Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Make the Meter Spin Backward

Solar panels may not seem like the most glamorous home renovation, especially if creating beautiful spaces inspires your imagination. On the other hand, seeing your electrical meter turning backward for the first time will be a momentous occasion.
The first thing to do when considering solar panels is research. The industry is still evolving, so there are a lot of differences from one company to the next. These include the types of panels and inverters that they offer, as well as pros and cons specific to unique lease or purchase options.
Solar service companies also have different ideas and options for how to maximize the solar collection on your roof, particularly if you have several roof faces and/or variable shading. This will ultimately affect the collection potential for your system, as well as the amount of time it will take to recoup the cost of the installation. More is not necessarily better. If you are interested in a shorter payback period, it may be best to limit the panels to only those likely to gain the most wattage. Another potential financial benefit of solar panels is money gained through SREC trade. If you are entitled to the SRECs based on your solar gain, the management of this process could be a part of the contract with your solar installer.
Options available for the inverters give a variety of tradeoffs, and among the different companies you may find several choices. Depending on the setup, you might be able to check the amount of energy being collected by the full system, or even each individual panel. If other services are offered by the company, there could be additional proposals to improve the system's efficiency, such as upgrading insulation or dedicating some of the surface area of your roof to a solar water heater.
The possibility of increased energy independence gives you a good deal to consider, and plenty to be excited about as well.

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