When it comes to solar energy, prospective consumers often have a ton of questions about how it works and how it can benefit them. Any worthwhile solar panel installer will be more than happy to answer any and all questions you might have, but in the meantime, let’s take a look at 5 common solar queries.
#1. Is my roof suitable for solar?
If you’re in the market for a conventional rooftop solar installation then this question is vital. You’re going to want a good, sturdy roof, with minimal shadow and plenty of sun exposure annually. If your roof is in need or repair, it’s best to take care of any renovations before the panels go up. This ensures you won’t have to remove and reinstall the panels down the line. It’s also important to minimize obstructions around the property as these can cast shadows on the roof. Be sure that the likelihood of new obstructions popping up in the future is minimal as well.
If your own roof won’t cut it, or you don’t have permission to install panels on the property, there are other options which will allow you to go solar. A ground-mount is a different approach to residential and commercial solar, which allows for the installation of panels on a location other than the roof. Community solar is an excellent alternative route into solar, with new shared solar projects popping up all the time.
#2. How do I pick a solar installer?
Once you’re confident that you want to go solar, and that your roof can handle the panels, it’s time to pick an installer. This is another vital step in the solar process as your installer will guide you through the rest of the journey. First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure your solar panel installer is NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) certified. After this, check out some reviews online or, if possible, ask around for some references. Perhaps some friends, family or neighbors have installed solar before. Make sure the installer can offer viable financing options and a solid warranty upwards of 20 years. Of course, a home visit can never hurt and most solar installers will be willing to meet up and answer any questions you may have.
#3. Should I lease or buy the panels?
At YSG Solar we always recommend buying over leasing. Owning your own system comes with a host of benefits and is, undoubtedly, the best option over the long-term. Owning the system allows you to avail of the full range of tax incentives and rebates available to solar owners, while also ensuring that the energy produced by your system has a direct impact on the reduction of your electricity bill. In addition, a solar system increases the value of your property and makes the property easier to sell if it ever does go on the market. On top of this, banks will consider a solar system for homeowners seeking loans. If you want to experience the full benefits of solar energy, we advise buying your system outright.
#4. Will the panels still work in bad weather?
This is an extremely common concern for anyone considering solar. Luckily, there’s no need to worry as solar is an extremely cost-efficient, durable method of energy generation. Modern solar technology is designed to handle everything from clouds to rain to snow. UV rays still penetrate clouds to land on your panels, rain actually serve to benefit performance by cleaning debris from the panels, and snow will slide right off the panels. In fact, the bright white snow can act as a reflective surface to improve performance further. Indeed, Germany, a leading solar consumer worldwide has a very cloudy climate and still generates tonnes of energy each and every year. Even in the event of a small reduction in energy generation due to extreme weather conditions, your solar system will more than make up for this across the span of an entire year.
#5. Do solar panels require a lot of maintenance?
This is another frequent, and very understandable, solar concern. A solar panel installation is a long-term commitment and nobody wants to be carrying out maintenance on the panels every other day for years on end. Luckily, solar panels require little-to-no maintenance. They are extremely durable and self-sufficient pieces of equipment. As long as you’ve picked a reputable solar installer and your system is set up properly, the only real maintenance required for your panels will be a quick rinse every once in a while. As mentioned above, in many cases, the rain actually washes away dirt and debris for you, ensuring optimal solar panel performance and lots of energy generation.