If you’re thinking about making the switch to solar, you should know it’s not something you should undertake on a whim. Here are ten steps you should take to get your home ready for the transition to clean, renewable solar energy.
1. Make Your Home More Efficient
Believe it or not, you are probably wasting a ton of electricity right now purely on inefficient features in your home. Consider installing energy-efficient appliances, upgrade to a smart thermostat, and seal off any air leaks in your home in order to get a better idea of just how much energy you need.
2. Do Your Research
Not all solar panels are created equal. While some companies may offer low-priced panels to get you signed up, most customers report being highly unsatisfied with their results even just a few years later when they start experiencing issues. Make sure you choose the right type of panel, from the right manufacturer, and installed by the right, reputable dealer for the best possible experience.
3. Understand the Relationship Between PV & Cooperative Systems
Your solar panels aren’t going to be able to meet your demands at all times, such as at night or on cloudy days. Know how your new solar panels will work alongside your connection to the municipal grid so you can understand how to maximize your savings.
4. Determine Your Upfront Costs
Depending on what type of solar program you choose, you may need to pay a good chunk of money up front to get started. Determine if you can afford this cost, or if a lower-cost alternative suits you better.
5. Search for Incentives, Rebates & Tax Credits
You can actually save a lot of extra money both on your installation and future expenses by taking advantage of some of California’s great government-provided incentives! Do this research carefully so you can make sure to maximize the benefit.
6. Know Your Responsibilities
Depending on your location, you may have added responsibilities, such as fees for connecting to the cooperative grid, getting safety inspections, and more. Make sure you check for these ahead of time so there are no surprises once your system is installed.
7. Maintain Good Records
If you find a piece of important information you should know, print it out and keep it in a file. Get any pre-installation quotes? Get copies of them and keep them as well. There are lots of things you may need to refer back to in the future when it comes to your system, so keep as much info as you can.