AVOID COMMON SOLAR MISTAKES
If you are interested in saving your money on energy bills by installing a solar system, you need to make sure that you are not going to make costly mistakes before and during the installation process. Knowing how to avoid common solar mistakes can help you save money and increase your satisfaction with your solar system.
Is a fixed month payment what it seems?
Unless you buy it with cash, accrued interest, solar tax incentives, and system degradation should be taken into consideration as part of the fixed price rate whenever you buy or lease a solar system.
Know your Baseline Quantity
Your baseline is the amount of kWh used in terms of tiers. It could affect your energy savings and it must be taken into consideration. The majority of solar companies do not take it into consideration.
Find the Truth for Incentives and Rebates
Rebates can be tricky to qualify for, but if you’re lucky enough to get one, you have to deduct it from your tax credit (ITC) accordingly.
IRS Tax Deduction
PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing program can affect your property taxed. A common solar mistake is to analyze your total return by calculating the tax deduction for full amount of payment, which is illegal.
How much Will it Add to Your Home Value?
You should have your home value officially appraised to accurately calculate your current home value as well as the potential increase once the panels have been installed. A solar system without a production guarantee is considered as no added home value.
The Reality of Increasing Utility Costs
An exaggerated electric rate makes solar sales easier. In some cities there is forecast of about 4%-8% increase in electricity rates by 2020. Your future utility savings estimate should represent both short term and long term reporting from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
How Accurate is the System Size?
Installing a large system will not just cost you more money, it also makes your “minimum utility charge” even more of a waste.
Do you like Gambling?
We recommend always getting a few quotes, but be prepared to be confused when different companies provide you different parameters, such as critical size of the system.
What is Included with the Installation Cost?
The installation cost should include everything from the start of the project to the end of the project, including system monitoring, as well as help with getting your rebates.
System Rating (STC, PTC, CEC)
Your system analysis must refer to California Energy Commission (CEC) standard. There is the possibility for up to a 50% deviation from what you have been offered to what is the actual rating.
Commonly used Standards are: STC (Standard Test Condition), PTC (PV Test Condition).
Not all panels are created equal
The two main types of solar panels are the Mono-crystalline silicon (Si) panels and Poly-crystalline silicon (Poly-Si) panels, which are much cheaper and absorb less sunlight. The size of the panel (kWp-DC) can be varied too. some panel can produce the same amount of energy of two other panels.
High quality solar modules can provide the same electric output as a larger system. Smaller systems are easiest to maintain and easier to install in a sun exposed zone.
Roof Sun Capture Variables
Roof azimuth the array tilt angle, shading and location must be taken into consideration as major factors in your potential savings.
The inverter converts the variable direct current (DC) output of a photo-voltaic (PV) solar panel into a utility frequency. It is important to use a high performing inverter in locations with a large amount of dirt or shade.
System Production AC vs. DC Watts
Traditional solar panels measured their output by direct current (DC) that needs to be converted to alternating current (AC). Note that most home appliances use an AC current.