The use of solar power is on the rise, and it’s not a mystery why. Some people are taking the leap to solar to minimize their carbon footprints. Others are more motivated by the long-term financial savings at stake.
Whether you’re opting for solar because of the green earth or the green dollar, it’s a transition that takes time. Make it easier with these tips about switching to solar power (for powering your house) for beginners.
1. Start Small with Portability
If you have little or no experience with solar power, jumping into a whole-house system could be too much too soon. Some homeowners find that it’s easier to start small.
To begin seeing how you’d like solar power, try a portable option first. The Titan from PoweredPortableSolar.com is a popular choice.
As you would expect, a portable solar power system may not be able to provide and store enough power to power your whole house. It depends on your energy usage and the size of portable system you buy.
However, a portable system is still a convenient way to give solar a try. It’s easy to use because it doesn’t require a complex or expensive installation like traditional solar systems do. And, it’s a lot cheaper than a full on solar power system. Consider it a test run.
2. Know Your Power Usage
Before you leap into solar, you need to do some researching and fact-finding.
The first step is to figure out how much energy your home uses on a regular basis. Look at your past energy bills to look at the patterns.
It’s also helpful to figure out where your power goes. Which of your appliances require the most power? This gives you a better understanding of how to make changes to your energy usage if necessary.
3. Learn Your Local Incentives
Most people recognize how much of a forward leap solar energy is for our planet’s health. To encourage environmental advancements, some governments offer incentives to make solar energy more appealing.
These incentives can be available at the national level as well as the state or regional level, and the local level as well. They could come in the form of tax breaks, partial reimbursements, and more.
It’s important to do your research about the benefits you’re eligible for in advance. This helps you budget for your solar system. It also lets you know what requirements you may need to follow throughout the process to qualify for the incentives.
4. Ask Your Power Company About Net Metering
Knowledge is key when you’re switching your home’s energy method. One of the most important facts you need to know about is net metering.
With net metering, you are still “on the grid” with a power company. Your power company tracks the energy you use and the energy you generate. They charge you for the net amount of energy you use.
This means that if your solar panels produce more energy than your home needs, the power company will buy it from you.
Net metering practices vary between different power companies and different locations. Some governments require energy providers to offer net metering, but not all do.
Find out the net metering policies your power company uses. This could affect the size of solar power system you want to invest in.
5. Cut Out the Excess
Many of us use more energy than necessary without realizing it. We add one appliance or electronic item at a time. Before we know it, we’re using twice as much power as we need.
As you prepare to switch to solar energy, now is a good time to do a power purge.
Go through your home and look at all your items that use energy. Ask yourself how much of it is truly necessary.
Do you really need that spare refrigerator in the garage that houses a case of soda at most? Probably not.
You can check out this mega-list that I’ve compiled of ways to conserve energy to learn more: Top 21 Ways to Save Energy at Home (How-To Instructions Included!)
6. Get Estimates
A solar energy system for your home is an investment, and one with a significant price tag. It isn’t a decision you should make with haste.
Now that the solar industry is growing, chances are that there are several solar installation companies in your area. When you’re preparing for such a large purchase, you need to weigh all your options.
Contact at least three solar companies near you and request estimates. These companies should be able to discuss your energy needs and your typical usage. They may visit your home as well.
With that information in hand, the solar companies can provide you with recommendations about the type and size of the system you need. Most importantly, they’ll give you a cost estimate as well.
Pay close attention to those estimates and see how similar the recommendations are. If one company has very different suggestions or a far lower price than the others, it could be a red flag that they aren’t as knowledgeable or trustworthy.
Make sure you understand what each estimate includes as well. For example, does it include a battery to store your solar energy?
7. Dig Deeper
When you’re selecting a solar installation company, cost shouldn’t be the only factor. You need to do your research to make sure your chosen provider is reliable too.
Start by checking out online reviews from past customers. By considering those reviews along with the estimates you receive, you should be able to narrow your selection to one or two front-runners.
Ask those top contenders for references. This gives you the opportunity to ask any questions you want to the company’s past customers.
Making the Move to Solar Power for Beginners
Solar power may be the next frontier for energy, but it isn’t as complex as it seems to the untrained eye. A basic understanding of solar power for beginners is all you need to start moving toward a transition for your home.
The tips above will make that easier.
Disclaimer: This post was kindly sponsored by PoweredPortableSolar.com.