Your Complete Guide to Going Solar
Since 2008, solar panels have gained popularity as more Americans choose to harness the sun’s energy to power their daily lives. Now that the cost of going solar decreases every year, you might be considering solar panels for your home. The answers to these frequently asked questions may help you decide if going solar is right for you.
WHAT IS SOLAR ENERGY?
Solar energy uses the sun’s rays to create electricity or heat. It’s an unlimited, renewable resource with the ability to generate energy in a clean, quiet, and reliable way.
HOW DOES SOLAR WORK?
Photovoltaics, or PV, are used to harness the sun’s power and turn it into electricity. When the sun shines onto one of these solar panels, photons from the sunlight are absorbed by the panel cells – this creates an electric field across the layers and causes electricity to flow.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SOLAR PANELS AND BUILDING INTEGRATED PHOTOVOLTAIC PRODUCTS?
Flat solar panels work well for remodels and are mounted on a roof or pole to capture sunlight. Building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) materials are PV rays integrated into building materials like roof tiles, walls, or windows. BIPV is suitable for new construction or a major renovation.
IS MY HOME SUITABLE FOR SOLAR PANELS?
Solar panels are constructed to work in all climates. Rooftop panels may not be the best option if trees near your home create excessive shade on your roof. The shape, slope, and size of your roof are also important factors to consider. Solar panels typically perform best on south-facing roofs with a slope between 15 and 40 degrees. Also, consider your roof’s age and how long until it will need to be replaced.
CAN I INSTALL SOLAR MYSELF?
The best way to install solar is through a qualified professional, like Pickett Solar who has years of experience and works with high-quality solar panels.
WILL I REALLY SAVE MONEY BY GOING SOLAR?
Yes! The amount of money you can save with solar depends on several factors: how much electricity you use, the size of your solar energy system, how efficient your appliances are, and how much it’s able to generate. In general, you can expect to generate excess electricity in the winter when usage is lower – this can offset the energy you use from the grid in the summer.
CAN I GET FINANCING FOR SOLAR?
Yes – and we can help! Payment plans are available for many of our solar systems, so let us know if you’re interested in this option. You can also consider rolling the cost into your construction loan on a new home or a home equity loan from your bank.
WHAT ARE THE ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS OF SOLAR?
Instead of using conventional forms of energy, harnessing solar power reduces the amount of carbon and other pollutants emitted into the atmosphere. Reducing the amount of carbon will result in cleaner air and water and less pollution.
WILL I NEED A BUILDING PERMIT TO INSTALL A SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM ON MY HOME?
Yes, building permits are needed. However, residential solar power systems don’t use “radical” building techniques, and most areas have building codes that fully embrace solar energy technology.
WHEN SHOULD I CONSULT A SOLAR PROFESSIONAL?
The sooner, the better. Solar installation professionals like Pickett Solar can help you determine the size and type of system that fits your needs. If you’re building a new home, we can discuss some general guidelines with your architect to ensure maximum production. If your home is already built, we can offer several options to boost your production and lower your cost.
HOW CAN I CALCULATE THE COST AND PAYBACK TIME OF A SOLAR SYSTEM INSTALLATION?
To estimate how much solar panels cost, determine your current energy needs and costs – then compare that amount against your future expected use. Once you know how much energy you need, we can help you evaluate the cost and benefits of purchasing a solar system. Fortunately, in today’s market, you can take advantage of rebates, tax credits, and other financial incentives that help make prices for solar panels in Houston, Texas competitive and attractive.
At Pickett Solar, we design and install electricity-generating solar panel systems for homes and commercial and industrial businesses throughout Houston, Texas. Contact us today if you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment with our friendly staff in Houston, Texas.
April 9, 2021