Industry experts say that 4% of U.S. electricity is generated by solar installations. That generation is expected to balloon to 30% by 2030.
The reason for this? The rising costs of fossil-fueled power and the negative impact on the climate and world economies. Many new solar energy companies have entered the industry to sell consumers solar systems to capitalize on this future growth.
This influx of new companies and solar power pitches may spin your head. However, you should know some essential facts before choosing a solar company to help you reduce your utility bills and do your part for the environment.
In the following article, we’ll discuss three things you need to know before choosing a solar power company and turning to renewable energy.
1. How Does Solar Power Work?
A solar energy company may make all sorts of claims, but if you know how the process works, you’ll better grasp what these companies are trying to sell you.
A solar panel is made up of smaller cells, or solar cells. These cells turn sunlight into electricity when photons generated from the sun strike the panels and knock free electrons.
When these electrons are freed, they are collected by the inner working of the panel in the form of a direct current. Most homes can’t do anything with this direct current. Instead, home appliances run on alternating currents. So, the direct current is then converted to the alternating current through an inverter.
Depending on the system, inverters are sometimes attached to each panel.
The Sun Belt (a stretch of America from the mid-Atlantic to Southern California) can generate a massive amount of solar power. Plenty of blue-sky days and longer hours of daylight help make the Sun Belt a solar powerhouse.
However, you can enjoy the benefits of solar power all across the country.
2. How Much Will a System Cost?
Solar systems cost between $17,000 and $21,000 (check solar service locations for more pricing info). However, you can significantly reduce these prices by applying state and federal rebates on the installation.
Make sure to research these local rebates to ensure the fine points and when the sunset.
In the final analysis, expect to pay roughly $2.65 to $3.50 per watt of solar-generated power; significant savings!
3. What Type of System is Best?
There are three types of solar systems: grid-tied, hybrid, and off-grid.
An off-grid system is not connected to the local utility’s power grid. Whatever power you generate and store in a battery pack is the power you have until your panels make more. These systems are great for people living in isolated locales, tiny homes, or askew excessive power consumption and consumerism.
Grid-tied systems use solar panels’ power to curb their consumption from the local utility. Excess energy that you generate flows back into the grid. However, if you lose power from the grid, you may lose the ability to invert the power from your panels from direct current to alternating current.
Finally, the hybrid model has all the cost-saving capabilities of the grid-tied model but includes a battery pack that stores any excess energy you generate. In this system, your solar system still runs if the local grid loses power. This system is more expensive but is more fool-proof than either off-grid or grid-tied systems.
The Best Solar Energy Companies
The best solar energy companies are the ones that explain the items mentioned above (process, cost, and options) in great detail.
Make sure you get good information from the companies you reach out to and that they are upfront with all the costs.
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