Using solar panels for electricity and improving your home requires a few steps. After you figure out which solar option is best for you, take the steps that you need to take. Your solar energy installer and your local utility company can give you more information about the steps you’ll need to take to generate electricity for your home with solar energy.
Check How Energy-Efficient Your Home Is
Before putting solar panels on their roof, homeowners should find out how much energy they use and think about ways they could save energy. Before going solar, homeowners should know how much electricity they use overall and think about low-cost, easy-to-do ways to save energy.
Look Into Your Options For Solar Energy
To use solar energy, you must buy and set up a system you own outright and take care of. Many programs can help you use solar energy even if you rent your home or don’t want to buy a system for the roof.
Figure Out How Much Solar Power You Need
Gather information about your home and how much electricity you use so that your contractor can’t tell you what kind of system to get and how big it should be.
Look at your electric bills to determine how much electricity you’ll need each year. The amount you’ve used will be shown in kilowatt-hours (kWh). Look at each month of the year. Some months may use more energy than others (e.g., if you run the air conditioner in the summer). Some utilities provide tools to help with this review.
Think about any changes that might happen. Your electricity demand may increase if you decide to purchase an electric vehicle or make additions to your home. If you keep making big changes to make your home in the US more energy-efficient, you may use less electricity.
Learn About The Different Kinds Of Financing And Incentives
Small solar energy systems can get a 30% tax credit from the federal government until 2019. The tax credit dropped to 26% in 2020, then 22% in 2021, and then it went away on December 31, 2021.
If you choose a solar lease or power-purchase agreement, you won’t own the solar energy system so you won’t be eligible for this tax benefit.
Using The Installer And The Utility
If you want to install a solar energy system with solar panels, your installer should be able to help you with the necessary permits and steps.
Your installer will decide the size of your system. The size will depend on how much electricity you need (which you found out in step 4) and the following things:
- The amount of sunlight at the site or its solar resource.
- The tilt and orientation of the system
- The ability of the system to use sunlight to make electricity.
- A utility, a wind turbine, or a fossil fuel generator are also ways to get electricity.
Your installer will also ensure that all your equipment is set up, oriented, and tilted correctly to get the most energy from the sun every day and throughout the year. Make sure you know how billing and net metering work and any other fees you may have to pay.