5 Questions To Ask Before Installing Solar Panels
Solar panels can be an excellent way to save money, and contribute to the clean energy movement. They are a new technology that requires a professional installation. For this reason, you want to be sure to have all your questions answered before you decide.
To help you, here are five important questions most of our customer ask us before they install solar panels.
What solar panel system size will give me the best return?
Sizing a solar panel system is a lot more complicated than looking at your bill and figuring out what will generate enough electricity to cover your usage.
The solar panel installer needs to understand when you use electricity in your home, not just how much you use.
An estimate can also decide how much you will export, and how much you will import. This will help to make a good estimate of your savings.
Why have you chosen your panel supplier?
Most solar installers will have a preference for a particular supplier or group of suppliers. They may have an affiliation with a product manufacturer or supplier (or several).
The longer a solar panel installer has worked with one supplier, the better their knowledge of how the products will perform over time. They will also have a better their understanding of how the manufacturer and supplier respond to any warranty claims.
In the solar panel industry, it is a challenge to balance between quality and price while also remaining competitive. Solar companies that are constantly changing their supplier may not be the best fit for your needs.
How long is the product warranty on the solar panels?
The majority of solar panels on the market will feature a 25-year warranty (sometimes known as a performance guarantee). In most cases, this offers you a guaranteed electrical production for 10 years at 90% of rated power output and 25 years at 80%.
Be aware that some solar installers could claim that you need to get your system regularly (usually every two years) serviced by their company in order for your warranty to still be valid. It is important to read the fine print in the guarantee before signing.
How much will you pay up-front for solar panels?
There are all sorts of different solar panel offers available today, and the payment structure will usually vary.
In some instances, you may purchase your system outright, paying the full cost up-front. There are also both loan and lease or Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) options where you can pay $0 down and have your system installed.
There are also ‘in-between’ options that allow you to pay a partial amount up-front, and save money later on.
Generally speaking, the more you pay up-front, the more you will save in the long run, and purchasing your system outright will usually save you the most money.
Can you show me what affects the system will have on my bill?
This metric will depends on many factors, including your hours of use and what kind of payment plan you have set up.
Typically your installer should have some date to share about what costs are to be expected.