is a scary one to most homeowners. This is especially true when it comes to the question of will solar panel installation void my roof warranty?
What are roof warranties? Your roofs warranty will normally be divided into two parts. Part one is the installers warranty, which covers the workmanship of the installation. The installers warranty varies but the industry average is 10 years. Part two is the materials warranty that is provided by the roofing product manufacturer. Material warranty can vary drastically based on the type of material and can range between 25 to 50 years.
Roofing failures that are due to improper installation are covered by the installers warranty. Defects in the roofing product are covered by the manufacturer, but only as long as the product was installed and maintained according to the manufacturers instructions
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Increase In Value Of Property
This is a mixed benefit. Sometimes you reap it sometimes, you dont. Solar panels are becoming a recent sensation, and they should undoubtedly increase the value of your property. But, the propertys value is determined based on the utility that people will get. The utilities depend on each ones preferences. There are three types of the viewpoint of buyers.
- Buyers who like and prefers the solar panels on the roof or garage
- Buyers who feel it is a problem rather than a benefit
- Buyers who dont even care or notice that solar panels are attached.
To reap the benefit or not depends on the mindset of the buyer. Nevertheless, you can have a point to strike a higher deal.
How Much Does A Solar Panel Cost
Prices have been coming down steadily over the years. The total cost will depend on how many kilowatts of power your array will generate. According to consumer reports, after solar tax credits are accounted for, the cost for a solar panel system on an average-sized house in the U.S. in 2021 ranges from $11,000 to $15,000.
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How Are Solar Panels Mounted To Your Roof
So, how exactly are solar panels installed on your roof? Lets break it down.
Depending on the type of roof you have, the way solar panels are attached to your roof will change. When it comes to the most standard type of roofing, asphalt shingles, the panels are attached with a lag bolt and flashing. The bolt is screwed into the roofs rafters, and the flashing helps keep water from penetrating your roofing system.
At Sun Badger, we offer a 5-year leak warranty if water does ever get past the flashing we install. The solar panels are then attached to these brackets where theyll live out their life soaking up the sun.
Sun Badger will help you determine how much solar youd need to supplement your electric bill and what you can do right now to start making your home more energy-efficient. If you want to learn more about solar and what it would take to get solar installed on your home, reach out to the residential solar experts at Sun Badger for a free quote today!
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The Home You Own is here to help you make sense of the home you live in.
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Plants and pets: Your furry friends and greenery add more life to your spaces. For your green thumb, find tips for saving money on houseplants and how to keep your plants alive longer. Pets can make a house a home, but stopping your cats from scratching the furniture isnt always easy.
Keeping your home clean and organized: We breakdown the essential cleaning supplies you need, and point out the 11 germy spots that are often overlooked. Plus, hear hacks from professional organizers on maximizing counter space,
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Looking To Reduce Your Dependence On Traditional Power Sources Heres How To Figure Out Whether Solar Is For You
If youve been thinking about adding a solar power system to your home, you arent alone. Some 3 million systems sit atop American roofs, including about 400,000 that were installed each year in 2019 and 2020, according to Becca Jones-Albertus, director of the Solar Energy Technologies Office at the U.S. Energy Department.
For many homeowners, the decision to go solar is a two-part process. The first is the financial side: Will the investment ultimately pay for itself and reduce or eliminate electric bills? Assuming the answer is yes, then you are ready to dive into the second and more practical part of the process: How do I get quality solar photovoltaic panels installed at my home by trustworthy professionals? Here are answers to some basic questions to get you started.
How Much Will You Save
Once you know how much a solar power system will cost upfront, and how much energy it will produce, you can predict how much you can save in energy costs per year.
This is another tricky calculation, however, because a lot depends on how you pay for electricity at the moment. Utilities often charge residential consumers a flat rate for electricity, regardless of the time of consumption. This means that instead of offsetting the expensive cost of peak electricity production, homeowners’ solar power systems merely offset the price they are charged for electricity, which is much closer to the average cost of power production.
However, many utility companies in the U.S. have introduced pricing schemes that allow homeowners to be charged at different rates throughout the day in an attempt to mirror the actual cost of electricity production at different times: This means higher rates in the afternoon and lower rates at night. A PV solar array may be very beneficial in areas where this sort of time-varying rate is used since the solar power produced would offset the most costly electricity.
Exactly how beneficial this is for a given homeowner depends on the exact timing and magnitude of the rate changes under such a plan. Similarly, utilities in some locations have pricing schemes that vary over different times of the year due to regular seasonal demand fluctuations. Those with higher rates during the summer make solar power more valuable.
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How Can You Make The Most Of The Energy You Generate
To make the most of the energy you get from your solar panels, think carefully about when you use your appliances.
Elliot Clark says: Saving running appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines for the sunniest parts of the day will make your usage more efficient. You can also get a solar diverter if you have or are thinking of getting a hot water cylinder or thermal store, so any electricity generated that your property does not use can be diverted to heat water for you to use for washing or heating.”
“Hot water cylinders are likely to make a comeback as they are often used with heat pumps, and storing your excess electricity as hot water will reduce the demand of energy of your heat pump.
Batteries could be another way for homeowners to store excess electricity produced by their solar panels to use at another time but there’s still some way to go before the technology makes this a viable option. Currently, these special batteries are bookcase size, and are so expensive and the cost would likely outweigh the benefits. They can also only store energy for a certain amount of time typically for a few weeks, at the most.
How To Calculate The Number Of Solar Panels You Need
Our solar panel cost and savings calculator is the fastest, easiest, and most accurate way to find out how many solar panels your home needs – and you dont have to do any math. Plus, well give you the average cost of a solar installation for your specific home and how much itll save you on your electric bills.
However, if you want to put pen to paper and work out the calculations for yourself, follow these four easy steps to find how many solar panels you need.
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Are There Warranties On The Solar Panels Youre Installing
Most major solar panel manufacturers do include warranties on their solar panels. When youre speaking to a company about installing solar panels on your home, you should ensure that the panels they install have a performance warranty and if they cover the full life of your new solar panels.
The photovoltaic cell panels that we install at Sun Badger Solar come with a 25-year warranty that we also match with our workmanship warranty. You can rest assured that your solar panels will continue to produce electricity for many years to come!
Explore our solar financing options to find the solar payment solution that is best for you.
Calculating Solar Power Costs
At this point, you will be in a position to make a final calculation, and an assessment of whether solar power makes sense for you.
The overall cost and benefit of a solar system can theoretically be evaluated using the discounted cash flow method. Outflows at the beginning of the project would consist of installation costs and inflows would arrive later in the form of offset electricity costs .
However, rather than using DCF, the viability of solar power is usually evaluated by calculating the levelized cost of electricity , then comparing it to the cost of electricity charged by the local utility. The LCOE for household solar will typically be calculated as cost/kilowatt-hour the same format commonly used on electricity bills. To approximate the LCOE, one can use the following equation:
LCOE = Net Present Value of the Lifetime Cost of Ownership / Lifetime Energy Output
The useful life of a PV solar module is generally assumed to be 25 to 40 years. The cost of ownership includes the maintenance costs, which must be discounted to find the NPV. The LCOE can then be compared to the cost of electricity from a utility remember, the relevant price is that which occurs during times at or near peak PV solar production.
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