If you are like most homeowners, you have started looking for ways that you can save on your energy costs, especially your electricity. The push for electric vehicles in many states may also contribute to your desire for more economical energy. You may have investigated wind options as well as local solar installation, such as solar panels San Antonio. This is what you should consider before you install.
Your Current Energy Usage
You probably only have limited space to install your panels, which limits the amount of energy you can actually produce. Therefore, you should review your energy bills to determine how much electricity you use. Then, discuss the electricity product of the system you need with your installation company.
You should also determine whether you want your solar system to fully replace your energy needs or if you just want to reduce them. Calculate your payback period and savings before you decide whether you want to invest in these energy options.
The Amount of Sun the Panels Need for Efficiency
Fortunately, your solar panels can produce energy on cloudy days, but they will not be as efficient as they are on sunny days. For example, your electricity production could drop to 10% on very cloudy days. Also, cooler temperatures produce better results. Most often, if you plan your solar system properly, it can produce your energy needs within four to five hours. However, the sunlight should be direct and occur during the late morning to early afternoon (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.).
Your Local Weather
You should investigate your local weather before making your solar investment. Solar needs specific amounts of sunlight to be efficient and truly reduce your energy bills. Therefore, areas with a lot of rain or those with short, overcast days during the winter may not be a good fit.
For the best results, track the amount of sunlight you receive on your property per day. Consider conducting your research on the shortest or most overcast days of the year in addition to the sunniest. You can also consult local weather statistics to determine the average number of overcast days in your area.
Your Property Characteristics
The size, orientation (south-facing preferred) and slope of your roof (30-45 degrees) can impact your energy generation. If your roof is old, it can make your installation more difficult and costly and reduce your energy production. Also, you should avoid placing panels in areas that get shade from large trees or other homes and buildings.
Solar Panel Cost and Financing Options
Over the long term, you should see a return on your investment in electricity bill savings. However, your initial costs of installation and purchasing the panels can be significant. Therefore, research Texas solar incentives as well as those offered by the federal government, including tax rebates. Your installation company may also allow you to lease the panels or finance them.
Make sure your warranty covers the life of the financing at least, and calculate any additional roof maintenance and homeowners’ insurance costs.